Keeping America in the Dark

I'm not a regular reader of the Albuquerque Journal and since its website does not seem to post the wire stories that run in the print edition I'm not sure if it ever ran a story on the Downing Street memo while the story has appeared sporadically over the past few days in other media outlets. I haven't seen anything. Have you? Email me tim@alibi.com if you have, please.

I followed the A-section in the week (May 25-June 2) following the news of Pat Tillman's friendly fire death and correlating outrage of his parents over Bush administration lies and manipulation and did not see a single mention of the story. Of course, on April 24, 2004, news of the tragedy was plastered across the Journal front page, with the headline: "Tillman Gave up American Dream to Defend It." It was the pervasive national story of the day, all about heroism and patriotism, and no report indicated that he was killed by his own men. The photo of him in uniform, with his thick NFL neck, was powerful and I've never forgotten it. Out of curiosity, I searched "Pat Tillman" on the Journal's website last week to see what coverage it gave to the investigation into his death and the anger expressed by his parents. I searched all articles between May 23 and June 5 in the archive. I found nothing.

On this note, I share with you an email I received today from a friend who teaches at Columbia University law school. I think he pretty much hits the proverbial nail on the head:

Newspapers around the country are rushing to explain how they failed to provide coverage of the Downing Street memo. Evidently this has been inspired by tens of thousands of complaining letters they are receiving from subscribers who ask how one of the most important news stories of the year simply disappeared from America's news pages, then filled with pane et circus stories like the Michael Jackson trial. The responses are varied: some say that the memo is no big deal, that it doesn't prove the underlying notion that the Bushies lied about their intentions going into war (what would happen to a lawyer who ignored a document because it wasn't "decisive proof" in and of itself? This suggestion is mind boggling in its stupidity.) Others are following the tried and true approach of blame the newswires—we rely on AP, and they didn't alert us to the story. Finally, we have the most shameless and absurdist papers, led by Los Angeles Times editor Michael Kinsley and the New York Times, which are now producing articles distorting, misquoting and mischaracterizing the documents in an effort to show that they really don't say what they say. You've no doubt now read the two successive New York Times articles, an amazing exercise in propagandistic distortion and professional self-abasement. Here is the Associated Press admitting that it "dropped the ball." They suggest innocent oversight, which is, frankly, not plausible. This story was dominating news headlines around the world on May 1 & 2, and is not something which could have been innocently overlooked. This was a conscious decision to keep America in the dark.

As is often the case, Eric Boehlert of Salon.com does a first-rate job of reporting and analyzing on the situation. [link] A must read. ...

Here's a clearinghouse of sorts dedicated to the Downing Street Memo [link] Click on the “news & media” link and notice how sparse the coverage has been, although a few of the editorials seem to go after it. You can also join 700,000 people in signing the petition calling for a congressional investigation. Is that too much to ask?

And lastly, for folks that just can't get enough of White House official lies and deception, there's always this link [link] that features the “spin of the day.”