It is currently Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:54 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Nancy Pelosi Lauds Blogs for Raising Memo Profile
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:34 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
In a sprawling interview with RAW STORY, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lauded blogs for their role in raising the profile of the Downing Street memo, and extolled their ability to present unvarnished facts in an age where media focuses on sound bites.

While also raising what she herself described as a “litany” of core Democratic issues—such as education, healthcare and the environment—the House Democratic leader made striking comments about the mainstream media, even asserting that reporters had told her journalists couldn’t tell the Democrats’ story because they feared losing access.

“I’ve had reporters say to me, I have orthodontia, I have tuition, I have mortgage, I need access, I’m not writing your story,” Pelosi remarked.

Yet the San Francisco Democrat seems to take the media’s silence in stride, asserting that blogs and online media have brought a fresh vitality to the political landscape.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “What I like about it is that you can know what somebody is saying. You don’t need an interpreter. You don’t need a reporter who is going to change what you say.”

“It is, as you say, the raw story,” she added. “If you depend on the print press, they will either leave you out of the story, or mischaracterize what you are saying, or you get two sentences in a twenty-five paragraph story which doesn’t give weight to the argument that you have.”

Pelosi also hit the press over Iraq.

“I think that the recent statement by the Newsweek bureau chief who was there longer than any U.S. ambassador was probably the closest to the truth that we’re going to get,” she explained. “I don’t think that the embedded reporters who have the full security of the U.S. military there are going to give us the cutting-edge story.”

“And I think that the press—as important as the [Iraqi ] election was—come on,” she crooned. “Come on. They made it seem as if it had eliminated all of the problems that were there from a security standpoint.”

The true value of blogs and online media for Democrats, she believes, is that they make issues “too hot to handle” for Republicans, allowing Democrats to get messages through that would be lost in the mainstream press.

“Some of what you do makes the issue too hot to handle for them,” she said, “in a way that we really have an obstacle of getting the message out in D.C.”

She credited blogs for focus on the Downing Street minutes, which assert that “intelligence was being fixed” to build a case for war.

“The currency that you all have given the Downing Street memo is very important,” she remarked, though she admitted she had yet to read the document. “I think it’s further corroboration. I don’t think that it comes as any news to anyone, because the intelligence was never there to begin with.”

The House Democratic leader also defended Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. While saying she disagreed with his remarks on the GOP being a “white Christian party,” she said some were losing focus of the energy and revitalization Dean has brought to the grassroots.

“I don’t think his remarks were appropriate, but I think he’s been a great chairman,” she said. “I travel the country constantly, and I know the enthusiasm he has engendered among the grassroots in our party. Their voice, their vote and their volunteerism will make a difference.”

Despite her concerns about the mainstream press, she says she doesn’t blame reporters for what they do.

“What are they going to do?” she added. “They’re going to antagonize the White House? They’re a very unforgiving crowd over there. They take prisoners. You won’t have access if you don’t write the story they want. Especially if you make a habit of it.”

Pelosi dismissed reports of a divide between herself and her Democratic whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). She ascribed reports of their divergence to the media’s need to draw out conflict.

“The conflict was I guess good for circulation,” she said. “But it was one bill and we moved on.”

The California Democrat also addressed concerns about a broader Democratic divide in the House. RAW STORY asked about the bankruptcy bill.

“Nobody said we were going to have a Democratic party where we were lockstep on every issue,” Pelosi said. “There have been people who have voted for this bankruptcy bill over time… But as an issue, it’s behind us. As an example of a place where we’re not 100 percent unified it was good example, but it also has a lot of history to it where people have been voting a certain way, tried over time to improve the bill, felt that they were committed to vote for it because of that.”

She said she regretted that she called the bankruptcy bill the “path to indentured servitude,” and voted against in the House, saying that she strongly disagreed with it.

But House Democrats, she maintained, have been schooled in the value of unity and aggression from their battle to stop Social Security privatization.

“The Social Security fight has driven home to our members [that] you first have to take them down,” she asserted. “You can’t go fight them at full strength. You know you’re going after the President of the United States, you’re going after the Republican leadership, they have a lot of power because as you just indicated earlier, the press will write what they have to say because they are the majority and that means something.

