CNN Iraq Tracker
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Chronicling the steady stream of lies and propaganda pouring out of CNN. WANTED: A Whistleblower. Looking for a current or former CNN employee with the *goods* on these Corporate Liars masquerading as Newscasters...
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I cannot believe that those MORONS at MSNBC have dumped Donahue, a rare voice for issues that the mainstream was too frightened to touch. The channel is shifting to the right in a desperate, and ultimately unsuccessful, effort to overtake Faux news. I understand they have hired that racist pig Michael Savage (nee Weiner -- a far more appropriate moniker for the little prick) to appeal to an unenlightened and intellectually challenged audience share. He goes so well with Joe "Dead Woman in My Office" Scarborough, another recent addition to their right wing lineup.
Please urge your readers to send a strong e-mail of disgust and reprobation to the dunces in charge. Unless and until we stand up and really bitch, the GOParty line is all we'll hear across the airwaves. Might as well start with Donahue -- it will only take a second of each reader's time, and it may let these nitwits know that we are out there, we watch TV, and we are tired of this crap. The email address for viewer comments is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like many others, I had the interesting experience Wednesday morning -- soon after dropping off my kids at school and turning on the car radio -- of hearing a famous voice use the word "traitor." He was talking about some opponents of the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq.
The speaker was Neal Boortz, and Boortz's humor and politics are such that sometimes you have to take him with a grain of salt. He loves to poke and mock and outrage all manner of liberals, peaceniks, dupes and weaklings.
But, like other right-wing talk show talkers, he has been pushing hard lately -- and in solemn terms -- for exactly the war the administration wants. And he has been painting the administration's critics and questioners as defenders of Saddam Hussein, and as unwilling to defend their country and their civilization.
Sean Hannity -- another right-wing radio talker, who used to be based right here in Atlanta before he moved on to greater glory -- has been defending the administration's plans and policies in the same abusive way -- and sticking even closer to the party line than Boortz. Hannity, too, is broadcast locally. He's on the same station, in fact, that carries Boortz: WSB, which is owned by the same company that owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
David Meszaros, general manager of WSB, told me Wednesday that Boortz's use of "traitor" was "just an opinion" and that it was aimed, in this case, at some people willing to be used as "human shields" against an American attack.
Earlier in the day, before Meszaros had gone back and listened to a recording of Boortz's comments, the executive defended him as "entertaining." Listeners "know the polarizing nature of Boortz," Meszaros said, and they know him as "very bright" and "very controversial."
Maybe so. But I think a tolerance for strong opinions can underestimate the dangers of certain commentators using the media to smear the patriotism of dissenting Americans in wartime.
She remembered yesterday that she said, "This is crazy."
The older agent said, "If you tell me one more time that this is crazy, I'll put handcuffs on you and throw you into a cell."
"All right, I won't say one more time that this is crazy. But it is crazy," she said.
Then Bernadette Devlin, who for so many years showed Catholics in Northern Ireland how to breathe and be as unafraid as she was, and by doing so placed the first jobs they ever had into their lives, this small woman with music for a voice who thrilled so many Irish in New York, wound up in an office, where she was fingerprinted and photographed.
Humiliate them. Then frighten them. "I'm going to throw you in prison," the older man said.
He tried the wrong party. "You can't do that," she said. "I have rights. I have the right to free movement. I have human rights. I have the right to be protected under the Constitution of the United States."
The daughter overheard one of them say, "After 9/11, nobody has any rights."
It was common mouthing and behavior from a government that daily shears people of their rights.
"This must be the way they treat every Mrs. McAliskey," she was saying yesterday. "That was the most disturbing."
Under John Ashcroft, a prayer breakfast man who probably prays against people, the Justice Department doesn't believe in the Bill of Rights. Ashcroft is useless in a big Justice Department case against such as Enron. How could he be? Even he says he accepted big donations from them.
But he can sweep the rights of individuals out of the room, and do it while humming prayer songs.
In one week in this city, an anti-war demonstration was blocked by the mayor and police commissioner, and now Bernadette Devlin is deported. That one comes from Washington. She is cleared easily by American agents in Dublin who knew she was in order. Suddenly, they are ordered to send a fax to Chicago to block her. Somebody in Washington, with the mind of a rodent, has to order that.
