Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bill Moyers

Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit and delivered a speech in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. MSNBC's Chris Matthews declared, "We're all neo-cons now;" NPR's Bob Edwards said, "The war in Iraq is essentially over;" and Fortune magazine's Jeff Birnbaum said, "It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context."

How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"

On Wednesday, April 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS, a new PBS series BILL MOYERS JOURNAL premieres at a special time with "Buying the War," a 90-minute documentary that explores the role of the press in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Two days later on April 27, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL airs in its regular timeslot on Fridays at 9 p.m. with interviews and news analysis on a wide range of subjects, including politics, arts and culture, the media, the economy, and issues facing democracy. "Buying the War" includes interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of MEET THE PRESS; Bob Simon of 60 MINUTES; Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN; and John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder newspapers, which was acquired by The McClatchy Company in 2006.

In "Buying the War" Bill Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes document the reporting of Walcott, Landay and Strobel, the Knight Ridder team that burrowed deep into the intelligence agencies to try and determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration's case for war. "Many of the things that were said about Iraq didn't make sense," says Walcott. "And that really prompts you to ask, 'Wait a minute. Is this true? Does everyone agree that this is true? Does anyone think this is not true?'"

In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. Journalist Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, who was based in the Middle East, questioned the reporting he was seeing and reading. "I mean we knew things or suspected things that perhaps the Washington press corps could not suspect. For example, the absurdity of putting up a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda," he tells Moyers. "Saddam…was a total control freak. To introduce a wild card like Al Qaeda in any sense was just something he would not do. So I just didn't believe it for an instant." The program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press, which was then seized upon and amplified by an army of pundits. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media. THE NEW YORK TIMES reported on Iraq's "worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb," but according to Landay, claims by the administration about the possibility of nuclear weapons were highly questionable. Yet, his story citing the "lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons" got little play. In fact, throughout the media landscape, stories challenging the official view were often pushed aside while the administration's claims were given prominence. "From August 2002 until the war was launched in March of 2003 there were about 140 front page pieces in THE WASHINGTON POST making the administration's case for war," says Howard Kurtz, the POST's media critic. "But there was only a handful of stories that ran on the front page that made the opposite case. Or, if not making the opposite case, raised questions."

"Buying the War" examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what's changed? "More and more the media become, I think, common carriers of administration statements and critics of the administration," says THE WASHINGTON POST's Walter Pincus. "We've sort of given up being independent on our own."


Excellent! Pure Bill Moyers! Check your local PBS listings for show times.

Bill was on Democracy Now for an extensive interview with Amy, well worth viewing.

Sure wish we could turn back the clock to 2000 before the sham election, what a different world it would have been without the evil of the Bush Cabal.


DEN said...

McCain was on The Daily Show last night and Jon did not pull any punches with the obviously disconnected McCain.

The vids are at Comedy Central, HERE , see their list for part two.

DEN said...

I like Greg Palast, he has a new post up:

There was a multi-state con in operation. But what was it? Each of these bogus claims of voter fraud was attached to a sales pitch for a state law to tighten voter ID requirements — to prevent these ne’er-do-wells from voting twice. In Arizona, one crack-pot Republican legislator, the Hon. Russell Pearce, claimed he had evidence that five million Mexicans had illegally crossed the border to vote.

The point: Rove knew that a “challenge” operation by the Republican Party, run from his office, knocked out 300,000 voters — mainly poor ones, voters of color. His crew wanted to hike that higher.

The notable thing about this crime of voter identity theft is that it doesn’t happen. You are more likely to encounter ballot boxes that spontaneously combust. I found cases of voters struck by lightening — but out of 120 million votes cast, I couldn’t find a dozen criminal cases of a bandit stealing someone’s identity to vote.

@ Greg Palast

micki said...

If you think Iraq is bad, you haven't seen anything yet...

April 24, 2007, The New York Times

Op-Ed Contributor
Terror in the Weather Forecast


DOES climate change threaten international peace and security? The British government thinks it does. As this month’s head of the United Nations Security Council, Britain convened a debate on the matter last Tuesday. One in four United Nations member countries joined the discussion — a record for this kind of thematic debate.

Countries rich and poor, large and small, and from all continents — Bangladesh, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, much of Europe and, most poignantly, a large number of small island states endangered by rising seas — recognized the security implications of climate change. Some other developing countries — Brazil, Cuba and India and most of the biggest producers of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide, including China, Qatar and Russia — either questioned the very idea of such a link or argued that the Security Council is not the right place to talk about it.

