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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mr. Bush, please resign

Mr.Bush, Mr. Cheney and Dr. Rice,
Please resign in good faith, before you have to.

Mike Ghouse, April 25, 2007
Please note that I have added links /audio and video along with more reports - in the comments section - 4/27/07

Bill Moyer's documentary was perhaps shocking to the nation, but to many it wasn't. Most People knew the truth or suspected the deliberate wrongdoings of our Administration. I am ashamed of our journalists who had acted as though they were working for a tin pot dictator and reported what was dished out to them. I am ashamed of our President and his gang for betraying us. What is that they wanted to accomplish for the Americans, in the name of Americans? Can we trust them?

Is Mr. Bush is going to Veto the funding bill today? He should consider gracefully resigning and protecting the honor of presidency and bringing our boys and girls back home. We need to trust the Iraqi people to manage their own affairs, they will not beat the record of our President, killing a Million of them and 3000 of our sons and daughters.

I recommend ya'll to purchase the documentary played out on PBS on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by calling 1-800-336-1917. Purchase this to honor our democracy, purchase this to honor PBS, the only segment of our nation that maintained its integrity and saved our grace as a democracy.

It was good to see the honest remorse by the biggest in the industry. I may have missed Ted Koppel, but it was good to see Tim Russet, Phil Donahue and all those journalists from Knight -Ridder. I really wish they had rescued our nation four years ago, knowing what they knew.

On the SAJA forum, several times, I have charged American Journalists as gutless and shameless sycophants, who have no loyalty to the truth or no desire to find the truth but work for the masters. Phil Donahue was fired for being truthful, and years ago Ted Koppel had talked on C-Span that he could not report the truth from Jerusalem during Intifada; his bosses told him what to put out.

Dallas Morning News published my letter about Representative Murtha; I will dig in and search for my notes since 2001. Thanks God, I have started blogging and most of my comments are preserved now.

Should we put responsibility of 3300 American deaths and 1 Million Iraqi deaths and 3 Million dislocations on Mr. Bush? Let’s get the hell out of Iraq; they will not kill as many people as our leadership had them killed.

We need to let the world and the Iraqi people know that the only individuals to blame the mess in there is our President, vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State departments, and not the Americans. Just like the people in Iraq and other nations, we the Americans did not have a voice, those few who did, got muffled and were called unpatriotic. Our media ganged up with our administration to keep our voices subdued and we understand and empathise with you, when you say you do not have a voice. We owe an apology to you.
We got our freedom back on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 after three years of suppression and fear. It was the day of true freedom for America and Americans. We got rid of the sycophants on that day and brought in people who would speak up for America. Every one got their voice back.

Mike Ghouse for America

Here are the four pieces preserved on the net;



On the night of Tuesday, November 7, upon the news that Democrats won the house, I took a deep breath and said to myself "Thank you God, freedom at last". The emotion I felt was very similar to the one when Nelson Mandela was released and given his God given freedom.

Our forefathers had designed one of the best systems of Governance in the world. With pure checks and balances to prevent individuals becoming fierce and frightening to the general public.
One may not agree with it, but I do know most of the free spirited Americans were choked. Hell, the 435 congress persons and 100 Senators dare not come of out the rat holes. They were as scared to speak out against that fiery man should they be labeled un-patriotic. Our man got every one by their balls, that's how scared America was.

Unilateralism is the stepping stone to Fascism. Our man Bush was about to step up from the first step to the next. I believe in God and I have full faith in the free spirited America, thanks to them and thank God, our nation was saved on the night of November 7, 2006. A historic re-start for America.

The essence of freedom is the ability to question every thing . American Media has never questioned our President's statements for the last several years, it is always like Government run or Business run press. No one dared asked him the questions. With the exception of Public Radio and Television, we do not have a free press when it comes to the international issues, we have businesses's that run news and are funded and influenced by advertisers. We have to accept that.

November 7th has changed it all. All those scared rats are out of the hole and are speaking up now. The Americans brought the freedom back to the defenders of the freedom, the Media. You can see the difference in what and how they talk on the television prior to November 7th and now.

The Free press Icon, Ted Koppel spoke up on Fox or CNN recently and I sighed deeply with gratitude, thanks to my fellow Americans, we are getting to the era of free press now. Now, I do not agree with David Duke, he is an opportunist and racist, but he was "allowed" to speak on CNN, that is the good thing, let us Americans get different points of view and then decide what is right or wrong. Let them boys be news disseminators and not tell us what to believe.

David is a hated guy and although he is wrong, he has brought freedom back to our Media.

The Exec, the Judiciary and the legislature should not be run by the same gang of rules. Let it be run by different parties so we do not make unilateral decisions and regret. The supreme court judges should be free from any party affiliations, and our media should be relabeled into Free Press and Paid for Press.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=808f230b49
http://www.corvuswire.com/wolf-duke.htm
CNN's Wolf Blitzer versus David Duke - video on YouTube.Com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v2f-WC4cjo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WPYpbVzVoQ
http://www.rense.com/general74/comabt.htm
ttp://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15896.htm


Freedom at last
Message #3385 - Thu Nov 9, 20068:22 am :


Thanks God, we can speak now and you can read now.