“So we’re going after them, we have to destroy their brand,” she added. “And I think when it comes to Social Security, their brand is tainted. And now we can move in with a positive way with our brand.”


Want to read the full RAW STORY interview? We've broken it into sections for easier reading.

PART ONE: A conversation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

PART TWO: Pelosi says blogs have kept heat on Downing Street Memo

PART THREE: The memo, the media, and Iraq


Link: http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Democrati ... _0610.html

Catherine

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 9:01 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
Robert Parry: 'Mocking the Downing Street Memo'
Posted on Saturday, June 18 @ 10:34:20 EDT
This article has been read 1168 times.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Robert Parry, Consortium News

Link: www.smirkingchimp.com

If American progressives think they have enough media clout to make a real issue of George W. Bush's possible impeachment over the Iraq War, they should read the account of Rep. John Conyers's rump hearing on the Downing Street Memo that appeared in the Washington Post.

The story by political correspondent Dana Milbank drips with a sarcasm that would never be allowed for a report on, say, a conservative gathering or on a topic involving any part of the American political spectrum other than the Left.

"In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe," Milbank wrote. "They pretended a small conference room was the Judiciary Committee hearing room, draping white linens over folding tables to make them look like witness tables and bringing in cardboard name tags and extra flags to make the whole think look official."

And the insults - especially aimed at Rep. Conyers - just kept on coming. The Michigan Democrat "banged a large wooden gavel and got the other lawmakers to call him 'Mr. Chairman,'" the snide article said. [For the full flavor, see the Washington Post's "Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War," June 17, 2005]



Washington Post editors - having already dismissed the leaked British government documents about the Iraq War as boring, irrelevant news - are now turning to the tried-and-true tactic for silencing any remaining dissent, consigning those who won't go along to the political loony bin.

Those of us who have covered Washington for years have seen the pattern before. A group without sufficient inside-the-Beltway clout tries to draw attention to a scandal that the Post and other prestigious news arbiters have missed or gotten wrong. After ignoring the grievances for a while - and sensing that the complainers have no real muscle - the news arbiters start heaping on the abuse.

Contra-Cocaine

A previous example is the way the major newspapers reacted to Gary Webb's San Jose Mercury-News series in 1996, which alleged links between the CIA, the Nicaraguan contra rebels and cocaine traffickers in the 1980s.

At first, the big papers were silent about this upstart challenge to their long-standing dismissal of the contra-cocaine issue as a "conspiracy theory." But when the story spread on the Internet and was taken up by the African-American community, the major newspapers lost their patience. They attacked the stories as nonsensical, called blacks "conspiracy prone," and destroyed Webb's career.

Rather than reexamining the contra-cocaine evidence seriously, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times simply cast the issue outside the realm of rational discourse.

Even when the CIA's inspector general issued reports in 1998 stating that the contra-cocaine connection actually was worse than had been known - and admitting that the CIA had protected some drug traffickers - the major media made only slight adjustments to the contemptuous tone that had long surrounded the issue.

Hounded out of journalism and running out of money, Webb committed suicide last December, an event that prompted hostile obituaries from the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. [See Consortiumnews.com's "America's Debt to Journalist Gary Webb" or Robert Parry's Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press and Project Truth.]

Right's Reaction

The Right's experience has been different. After Richard Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal in 1974, conservatives recognized the political danger that came from the media's power to set the parameters of permissible debate.

So, over the past three decades, the conservative movement has invested billions of dollars to build a protective wall around itself and its issues through the creation of its own media infrastructure. [For details, see Parry's Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

Now, the conservative media has the power to inflict as much - or more pain - on the mainstream media as the mainstream media can on conservatives. In other words, between the Mainstream and the Right in Washington, there is now a balance of fear.

Indeed, Dana Milbank, as the Post's White House correspondent, has drawn conservative ire from time to time for not showing sufficient respect for George W. Bush. But if Milbank were tempted to write an over-the-top attack on Bush - like he did on Conyers and the Downing Street Memo hearing - he would pay a high price from retaliating conservatives who would accuse him of bias and flood his editors with complaints.

