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Wednesday, Dec 17th

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Out-Foxing Fox: Times Totes Water for War Crime Spin

We have often noted here the special role that New York Times reporter Michael Gordon plays in the national media. For years, he has served as a key conduit for government propaganda aimed at fomenting military aggression, then justifying it once it has begun. In many ways, he has probably been a far more effective tool of the militarists than the Fox News network.

But nonetheless, with Gordon's help, the narrative of the surge's "success" marches on. An anti-American cleric grants government troops permission to enter areas controlled by his militia – and this is ballyhooed as a triumph. Meanwhile, Gordon does not neglect his drumbeating duties in the push for war with Iran: the story is laced with unqualified references to mysterious "Iranian-backed militias" which, we're told, skulked away from Sadr City when al-Maliki flexed his muscles. Readers of the New York Times – and those disseminators of its conventional wisdom further down the media food chain – cannot be allowed to forget that Iraq is seething with perfidious Persia's evil agents, killing Americans in cold blood. Gordon actually shows some restraint in not ending every article with a stirring cry of "Furthermore, Iran delenda est!"

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Israel’s “Free Press”? Broken pencils, broken bones and broken lives of reporters

More than 250 breaches of freedom of journalism happened in the Occupied Territories by Israeli forces during 2007. And the Palestinian territories under Israel’s occupation ranked last year at number 158 in the annual World Press Freedom out of 169 countries. How does this match with your claim of Israel’s free press?

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Democracy and the Web

Users of the Internet take for granted their ability to access all Web sites on an equal basis. That could change, however, if Internet service providers started discriminating among content, to make more money or to suppress ideas they do not like.

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Media Caught Lying

I stumbled on a stunning disconnect between the major media version of election coverage and candidate appearance trends on the internet. The Mainstream Media seems to have largely ignored something major on the web.

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"NYTimes Cleanses Thor Hearne's Record, Scrubs Front-Page Reference to the GOP Vote-Suppressor's 'American Center for Voting Rights'"

In other words, the infamous GOP snake-oil salesman Hearne has been cleansed of his baggage by the New York Times themselves. So, apparently, he remains in good stead as a source when it comes to the Times, NPR, etc. Credibility, apparently, is not a necessary quality for sources quoted by such organizations. Nor, apparently, is transparency.

What's next for the Times? Quoting Ahmed Chalabi as an unimpeachable source claiming Sadam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction? Oh, wait, never mind...

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Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR

A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.

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Newspaper Criticized For Publishing Photo

Some readers resented The Washington Post for publishing an Associated Press photograph of a critically wounded Iraqi child being lifted from the rubble of his home in Baghdad’s Sadr City “after a U.S. airstrike.”

Two-year-old Ali Hussein later died in a hospital.

As the saying goes, the picture was worth a thousand words because it showed the true horrors of this war.

From the start of the unprovoked U.S. “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, the government tried to bar the news media from photographing flag-draped coffins of American soldiers returning from Iraq. A Freedom of Information lawsuit forced the government to release pictures of returning coffins.

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