Freedom at last! Thanks God, democracy is re-stored in America today. The unilateralism and fascism was frightening. People were scared to talk. Even the Senators and Congressman from both Isles were scared to speak up. The Fascism was flushing the democratic values of our nation, and with the same mouth in our behalf we were hypocritically talking about imposing democracy else where. The Journalist rats did not have the guts to even ask a question.... shame on them. Except Keith Doberman, no journalist dare pursue the question, where are the facts? No, the world did not hate us for our freedom, they hate us for our unilateral impositions, they hated for our hawkish arrogance.

Representative Murtha was the only one who had the balls to speak up and ask questions. He must be honored for persevering to preserve the democracy in our nation. It takes guts, the 334 other congressmen and 100 Senators did not have that... they were scared of being labeled un-patriotic.

A few of us spoke, against the advise that I may be thrown in the jail, I was willing to go there and write a book, my mentors had done the same - Gandhi, Mandela, Nehru, MLK.

I have always trusted Americans to do the right thing.

God Bless America, Now we speak freely again.

Thank you God.

Mike Ghouse


Let's Get the Hell out of Iraq


Our People have given a mandate to the Democrats, and certainly have given a clear message to get the hell out of Iraq . Our President has been shielded from the Public far too long now; he just does not see the ratings, the votes and the survey. If he wants to go down in the history as a President who had his own mind, he needs to dump the yes men and women around him.

We have to honor the Iraqi people's right to self determination. Let them figure it out what needs to be done.

It is arrogance on our part to believe that they cannot handle their affairs. I am certain, they can't beat death records in excess of 3000 of our own sons and daughters and 600,000 Iraqis. We should not be responsible for any more deaths, let's get out of there.

Our absence will de-escalate the killings and much of the bloodshed will stop.

The Iraqi's are a very capable people, it is their nation, their society and their lives at stake, and they will take care of it themselves. We need to stop pretending to be the protectors, God is, not us.

ADDED: 1/12/07

Reaction to Presiden't Bush's speech -

Check out the YES MEN below, Cain, Juliani & Ramni, it is because of these men, we are accelrating our mistakes. I hope, our President dumps all the yes men's advice, and find men and women who have the guts to stand up to you to say "Sir, I am afraid, we are wrong". When will they learn to speak up? By the way, I am a Republican and will remain one. Our party is screwed up, but it will get fixed and I hope it would be before 2008. We just need more people to speak up without fear. - Mike Ghouse

Bush's Iraq Plan Meets Skepticism On Capitol Hill
Opposition to Troop Increase Is Bipartisan

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011100437.html?referrer=email

By Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff WritersFriday, January 12, 2007; Page A01

President Bush's proposal to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq encountered strong bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill yesterday, and his top national security advisers, dispatched to defend the strategy, were greeted with a skepticism not seen from Congress over the past six years.

Lawmakers said they have little confidencethat the Iraqi government has the capacity to deliver on promises to take the lead in cracking down on violent militias and providing security in Baghdad, as the president's plan contemplates. Democrats and Republicans alike said they are concerned that Bush's plan, announced Wednesday night in a nationally televised prime-time address, is too little and too late and does not appear very different from previous efforts to secure the capital.

Buy This Photo

President Bush is facing opposition from lawmakers of both parties and from the public over his plan. (By Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post)
Transcripts
Rice Delivers Remarks Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Rice Delivers Remarks Before House Armed Services Committee
Briefing on President's Iraq Strategy With Pace, Gates, Rice

The Reaction

Statements on President Bush's Iraq speech from potential 2008 presidential candidates:
"As our commanders have said repeatedly, Iraq requires a political solution, not a purely military one, and we did not hear such a proposed solution tonight."-- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)

"I have no doubt that the president is sincere in believing that his strategy is the right one. But escalation has already been tried and it has already failed, because no amount of American forces can solve the political differences that lie at the heart of somebody else's civil war."-- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)

"The new Congress must intercede to stop Bush from stubbornly sticking to the same failed course in Iraq and refuse to authorize funding for an escalation of troops."-- Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.

"I've been calling for the increases, but I believe that this can succeed.I really do. I believe that it's not just an increase in troops; it's a change in strategy."-- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Fox News

"I support the president's increase in troops. Even more importantly, I support the change in strategy - the focus on security and the emphasis on a political and economic solution as being even more important than a military solution."-- Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R)

"I agree with the president: Our strategy in Iraq must change. Our military mission, for the first time, must include securing the civilian population from violence and terror."-- Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R)

The Washington Post
U.S. Congress

Browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sought to assure lawmakers that the plan can work if given time. Gates said he detected a much greater determination from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to go after "all lawbreakers" with "no exceptions." He suggested that the prime minister will confront the militias fueling sectarian violence, including insurgents controlled by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Still, the ferocity of the congressional condemnation dismayed the White House, which had hoped to rebuild an element of bipartisan consensus around Bush's plan. It was further indication that the new Democratic Congress is headed toward a series of potentially epic clashes and floor votes over the conduct and funding of the nearly four-year-old war.

