Saturday, January 18, 2003

William Rivers Pitt takes on CNN

to: Staff / Aaron Brown CNN

My name is William Rivers Pitt. I am the author of the book 'War on Iraq,' which has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and has cracked the top ten bestseller lists of the Washington Post, L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle and others. I am also a writer for the publication


First things first: The warheads.

Let's be clear. These were not 'chemical warheads.' In the Iraqi arsenal, a warhead is a warhead - an empty ordnance space strapped to a missile. What matters is the payload, be it explosive or chemical or nuclear. The item placed in the warhead denotes the designation. These warheads were stone-cold empty, so by definition they are not 'chemical warheads.' They are, in fact, nothing, because they were loaded with no payload. Furthermore, the word 'warhead' is in itself misleading, as these were artillery munitions.


Finally, I want to address a comment you made earlier this week. You said on your show that it was unconscionable that viewers were writing in claiming that CNN wants war because war is good for the media business. I understand that this idea offends the core of your professionalism, but I wonder if you have been watching CNN today.

Your station has referred, over and over again, to these discovered warheads as 'chemical warheads.' The debate has not been centered on what the facts are behind these items - when they were made, whether they were loaded with anything, how long they have been there, whether they were declared - and instead has focused on whether the White House can use this as a pretext for war. Calling these things 'chemical warheads' is a gross exaggeration, which I have heard on CNN no less than seven times during the period I have been writing this message. Mull that.

Please, take the data I have given you and air it, for the sake of a reasoned and complete debate. I remind you that CNN's viewership increased by 500% after 9/11 and that your network made its bones on the first Gulf War. I beg you to get this data out to the American people, who desperately need facts and not overheated innuendo.

Speaking of blundered coverage -- well, in this case simply disappeared coverage -- here are some photos of the recent protest outside of CNN Center. Maybe the next one will be so big you won't be able to pretend it didn't happen. Think about that, CNN...
Hey CNN -- Here are a few links for you so you can provide adequate and honest coverage of this weekend's Anti-War Protests taking place all across the country. I know you want to provide an accurate picture and a correct count of those in attendance -- you know -- REAL HONEST NEWS COVERAGE! Come on, CNN, tell us the TRUTH. What are you afraid of???

Here is a Calendar of Anti-War and MLK Events on January 17-20 for Washington D.C. from your good friends at IndyMedia.Org. (snerk)

Here's the latest news on the San Francisco protests.

Okay, CNN -- you now have NO EXCUSES to blunder your coverage of these protests. We are watching.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Dick Parsons to head AOL Time Warner

AOL Time Warner chief executive Dick Parsons was tapped to be the next chairman of the company Thursday, less than a week after Steve Case abruptly announced plans to resign.

Question of Chairman at Top of AOL Time Warner's Agenda

If not for an accident of timing, Richard D. Parsons might be the chief executive of the cigarette company Philip Morris. A year ago, he was close to accepting a contract to take the job when AOL Time Warner, where he was co-chief operating officer, asked him to succeed the chief executive, Gerald M. Levin, who was resigning.

Author John LeCarre weighs in with some much needed truth: The United States of America has gone mad

America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War.

The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press.

That pretty much says it all.
This is so typical of CNN's deceptions... In this case they deceive by omission. Here's a snip of Bill Schneider's official CNN Bio:

William Schneider, recognized as one of the country's leading political commentators, is CNN's senior political analyst. He joined CNN in 1991 and is regularly featured on CNN's Inside Politics and during CNN's Election 2000 coverage. He is also a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times, National Journal and The Atlantic Monthly.

Here's the part they DON'T tell you but I will:

The American Enterprise Institute, which was formed in 1943 and has in the past functioned as a more traditional think tank, has nonetheless been regarded as exercising significant influence in Washington circles. Indeed, while acknowledging the generally important policy role of national think tanks, Ronald Reagan said of AEI that "[no think tank] has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute."

Senior AEI staff include Robert Bork, Lynne Cheney, Charles Murray, Michael Novak, and approximately 30 other conservative public intellectuals and activists, many of whom are closely intertwined with the institutional apparatus of the right.

So, just to be clear: CNN's "Senior Political Analyst" is a member of one of the biggest and most influential Rightwing Think Tanks in the country -- and CNN doesn't think they should make that clear. Surprising? No. It's par for the course, I'm afraid.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Listen to Bernie. He knows. He WORKED there! Censorship is a given in war, reporters say

American viewers will never get the full and true picture of a U.S. war with Iraq.