Almost certainly, Milbank would have second thoughts about such an article or his editors would for him. Without doubt, the story would not have appeared in the openly insulting form that it did when Democrats and liberals were the target.

Though no one wants to say it, everyone in mainstream journalism knows intuitively that there is no real risk in ripping liberals. Most often, it's a win-win. Not only can you write almost whatever you want, but it buys the journalist a measure of protection from conservatives, who have a long record of costing reporters their jobs.

Milbank, for instance, must know that his putdown of the Downing Street Memo hearing means he can wave the article in front of Bush supporters the next time they criticize something he's written about the president.

Dynamic

The reason for that part of the dynamic is largely that funders on the Left - unlike their counterparts on the Right - have chosen over the past three decades to divert money away from media into other priorities, such as "grassroots organizing" or direct-action projects, such as feeding the poor or buying up endangered wetlands.

Sometimes this refusal by wealthy liberals to "do media" seems so extreme that one has to wonder whether - except perhaps for some indigenous tribes in the jungles of Borneo - any group on the planet has less a grasp of the importance of information and media than American liberals do.

Even the Arabs - not usually known as information pioneers - have learned how investments in media, such as the satellite news channel al-Jazeera, can change the political dynamic of an entire region.

Though there have been a few positive developments in liberal media - particularly the growth of AM progressive talk radio at Air America and Democracy Radio - Left funders still show few signs of understanding how valuable media could be to a liberal political renaissance.

The latest trend in liberal grant-giving has been for "media reform," such as trying to "save PBS" even as it adds more and more conservative programs. But the Left funders still shy away from the construction of media outlets and the creation of independent journalistic content.

Without that strong media, liberals can do little more than gnash their teeth when the Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets banish issues like the Iraq War deceptions beyond the bounds of Washington debate. [For more on the Post's treatment of this issue, see Consortiumnews.com's "LMSM - the 'Lying Mainstream Media."]

Certainly, any thoughts about impeaching Bush are little more than pipedreams given the reality of today's national media. In that sense, the Post's attacks on the Downing Street Memo hearing should serve as a splash of cold water in the face of the American Left.

While Web sites and progressive talk radio have helped puncture the image of Bush's invulnerability, a much broader media infrastructure would be needed if issues, such as the Iraq deceptions, are to be forced consistently into the national debate.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

Reprinted from Consortium News:
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2005/061705.html

Catherine

COMMENT: Some people at other boards, including smirking chimp, are writing letters of protest to Millbank, telling him what they think of his sarcasm and total lack of concern for the truth.

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:16 pm 
Offline
SuperMember!
SuperMember!
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:12 am
Posts: 1955
Location: upstate new york.
MSNBC is finally starting to run the story in full....looks like other media outlets will or are following suit. the ball is rolling and getting bigger.



U.K. memos show concern
over Iraq invasion
'Downing Street' documents
renew debate over U.S. motives


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8270144/

LONDON - When Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after Sept. 11, the then-U.S. national security adviser didn’t want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about “regime change” in Iraq, setting the stage for the U.S.-led invasion more than a year later.

advertisement

President Bush wanted Blair’s support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing to war, according to a series of leaked secret Downing Street memos that have renewed questions and debate about Washington’s motives for ousting Saddam Hussein.

In one of the memos, British Foreign Office political director Peter Ricketts openly asks whether the Bush administration had a clear and compelling military reason for war.

“U.S. scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and al-Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing,” Ricketts says in the memo. “For Iraq, ‘regime change’ does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam.”



Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:39 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
What kind of trouble is this causing Tony Blair in the UK? Anything?

He's not a very popular PM anymore, and only got back in by the skin of his teeth.

Catherine

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:07 pm 
I have mixed feelings here, Catherine.. I have read the Downing Steet documents are a fake.. Have you heard any such remarks on the memos?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:11 am 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
I've not read anything like that, Skeeter. What's the source?

Catherine

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Blue Moon by Trent © 2007
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group