But these skeptics are wrong. Evidence is fast accumulating that, within our children’s lifetimes, severe droughts, storms and heat waves caused by climate change could rip apart societies from one side of the planet to the other. Climate stress may well represent a challenge to international security just as dangerous — and more intractable — than the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war or the proliferation of nuclear weapons among rogue states today.

Congress and senior military leaders are taking heed: Legislation under consideration in both the Senate and the House calls for the director of national intelligence to report on the geopolitical implications of climate change. And last week a panel of 11 retired generals and admirals warned that climate change is already a “threat multiplier” in the world’s fragile regions, “exacerbating conditions that lead to failed states — the breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism.”
Addressing the question of scientific uncertainty about climate change, Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, a former Army chief of staff who is now retired, said: “Speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

In the future, that battlefield is likely to be complex and hazardous. Climate change will help produce the kind of military challenges that are difficult for today’s conventional forces to handle: insurgencies, genocide, guerrilla attacks, gang warfare and global terrorism.

In the 1990s, a research team I led at the University of Toronto examined links between various forms of environmental stress in poor countries — cropland degradation, deforestation and scarcity of fresh water, for example — and violent conflict. In places as diverse as Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa, we found that severe environmental stress multiplied the pain caused by such problems as ethnic strife and poverty.

Rural residents who depend on local natural resources for their livelihood become poorer, while powerful elites take control of — and extract exorbitant profits from — increasingly valuable land, forests and water. As these resources in the countryside dwindle, people sometimes join local rebellions against landowners and government officials. In mountainous areas of the Philippines, for instance, deforestation, soil erosion and depletion of soil nutrients have increased poverty and helped drive peasants into the arms of the Communist New People’s Army insurgency.

Other times, people migrate in large numbers to regions where resources seem more plentiful, only to fight with the people already there. Or they migrate to urban slums, where unemployed young men can be primed to join criminal gangs or radical political groups.

Climate change will have similar effects, if nations fail to aggressively limit carbon dioxide emissions and develop technologies and institutions that allow people to cope with a warmer planet.

The recent report of Working Group II of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identifies several ways warming will hurt poor people in the third world and hinder economic development there more generally. Large swaths of land in subtropical latitudes — zones inhabited by billions of people — will experience more drought, more damage from storms, higher mortality from heat waves, worse outbreaks of agricultural pests and an increased burden of infectious disease.
The potential impact on food output is a particular concern: in semiarid regions where water is already scarce and cropland overused, climate change could devastate agriculture. (There is evidence that warming’s effect on crops and pastureland is a cause of the Darfur crisis.) Many cereal crops in tropical zones are already near their limits of heat tolerance, and temperatures even a couple of degrees higher could lead to much lower yields.

By weakening rural economies, increasing unemployment and disrupting livelihoods, global warming will increase the frustrations and anger of hundreds of millions of people in vulnerable countries. Especially in Africa, but also in some parts of Asia and Latin America, climate change will undermine already frail governments — and make challenges from violent groups more likely — by reducing revenues, overwhelming bureaucracies and revealing how incapable these governments are of helping their citizens.

We’ve learned in recent years that such failure can have consequences around the world and that great powers can’t always isolate themselves from these consequences. It’s time to put climate change on the world’s security agenda.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, director of the Trudeau Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto, is the author of “The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization.”

micki said...

Dr. B - on previous thread, thanks for the reply.

micki said...

Imagine if the gazillion dollars that are going into military budgets were, instead, spent on new technoligies to combat green house emmissions.

The 500 billion dollar$ plu$ that bu$h and hi$ boyfriend$ have blown in Iraq could have been spent on in the US to lower emissions.

micki said...

New cabinet level post:

Department of Warming

micki said...


Department of Warming Warning

DEN said...

Micki, Must feed the Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned us about.

Alan said...

McCain pisses me off. What the hell makes him an expert on war? He claims to 'know war and it's human costs', but I say that's BULLSHYT! He knew how to fly over a war and kill people he would never see. He never saw their faces or the damage he'd done. He hasn't the slightest idea what a grunt on the ground faced. The only thing he knows about is being a prisoner of war. Guess what? That has not a thing to do with this war or how to fight it... or any fkn war for that matter. What he went through in Vietnam wasn't a cakewalk by any means, but it doesn't make him an expert on anything other than what it's like to not have guaranteed Geneva Convention rights.

Gerald said...

It is my understanding that the Bill Moyers Journal will be returning on PBS on Fridays at 9:00 PM (EST).

DEN said...