That at least is the assessment of former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw.


Shaw says for his own needs he will be scouring different sources for information and "it won't all come from television. ... It really bothers me that 75 percent of Americans get their news from television. It's an imperfect medium."

"You should listen and read and watch cautiously," Shaw says. Beware of "confusion, haste, propaganda, the outright use of the media."
This MUST READ story is not about CNN/AOL/TimeWarner, specifically; in fact, it focuses largely on the major daily newspapers in America. But the same (and more) is true of CNN's version of the "News". Bushwhacked: With war looming it is no good the American public looking to its newspapers for an independent voice. For, says Matthew Engel, the press have now become the president's men


The worldwide turmoil caused by President Bush's policies goes not exactly unreported, but entirely de-emphasised. Guardian writers are inundated by emails from Americans asking plaintively why their own papers never print what is in these columns (in my experience, these go hand-in-hand with an equal number insulting us for the same reason). In the American press, day after day, the White House controls the agenda. The supposedly liberal American press has become a dog that never bites, hardly barks but really loves rolling over and having its tummy tickled.


To some extent, journalists have felt obliged to tone down criticisms because of the sense of shared national purpose after September 11. Even that cannot explain how the papers cravenly ignored the Trent Lott story. Lott, the veteran senator from Mississippi, made his pro- segregation statement on a Thursday, in full earshot of the Washington press corps. The Times and Post both failed to mention it. Indeed, it was almost totally ignored until the following Tuesday, kept alive until then only by a handful of bloggers. If there is a Watergate scandal lurking in this administration, it is unlikely to be Woodward or his colleagues who will tell us about it. If it emerges, it will probably come out on the web. That is a devastating indictment of the state of American newspapers.
Outgoing CNN CEO Walter Isaacson on the addition of Bob Barr to CNN's staff of Rightwing Liars: "We enthusiastically welcome Bob to our air as a regular contributor. He brings years of public service experience to the table and offers another valuable perspective to our viewers."

"Valuable Perspective?" Hmmmm. Really??? Can you say hypocrite, CNN? Sure you can.

Rep. Barr: 'I have never, would never perjure myself'


Barr, one of the 13 House prosecutors presenting the impeachment case to the Senate and a staunch critic of President Bill Clinton, made his comments in a taped interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer for "Late Edition Primetime."

"It's not going to affect my work or the committee's work," said Barr. "I think it is very inappropriate to get into somebody's personal life and obviously that's what (Flynt) wants to do."

His comments came less than 24 hours after Flynt released an affidavit from Barr's second wife, Gail, in which she said Barr paid for an abortion she had in 1983 and never objected to it. Barr said under oath in his 1986 divorce testimony that he did object to the abortion.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Aaron Brown threw a major hissy fit over the mail he is receiving about CNN's blatantly PRO-WAR Propaganda! Uh... Mr. Brown? Excuse me, but you reap what you sow. Your network is clearly the WAR-WAR-WAR Channel and your viewers are reacting. That's just the way it works. And since when does a "Journalist" have the right to demand his viewers censor their views because it is inconvenient (and embarrassing) for you? Puleeze. Get a grip and face some facts, Mr. Brown. If you don't want to receive letters pointing out CNN's Pro-War Propaganda, use your influence to try to stop it. Otherwise, just fess up and move on. Thank you. Email Aaron Brown
Blah3 on CNN's LIES:

CNN on North Korea - Democrats shake hands with Dictators!!

Posted Tuesday, January 14, 2003 by editor

I've been watching their 'Inside North Korea' series, and it's astounding what I'm seeing. Reminds me of the old propaganda movies about the USSR.

While reporting on NoKorea, they toggle back and forth between 2 batches of stock footage - miles and miles of goose-stepping NoKorean troops, and stock footage of American diplomats.

Which diplomats? Madeline Albright, Clinton spokeswoman Wendy Sherman, and Jimmy Carter. They cap it all off with Chimpy's 'Axis of Evil' soundbite from the State of the....Message to the....Big Speech Chimpy made last year. Let's review - North Korea, very, very bad. Democratic diplomats? Seen smiling and shaking hands with North Koreans. Axis of Evil.

They report, you decide. I know - wrong network, but what's the goddam difference any more?

I guess Rush was busy.

Bob Barr joins CNN as contributor

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Let me get this straight: CNN keeps Paula Zhan but fires a Winner of a prestigious Gerald R. Loeb Award??? Oh, I see -- Allan Dodds Frank had the GALL to do some real investigative reporting on terrorism financing. Drop me a note, Mr. Frank, I'd love to chat...

