Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Media Defensive On Downing Street Coverage

Media Defensive On Downing Street Coverage

Mark Follman ( writes about the rebound of the Downing Street Memo, now that the mainstream press realizes the story is not going to be allowed die while it's in the hands of the ever-tenacious citizen's media. Members of Congress are beginning to step over mainstream media to reach out to citizen bloggers - offering interviews, tips, and information they once offered exclusively to the mainstream journalists.

I appreciate Follman's critique of statement made by Howard Kurtz about the quality of the media's coverage during the lead-up period to the Iraq war.

Kurtz said:
"The press performance in covering this tightly disciplined administration has been far from perfect, especially on Iraq. But it's worth remembering that during the Clinton years, it was conservatives who saw the media as being embarrassingly soft on the White House."

Follet commented:
Whether or not that was the case -- the press was plenty vigorous in its pursuit of Whitewater and Monica -- the stakes are an awful lot higher now.

- Think back to the time of Clinton's friendly fellatio, and then bring yourself back to 2005.
- Understand the consequences of Bush misleading an entire nation into a war of option - along with a post-war which was not adequately planned, and in fact, has proven to be a nightmare.
- Contrast the proportionate amount of in-depth media coverage the respective stories received.
- Cry for a loss of solemn responsibility - which is overruled by ratings-wars and advertising dollars - in the mainstream media.
- Pray for a whistleblower.


Robert Parry Commentary
-LSMSM (The Lying Mainstrean Media)
- Mocking the Downing Street Memo

Iddybud Debuts On CNN's "Inside the Blogs"

Iddybud Debuts On CNN's "Inside the Blogs"

I've been spending a lot of time at my parents' home lately. My mother is going through chemotherapy and she needs a lot of help with routine chores which she is far too weak to do herself. I was taking a break to watch CNN's Inside Politics this afternoon, (I try to watch every day), and when the "Inside the Blogs" segment came on, I thought I saw a familiar blog page on one of Abbi Tatton's computer screens.

It was my own.

The transcript calls me "ittybird", but I heard Abbi, and she clearly said "Iddybud."
ABBI TATTON, CNN BLOG REPORTER: And so, of course, Randy Cunningham -- we said he has made a statement saying that he's denied any wrongdoing. And that's over here (ph) with a picture of the Congressman.

In an interview last week, they point out he said, "My whole life I've lived above board. I've never even smoked a marijuana cigarette." Well, there you go, is the point they make on that one.
I hope Abbi will pay me future visits. She and Jacki Schechner are always welcome here at Iddybud.

New Blog: 'Now, That's Progress'

New Blog: 'Now, That's Progress'
The Progressive Depot has a brand new blog of its own. It's called "Now, That's Progress." The blog's introductory declaration can be read by going HERE.

Thomas Friedman Offends Many With Terrible Misjudgement

Thomas Friedman Offends Many With Terrible Misjudgement

Thomas Friedman is making some terrible judgements lately, and the most unfair judgement I've seen in recent days is his assertion that
(quote) "Liberals don’t want to talk about Iraq because, with a few exceptions, they thought the war was wrong and deep down don’t want the Bush team to succeed. As a result, Iraq is drifting sideways and the whole burden is being carried by our military."
I'd remind Mr. Friedman that not only have people like myself TALKED about the Iraq war, we have been SCREAMING about the Iraq war from the lead-up until the present.

How does Mr. Friedman come to the twisted conclusion that, by our pointing out the catastrophic blunders which the Bush administration has made, it is resulting in the military failure itself? BALDERDASH!

I would remind Mr. Friedman of the not-so-liberal General Anthony Zinni's list of Ten Mistakes made by the Bush administration.

I would also remind Mr. Friedman that he was taken in by the administration himself, and I believe it's partly because he is an opitimist and wants to see success in the region. That said, Mr. Friedman is not being intellectually honest in presenting any provable form of truth in his all-too general interpretation of how "liberal" Americans feel and/or think "deep-down." That's voo-doo mind-reading malarkey and, needless to say, it is not at all professional.

I'd remind Mr. Friedman that we'd all like to see peace and prosperity in the region and that we do not cheer at the news stories of dead civilians and soldiers. To the contrary, it breaks our hearts.

