Saturday, April 01, 2006

Pogge, Froomkin, and a Silent Media

Over at the Canadian blog Peace, order and good government, eh? (Pogge for short), we find out that with the exception of Dan Froomkin, nobody in the American media is paying attention to Murray Waas's National Journal piece on Valerie Plame. Waas showed that the "outing" of Valerie Plane was motivated by what many had long believed- that Bush knew that his evidence for Saddam Husseins was disputed-at-best, but presented it as incontrovertable fact, in order to get public support for the war he had already decided on waging.

Froomkin (and Pogge) note that the American mainstream media is completely avoiding the story and its implications, however. Froomkin:

The blogosphere is abuzz with Waas's latest revelation. The Booman Tribune blog explains how it is in fact Waas's "magnum opus on the Plame Affair."

But in the traditional media, the reaction has been utter and complete silence -- both after Waas's well-documented March 2 story, and again today. There's not one word about it in a single major outlet this morning.

And that's just not acceptable. Waas's fellow reporters at major news operations should either acknowledge and try to follow up his stories -- or debunk them. It's not okay to just leave them hanging out there. They're too important.
And Pogge:

So what have we learned here, girls and boys?

a) Bush and his staff are exactly what millions of us always suspected: lying lowdown weasels who invaded and destroyed Iraq based on a series of lies, and used other lies to cover those lies. He and his staff are criminals and unworthy to hold public office.

b) If you still believe Bush is not a liar, you are beyond help.

c) If you still believe in "the liberal media" in the United States, you are an absolute fool.

The fact that the media has shut down this story is particularly revealing. Even with the press in his pocket, Bush's approval ratings can't climb out of the low thirties. Can you imagine what a free and inquisitive press could do to him? In a just world, impeachment would be the least of his problems.
So, what to add to that? The only true question remaining is the motivation; whether the media is dodging this story because it might cost them access (as was usually the case when media avoided asking tough questions), whether they're afraid of not seeming "balanced", or whether they think that it's old news, that everybody knows what happened, and it's not worth putting on the air.

It's a difficult one to answer. You know what, though? I think the latter is the most likely. It's the elephant in the room, especially in the newsroom. Yes, they lied, and yes, they inflated the importance of evidence when he wasn't lying, and yes, they was cherrypicking said evidence in the first place. We know why they did: because the neo-conservatives wanted a proof-of-concept war for their doctrine of forced Americanization, Rumsfeld wanted something similar for his doctrine of light-and-fast warfare, Bush wanted to accomplish what his father didn't, Rove wanted a war to rally the public around, the Saudis and Israelis wanted a problem out of their hair, the oil barons wanted a pliant oil producer in case Saudi Arabia or Venezuela started to turn the screws, and everybody wanted a friendly regime that China couldn't buy out from under the United States.

(Honestly, it's not hard. The conservatives are right in that there was more than one motivation. What they don't say is that all the motivations are absolute dangerous twaddle.)

Either you know it at this point or you don't. If you don't, it's because you don't want to, and are desperately trying to find reasons to justify what's happening. Hence the BS about "good news" and weapons getting flown to Syria and whatever-the-hell the RNC noise machine is coming up with this week- there's a whole industry dedicated to ensuring that war supporters get their delusions fed, and it's powerful enough now that people can successfully avoid the truth. Those who are consuming this crap won't be convinced, and those who have figured out the truth don't need convincing.

In short, it just isn't news.

And for that, may God have mercy on us all.

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