CNN Breaks the Bad News

Management lays off esteemed talent, but gives little explanation

January 7, 2003

Anyone planning a career in broadcast journalism might want to first consider the story of one Allan Dodds Frank, a former CNN reporter based in New York.

On the morning of Friday, Dec. 13, Frank was called into the office of a human resources executive who told the eight-year CNN veteran that his services were no longer required, and that he should leave. Immediately. But what, he wondered, about the story he was working on that was to air on "Lou Dobbs' Moneyline" that night? "My standup was on tape," Frank recalled in a phone interview last week. "It's not like I was going to lunge across the desk at Lou. [But] human resources decided I couldn't do it."

Winner of a prestigious Gerald R. Loeb Award last year along with two colleagues for a series of reports on terrorist financing, Frank was escorted down in the elevator by a security officer.

--- more at link ---
Well, well, well. Big shake-up time in CNN/AOL/TimeWarnerLand. Both Steve Case (he's a "case" alright!) at AOL and Walter Isaacson at CNN are out the door. This take on the story, from USA Today, had me cracking up: "Isaacson's time ran out at out-Foxed CNN"... The Presstitutes cannot stop propping up and coddling Faux News. Nevermind that Isaacson cozied up to GOP leadership AND tried to hire the Bloviating Gasbag, Rush Limbaugh! Cluephone to CNN: You are NOT going to gain more viewers by remaining Faux News Lite! Remember all those people who voted for President Al Gore??? There are more of us than there are voters for the Appointed President! What are WE supposed to watch, huh?

According to a report in Roll Call magazine (8/6/01), Isaacson met with Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Rep. J.C. Watts (R- Okla.), Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Isaacson also intends to meet with House Whip Tom DeLay (R.-Texas), who has ridiculed CNN as the "Clinton News Network" and the "Communist News Network," and has suggested a conservative boycott of the channel. Isaacson also sought meetings with White House officials.


But Fox News Channel's clear appeal to a conservative audience has apparently convinced some at CNN-- including the new chief-- that CNN must not be accommodating enough to conservatives. In fact, CNN may even be thinking about producing a Rush Limbaugh television program (USA Today, 8/13/01), another sign that the network's plan seems to involve amplifying conservative voices on the channel.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

As we know, CNN either ignores or distorts most important stories and plays up stories that serve its interests and/or boosts its ratings. Remember Gary Condit? The Summer of Sharks? For years now the documentation has been out there that George W. Bush was AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard for a year (1972-73) and yet CNN --- well, hell, our entire National "Media" --- have ignored this story for YEARS! (They were much too busy fabricating LIES about Al Gore, ya know!) To be completely fair and accurate, Paul Begala and James Carville (the "token" Liberals in CNN-Land) have tried to raise the issue on Crossfire, only to be shouted down by BowTie Carlson or Bob Novakula. But there has yet to be a NEWS STORY about the fact that our "Commander in Chief" was AWOL from TANG. Please call or write CNN and ask them when they are going to come clean and tell the country the truth about George W. Bush's AWOL record.

What is this all about?

This is the story of how George Walker Bush walked away from a years duty while in the National Guard.

And, this is the story of how he has thus far gotten away with it.

Where were you in '72? Most of us remember...Bush does not...

Another anti-war march in Los Angeles yesterday. According a report from someone who participated, "I was there and there was no way in hell there were less than 15,000 people." FIFTEEN THOUSAND PEOPLE. This was, says the attendee, a rather conservative estimate. But what does CNN tell us about this protest march? They LIE about it, of course, quoting notoriously LOW Police Department estimates. This is par for the course from CNN. After all, they simply *disappeared* a story on a protest rally in front of CNN Center in Atlanta. Can someone please call CNN and ask them to stop lying about these anti-war protests? It's getting old.

About 2,000 in Los Angeles march against war

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) --Opponents of a war with Iraq marched in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, carrying signs and chanting "Stop Bush now!"

About 2,000 people attended the demonstration, the Los Angeles Police Department estimated. No arrests or disturbances were reported.
Here's an item about TIME, part of the AOL/TimeWarner/CNN Mono-Media Pressitute Family --- TIME Europe currently has an online poll. I wonder if the rather stunning results will get reported over here. Yeah, right. Don't hold your breath.

The Biggest Threat To Peace
Which country really poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003? TIME asks for readers' views

Which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?

North Korea 11.1 %

Iraq 19.9 %

The United States 69.0 %

Total Votes Cast: 52828