How dare he make such sweeping generalizations? I am deeply offended.

I'm forwarding a reference to this post to the NY Times ombudsman. You, too, can reach Brian Calame, the NYT ombudsman, here: or call (212) 556-7652.

*Mr. Friedman offended Billmon.

Tom Delay Doesn't Want a Cunningham Investigation

Tom Delay Doesn't Want a Cunningham Investigation

"Just because it appears in an article doesn’t mean a thing....Duke Cunningham is a hero."

This is a recent statement made by Tom Delay, while defending Rep. Duke Cunningham's home sale, which some suspect may have been an actual 3/4 million dollar "payback-favor" he got from a recently-enriched defense contractor named Mitchell Wade. Wade had purchased Cunningham's house for an exorbitant price with the help of a real estate businesswoman named Elizabeth Todd, who also happened to be a major political contributor to Cunningham. Wade quickly sold the house at a loss, to himself, of $700,000. At the same time, Wade was mysteriously enriched with government contracts. Did Cunningham pocket $700,000 in return for special favors to Mitchell Wade?

Tom Delay doesn't want this investigated.

Duke Cunningham's statement in his own defense:

"My whole life I've lived aboveboard. I've never even smoked a marijuana cigarette ... I feel very confident that I haven't done anything wrong."

Well, there you go. Any upstanding politician who's never smoked a "J" must not be capable of graft.

Josh Marshall is doing a fantastic investigation into this story at Talking Points Memo.


photo credit: BBC news

A homeless child sleeps on a bed made from a campaign poster in the south-eastern province of Kerman, Hashem Hashemi, Iraq.

Wolfowitz Recommends Cutting Subsidies to American Farmers

Wolfowitz Recommends Cutting Subsidies to American Farmers

The only way that Paul Wolfowitz, as new head of the World Bank, can foresee helping Africa's farms to grow and compete, is to hurt the American farmers.

This will be a bitter pill to swallow for America's farmers. They will wonder why it is them who should directly suffer, in a free, democratic nation and a land of "opportunity", so that the World Bank can assist another continent.

It also puts the 'new world order' at odds with American democratic interests.

I think its worthy of debate. It cannot be denied that the interests of the World Bank do not run in true course with the business interests of the free American individual and the way that individual is served by his own nation's government.

On one hand, we see that the World Bank is offering compassion for Africa and its people by offering a constructive economic design for their future. These aren't hand-outs being given to Africa for the sheer sake of hand-outs. Instead, they are being given the economic tools to become independent and free.

Yet, many American farmers will ask: Why did it have to come at their expense?

I'm not as concerned about the American corporate agricultural system as I am worried about the family farmer who is barely getting by. We tend to forget that this nation's earliest economic backbone and social order once rested, in large part, among and within the lives of the family farmers. They work harder than most other people for meager economic return. They provide us with nourishment. I think, in a political sense, that we should give them far more economic respect.

The Change to Win Coalition - Labor Moves On

The Change to Win Coalition - Labor Moves On

There's a conundrum that has been presented by Harold Myerson in today's WaPo. Splitting up the Labor movement would fragment the force required to organize Wal-Mart or dethrone Tom DeLay in 2006. Yet, to reverse labor's decline, the SEIU contends that the movement must be restructured so it can organize again. The problem seen by SEIU is that the AFL-CIO has "encouraged" unions to work toward worthy goals, yet they have not moved to make the changes in strategy, structure, rules, and budget priorities to achieve those goals. Talk is cheap - action is necessary.

The SEIU is the the AFL-CIO's largest affiliate. They passed a resolution last weekend authorizing its top officers to take the union out of the longstanding Labor federation when they deem it appropriate. The central point of contention surrounds a loss in confidence toward incumbent AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

Change or die - sometimes it has to come down to that. Let's hope the AFL-CIO finds a way to stay together by agreeing to restructure. If not, I hope that Americans will support Labor in their struggle to find a successful way to move on.

Unite To Win Blog

We Don't Believe Judith Miller Anymore

We Don't Believe Judith Miller Anymore

Josh Marshall reminds us of what I've said in the past. Judith Miller cannot be trusted after her writings in the lead-up to the Iraq War heavily contributed to the misleading of America. Why is she still with the NY Timid Times? We don't believe a word she says anymore.