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Jesse - Editor, - 19-December-2003

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We come to bury 2003 – not to praise it.  For this was the year of distraction, not news.  It was the year of diversion, not information.  It was the year in which TV “news? became a political tool to promote a war and protect the secrets of a furtive administration. It was a year which gave new meaning to the phrase, “No news is good news.? And it was the year whose passing we will not mourn.

The American news media was once the sentinel of the people, - fearlessly and relentlessly searching for truth.  Until recently, - families turned on the evening TV news without apprehension. This was the way to learn about the events that affected their community, their nation and their world. Sometimes the news was good, sometimes it was bad, but for the most part it was accurate.  

For a very long time, we believed most of what we heard on the news.  It was the way to be informed about people and events that impacted our lives. Of course there were time fillers. Of course there was trivia.  We knew that. But the details of a tragic murder or a sensational criminal trial were addendums to the news…not its focus.  But all that has changed.

 In 2003, viewers learned more about Kobe Bryant’s wardrobe than about Dick Cheney’s secret energy meetings.  They knew more about Scott Peterson’s love affair than about the Wilson leak.  They knew more about the separation of conjoined twins than about the real reasons the nation had gone to war. There was plenty of ‘news,’ but the real stories, the ones that really mattered were never, ever, told.

The news networks once acted on behalf of the public, not the government. They were – until recently – a bulwark against those who would mislead us.  But something happened. 

It was slow, and it was gradual, but it happened.  By the time “Operation Iraqi Freedom? became the show of the day, CNN had morphed broadcast news from a platform for journalism into a corporate ratings whore. The rest would follow.

The first Gulf War was absolute proof that war means ratings and ratings mean money. War sells, it surely does! This unique concept, news as a money maker, was something new to the long established network, and the pressure was on.  The dissemination of news was no longer a public trust provided by FCC license holders. Rather, it became a new source of huge revenue.  Money, - the ultimate corrupter, soon succeeded in ensnaring those who would give us the news.  This change in attitude perverted the concept of journalism in the broadcast world. No longer was news just news.  It had to compete for an audience. It had to sell, excite and titillate.  And it also had to please those who paid the bills.

Surprise, surprise - editorial and journalism professionals did not have the appropriate background to run a cash cow television show. They were news people. News people know news, not ratings. So out went the journalists and in came the business, advertising and marketing people. The once-autonomous news room was now controlled by non news people. There was a new agenda: money. News came second; maybe third, maybe it was not even an issue al all. . What was reported and how it was reported had to get an audience or was not deemed newsworthy. The demise of news broadcasting had begun, and by 2003, journalism as we had known it had simply rolled over and died.


Conspiracy theories aside, something is rotten in the world of broadcast news. Whatever the motivation, whoever the driving forces, - the results are frightening.  The “news? networks know that the great majority of Americans turn to them for information they use to make informative choices.  With that knowledge, the networks proceeded to withhold, distort, fabricate, and ignore vital information.  In effect, they have created a nation so ill informed that they cannot see democracy disintegrating in front of them.  They have provided red, white and blue blindfolds for their viewers – to keep them from seeing where this nation is going.  They do not challenge, they do not investigate, they do not question.  In this craven new world, profit margins are all.

Note: The American press received a dismal ranking of 32nd in the world for freedom of the press by Reporters Without Borders,  

  • Dick Cheney’s Secret Energy Meetings:  the stonewalling, the evasions, the lawsuits, the challenges, the MAPS of Iraqi oilfields…..
  • The Voting Machine Scandal: a relentless effort by the GOP to implement a bug ridden, easily tampered with voting machine system, eliminating a paper trail or any way of verifying an election’s outcome, the promise by owner of a voting machine company to help deliver the 2004 election to George W. Bush...
  • The Project for a New American Century: the players now in government, the Iraqi war plans of 1997, their influence on the Bush Doctrine of preemption and military domination of the globe….
  • The Office of Homeland Security:  Bush’s opposition to a cabinet post of Homeland Security, coming under pressure, then taking the credit, then doing nothing to make America safer…..
  • The 9/11 Investigation:  the opposition, the stonewalling, the lies about having no idea planes could be weapons, the cover-up, the blacked out pages….
  • The Protest Against the War: the huge rallies all over the nation and the world, the real numbers of protesters, their stories, their reasons…..
  • The Lies that Led to War:  the false claim that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US, the false Al-Qaeda connection, the WMD lies, the lies to the UN…..
  • The Terrorization of America:  The repeated references to“terror? and “terrorist? by Bush and his entire entourage as a tool to gain support for war in Iraq and justify the invasion of Iraq.
  • The Civilian Casualtiesof “Shock and Awe? and its Aftermath: the numbers of dead Iraqi civilians; the wounded; the maimed; - the order to stop counting civilian deaths given to the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
  • Ahmed Chalabi – the Real Story: his not having lived in Iraq since the 1950’s, the tens of millions given to him to foment internal revolution, his connection to Paul Wolfowitz, the armed thugs he brought to Iraq, his goals to be in charge…..
  • Staging the Saddam Statue Drama : the staging of this PR event, using Chalabi’s armed thugs to pose as elated Iraqi’s.
  • The Women of Iraq:  How Iraqi women were the most liberated of any in the Moslem world, how they are now under Shia rule which has taken their freedoms away, the rapes, the kidnaps, their fear to walk freely without male escorts....
  • The Debacle in Afghanistan: The failure to win the war against the Taliban once Iraq diverted our military and our funds, the warlords return, the heroin production that has been revived, the Taliban revival, the numbers of civilian deaths…..
  • The Coalition of the Billing:  exposing the ridiculously small numbers of military personnel from the touted 60 nation ‘coalition of the willing,’ their rewards in contracts, in loans, in aid, in favoritism…..
  • Hallibuton and Friends: the granting of unbid contracts, the ‘deferred’ payments yearly to Dick Cheney, the failure of school rebuilding, the profiteering…..
  • The Military Dead and Wounded:  the real numbers, those dying in hospitals, the numbers of injured and severity of wounds; the suicides, the “non hostile gunshot deaths,? the accidents……
  • Impeachment: distorting intelligence information as grounds for impeachment, the statements of John Dean of Watergate notoriety, petitions calling for impeachment of George Bush…..
  • Bush and the World Community:  how he has to travel with hundreds to protect him in every country of the world, how he has to be kept away from the people, the protests against Bush wherever he travels, how he could not even visit with the people of the country he claimed to “liberate? – on Thanksgiving…..
  • The Wilson Leak:  the criminal outing of a CIA operative by someone in the White House, the Novak connection, the six week silence by the President, the refusal to appoint an impartial investigator, the silence…….

AMBER ALERT - Missing - American Broadcast News Networks

Is it any wonder that George W. Bush’s approval rating is even in double digits? If the people only knew!
Rest in Peace.  Not in War. Not in Lies.  Not in Bias.  Rest in Peace.
May 2004 Bring Truth to the People
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