More about those stinking diesels;

Many people mistakenly believe that diesel vehicles are better for the environment because they travel 30 percent more miles per gallon than do gasoline-powered vehicles. But diesel vehicles emit about 18 percent more carbon per gallon than do gasoline vehicles. More important, soot is a much more efficient warming agent per unit mass than is the worst greenhouse gas. That translates into greater global warming with diesel than with gasoline over the next 100 to 150 years, Jacobson says. Only after that time, with the cumulative effect of the greater fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles, does diesel overtake gasoline in terms of climate benefit. But never do the health costs of diesel fall below those of gasoline, Jacobson says.

@ Stanford U

DEN said...

Out here in CA, about every 4th vehicle is a diesel pickup truck or diesel semi-truck.

When will we ever get beyond the need to BURN something for energy,

BURN for electricity
BURN for transportation
BURN to stay warm

Burningest bunch I have ever seen!

Even 'Burning Man' has to BURN something, are we a nation of firebugs or what?

DEN said...

The internal combustion engine is a DINOSAUR!

I propose collecting and storing static electricity from moving air.

Think I'm crazy?

Could be as simple as a carbon fiber rod like a flagpole isolated from ground by a large capacitor which would 'hold' a charge and electricity could be tapped from it.

Anyone skeptical could fire off a fluorescent light by scrubbing their feet on carpet and touching the bulb and watch it light up.

It's there, it's free, just need some technology to bring it into reality.

Lightning is Static Electricity on a large scale,
think about the possibilities and the energy companies you could piss off with a static electricity generator.

DEN said...

Wind blown across carbon creates a charge, found that to be true working on copiers.

Vacuuming developer(carbon)and a magnetic field would set off sparks like crazy from air being rapidly drawn past the stuff.

DEN said...

BENSON, David, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

I know you are out there!

You think I'm crazy?

Static electricity, the annoyance no one wants, could be our savior.

Any studies other than lightning on the harnessing and usability of SE?

micki said...

Is this where General Rove got the big idea of turning Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch into heros?

What was needed was a piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang into his mind, ready-made as it were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances. There were occasions when Big Brother devoted his Order for the Day to commemorating some humble, rank-and-file Party member whose life and death he held up as an example worthy to be followed. Today he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence. George Orwell, 1984

DEN said...

Micki, no, it came from a place usually reserved for the exit of human excrement, right next to his head!

Pudgy wudgie witto doughboy.

DEN said...

The makes me want to PUKE comment of the day:

According to the first lady, when it comes to Iraq, "No one suffers more than their president and I do."

During an interview on NBC's Today show Wednesday concerning Malaria Awareness Day, Laura Bush talked to Ann Curry about "other challenges her husband is facing."

"You know the American people are suffering watching --," Curry said to the first lady.

"Oh, I know that very much," Laura Bush responded. "And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way."


What about all the dead and maimed huh their Ms Bush?
How about all the families of those folks Ms. Bush?

Is it dark inside, where you are???

DEN said...

And in the PULEEZE category;

British bookmakers wasted no time slashing the odds on aliens being discovered after astronomers announced Wednesday that they had discovered an Earth-like planet.

William Hill cut the odds on proving the existence of extra-terrestrial life from 1,000-1 to 100-1.

"We felt we had to react to the news that an Earth-like planet which could support intelligent life had been discovered -- after all, we don't know for sure that intelligent extra-terrestrial life has not already been discovered, but is being hushed up," said spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Here's a nickle, go buy a clue!!
They are already here and plotting how to rid the planet of humanity so they can have it, SHEESH!

Who do you think is running our Gov't?

Oddsmakers? Naw, just gamblers.

Gerald said...

According to the first lady, when it comes to Iraq, "No one suffers more than their president and I do."

That quote made me puke as well!!!

I'm certain that Laura was suffering at the gala bash where jokes floated all over the place. Laura Bush is a hypocrite!!!

Georgy Porgy pudding and pie he killed our soldiers and our brothers and sisters in God and he made the world cry!!!!!

micki said...

And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do...


What happens to a horse when it suffers?

micki said...

Laura is just as vile as Old Bar!

David B. Benson said...

Den --- Sorry, but static electricity is not going to save us or our way of life...

DEN said...

Doc, I am crushed here, my hopes have been dashed on the rocks, all that voltage and nothing to do?

Carey said...

Chock full of good posts.

Yeah Micki--your post on climate change and its effects on national security everywhere. I've been pondering that and have come away, like Dr. B, not sanguine about our children's future.

On the diesel engine Den. You've been to Mexico right? EVERY car and truck spews the filth.