Jeanne Butterfield, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said Attorney General John Ashcroft has the authority to ban entry of anyone he deems to be a threat to this country's security.
But Butterfield said she was appalled by the action.
"It would not surprise me if they had caught some Arab or Muslim political figure and kept him out," said Butterfield, given the high alert level and political climate.
"But to stop people who may have been sympathetic to the IRA, it's frightening to me. It's chilling," Butterfield said. "It suggests the noose is tightening on all of us."
Disagree at your own risk
I never chanted, raised my voice, confronted anyone or was disrespectful to those around me. I simply held my sign and stood my ground. The abuse came first from a small group of homemakers standing near me, their small children dressed in red, white and blue.
"Go home! You don't belong here," they said.
All around me folks began to speak up, and it wasn't long before a large group of people crossed the street with banners and flags and began aggressively yelling "Go USA!" Bob, a young man with a ball cap and a sign reading "Drop Bush, Not Bombs" came and stood with me for support.
The really frightening stuff began when a television cameraman stopped and asked me why I was there. As soon as the crowd saw the camera pointed at me, they went wild. I was trying to express myself and they screamed at me and over my voice. A man stood behind me making obscene gestures as I spoke.
The reporter tried three times, unsuccessfully, to get a picture without obscenity. One woman spat in my hair. The journalist gave up and moved on. The mob did not. Men and women violently screamed in my face and Bob's.
It stopped just long enough for the president's motorcade to pass by and then erupted again. We were told to " Get the f--- out of the country," had obscene gestures pushed in our faces. An elderly man told me to "Go to hell!"
I was in a state of shock. Here I was, a 42-year-old mother of four, born and raised in Cobb County, holding a peace sign, standing on the sidewalk across the street from my church, and I was frightened that my neighbors were going to hurt me because I dared to express my opinion. This could not be happening. Not in America, right?
Already, the American press is expressing its approval of the coverage of American forces which the US military intends to allow its reporters in the next Gulf war. The boys from CNN, CBS, ABC and The New York Times will be "embedded" among the US marines and infantry. The degree of censorship hasn't quite been worked out. But it doesn't matter how much the Pentagon cuts from the reporters' dispatches. A new CNN system of "script approval" – the iniquitous instruction to reporters that they have to send all their copy to anonymous officials in Atlanta to ensure it is suitably sanitised – suggests that the Pentagon and the Department of State have nothing to worry about. Nor do the Israelis.
Indeed, reading a new CNN document, "Reminder of Script Approval Policy", fairly takes the breath away. "All reporters preparing package scripts must submit the scripts for approval," it says. "Packages may not be edited until the scripts are approved... All packages originating outside Washington, LA (Los Angeles) or NY (New York), including all international bureaus, must come to the ROW in Atlanta for approval."
The date of this extraordinary message is 27 January. The "ROW" is the row of script editors in Atlanta who can insist on changes or "balances" in the reporter's dispatch. "A script is not approved for air unless it is properly marked approved by an authorised manager and duped (duplicated) to burcopy (bureau copy)... When a script is updated it must be re-approved, preferably by the originating approving authority."
Note the key words here: "approved" and "authorised". CNN's man or woman in Kuwait or Baghdad – or Jerusalem or Ramallah – may know the background to his or her story; indeed, they will know far more about it than the "authorities" in Atlanta. But CNN's chiefs will decide the spin of the story.
But the system of "script approval" that has so marred CNN's coverage has got worse. In a further and even more sinister message dated 31 January this year, CNN staff are told that a new computerised system of script approval will allow "authorised script approvers to mark scripts (ie reports) in a clear and standard manner. Script EPs (executive producers) will click on the coloured APPROVED button to turn it from red (unapproved) to green (approved). When someone makes a change in the script after approval, the button will turn yellow." Someone? Who is this someone? CNN's reporters aren't told.
But when we recall that CNN revealed after the 1991 Gulf War that it had allowed Pentagon "trainees" into the CNN newsroom in Atlanta, I have my suspicions.