From Sidney Blumenthal's point of view of Bushco as a radical presidency, he analyzes the current goings on with Rove:

Upending the Mayberry Machiavellis

..."There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything -- and I mean everything -- being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

In all his machinations Rove did not calculate that he would ever create an opposing force that might stop him. The Republican Congress had long shielded the administration from oversight and investigation, protecting Rove's handiwork. Now the Democratic Congress has begun to uncover seemingly endless series of abuses. In this respect, the clash of the legislative and executive branches is not over a difference in policy, as in the conflict over the Iraq war. Rather, Congress' effort is even more fundamental: to salvage the executive branch -- its capability of functioning in the public interest in the future -- from Rove's radical experiment to transform it forever.


Great title! Upending the Mayberry Machiavellis My editor father would have scooped that one up in a minute.

º¿carol said...

I caught some of the Laura interview this morning. Ann Curry interviewed her and Ann's voice, so serious, so concerned about Geroge & Laura and what they're going thru over the invasion.

And have I mentioned I hate lipstick! Get a load of Laura's lips!

Here's Laura & Ann Curry...blech
(click on Laura's face)

David B. Benson said...

Den --- Dynamic electricity now...


Carey said...


I tried to click on the iVillage image of Laura. It threw me off of the site. I can well imagine, though. Was it dark-colored like deep red or something?

Or just smeared for good measure.

Carey said...

Of course this investigation of Rove will lead nowhere. Rove is too slippery. Still...David Iglesias of New Mexico was the one who got the investigation started when he went to the Office of Special Counsel with his evidence. As you know from David Corn, however, another wrench has been thrown into the fire, that of Scott Bloch's alleged mishandling of his employees.

David B. Benson said...


(That's the post number, Micki.)

Cª®ºL said...

Well, crap. I went to the Today Show link and Laura's mug is gone. CRAP!!!

micki said...

Oh, thank goodness! I thought you had reached the end of your "transmission"...

As you undoubtedly know, reporters used the symbol -30- at the end of their typewritten copy to indicate to editors that they have reached the last word.

It was adapted by the pencil press from teletype operators who used the symbol to indicate the end of a transmission.


micki said...

Another reason I'm glad I'm not a Repug. Confusion abounds:

What if Fred Thompson actually runs? Tommy Thompson has already declared. Would I be confused?

Then there's Tom Tancredo, another Thomas...who the fundies would never confuse with Keep on Trockin'

Can Rudy dance? Or does he just like to dress up as a woman for the heck of it?

micki said...

Keith Olbermann wasn't too pleased with America's Mayor (gag) Mr. Rudy (gag)regarding his fear-mongering claims that if a Dem was elected, we'd have another terrorist attack!

Which party held the presidency on Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party held the mayoralty of New York on that date, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party assured New Yorkers that the air was safe and the remains of the dead recovered and not being used to fill potholes, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party wanted what the terrorists wanted — the postponement of elections — and to whose personal advantage would that have redounded, Mr. Giuliani?

Which mayor of New York was elected eight months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, yet did not emphasize counter-terror in the same city for the next eight years, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party had proposed to turn over the Department of Homeland Security to Bernard Kerik, Mr. Giuliani?

Who wanted to ignore and hide Kerik’s organized crime allegations, Mr. Giuliani?

Who personally argued to the White House that Kerik need not be vetted, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party rode roughshod over Americans’ rights while braying that it was actually protecting them, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party took this country into the most utterly backwards, utterly counterproductive, utterly ruinous war in our history, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party has been in office as more Americans were killed in the pointless fields of Iraq than were killed in the consuming nightmare of 9/11, Mr. Giuliani?

Gerald said...

I watched the Bill Moyers Journal and he did an excellent job of sharing information on the snow job that we were given by the Nazis.

Oprah and her defense of the war with Iraq made me very disappointed. She needs a new brain.

The New York Times for sometime made me feel that it was just another typical rag. The Bill Moyers Journal reconfirms my belief.

The Washington Post it can now be said is also just a typical rag.

Colin Powell's place in history will forever link him as a Nazi scumbag.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: April 26

Now Nazi America must face her similar fate with depleted uranium and its life expectancy of 4 billion years. We are slowly destroying our planet because we are a fearful people.

Global warming, DU, nuclear weapons, diminishing water supply, polluted waters with mercury, more poverty, more slavery, more human trafficking, no health care, pathetic leadership, mass murders, war crimes, more torture, a training school for killing and torture, and we can on and on are the American ways.




Gerald said...

Evil ways are truly the American ways!!!

Gerald said...

It is time to go to sleep and dream about all the shit that is piling up in our country.

If our problems weren't so serious, I would believe that we are in the middle of a Keystone Cop movie.