Congressional skepticism is being fueled by the public: A majority of Americans oppose Bush's decision to send more troops, and only one in three said the plan will probably make victory in Iraq more likely, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Rice appeared to be on the receiving end of the toughest grilling yesterday, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Not a single senator from either party expressed support for the president's plan, many posed hostile questions, and others expressed deep doubt about the Bush administration's premise of creating a viable democracy in the heart of the Middle East.
"I've gone along with the president on this, and I bought into his dream," Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) told Rice bluntly. "And at this stage of the game, I don't think it's going to happen."

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) offered a similar assessment. "I have supported you and the administration on the war, and I cannot continue to support the administration's position," he said. "I have not been told the truth over and over again by administration witnesses, and the American people have not been told the truth."

Rice maintained her composure throughout the hearing, which lasted more than three hours, conceding that doubts are warranted but pleading for patience. "I want you to understand that I, personally, too, understand and know the skepticism that is felt about Iraq and indeed the pessimism that some feel," Rice said.

Asked if she has confidence in the Maliki government, Rice said she did, adding: "I think he knows that his government is on borrowed time."

Appearing at Fort Benning, Ga., Bush told soldiers that daily life in Iraq will eventually improve but that his new strategy will not yield immediate results. "The American people have got to understand that suicide bombings won't stop immediately," Bush said. "The IED attacks won't stop immediately."

Administration officials said nothing to suggest that the troops will be coming home any time soon. At a morning news conference, Gates said the increase in troops is being viewed as a "temporary surge" but added: "No one has a really clear idea of how long that might be."

Mike Ghouse

8 comments:

  1. WASHINGTON POST
    A Media Role in Selling the War? No Question.

    By Tom Shales
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, April 25, 2007; C01

    Perhaps the truth shall eventually set you free, but first it might make you very, very depressed. Tonight's edition of "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS is one of the most gripping and important pieces of broadcast journalism so far this year, but it's as disheartening as it is compelling.
    It's always depressing to learn that you've been had, but incalculably more so when the deception has resulted in thousands of Americans dying in the Iraq war effort.
    In this 90-minute report, called "Buying the War," Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes use alarming evidence and an array of respected journalists to make the case that, in the rage that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the media abandoned their role as watchdog and became a lapdog instead.
    Exhibit A -- the first event recalled in this report -- is a news conference by President Bush on March 6, 2003, which Moyers says is two weeks before Bush "will order America to war." The press conference was a sham, with Bush calling only on "friendly" reporters who'd ask friendly questions. The corker was this scorching investigative query: "Mr. President, how is your faith guiding you?"
    "At least a dozen times during this press conference," Moyers says, Bush would "invoke 9/11 and al-Qaeda to justify a preemptive attack on a country that has not attacked America." The link between al-Qaeda and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was never proved and had to be taken on faith, Moyers recalls, as did the administration claim that Hussein had developed, was developing, or might soon develop weapons of mass destruction.
    Moyers does not set out to attack anyone himself; instead he tries to find out why journalists -- electronic and print -- behaved in ways that are supposed to be anathema to a free press in a free nation. The show asks: Did the Bush administration benefit from having an effective collection of accomplished dupers -- a contingent that Washington Post investigative reporter Walter Pincus calls "the marketing group" -- or did the outrage of 9/11 made the press more vulnerable to being duped?
    Pressures subtle and blatant were brought to bear. Phil Donahue's nightly MSNBC talk show was virtually the only program of its type that gave antiwar voices a chance to be heard. Donahue was canceled 22 days before the invasion of Iraq, Moyers says. The reason was supposedly low ratings, but the New York Times intercepted an in-house memo in which a network executive complained: "Donahue represents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time, our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."
    Dissent was deemed not only unpatriotic, Donahue recalls, but -- perhaps even worse -- "not good for business." Most of Moyers's report involves serious, respected journalists who let themselves be swept up in war fever and who were manipulated by the administration sources who had cozied up to them. Instead of investigating administration claims about al-Qaeda and WMDs and such, cable news offered up hours and hours of talking-head television.
    Former CNN president Walter Isaacson tells Moyers: "One of the great pressures we're facing in journalism now is, it's a lot cheaper to hire thumb-suckers and pundits and have talk shows on the air than actually have bureaus and reporters."
    Dan Rather -- who has left his CBS anchor chair but continues with solid and superior reports on the high-definition cable and satellite channel HDNet -- tells Moyers: "The substitute for reporting far too often has become 'Let's just ring up an expert.' . . . This is journalism on the cheap, if it's journalism at all."
    Rather is among a select group of working journalists who agreed to be interviewed for the Moyers report. Others include media critic and Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz, Bob Simon of "60 Minutes" and, formerly from Knight Ridder Newspapers, John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel.
    Moyers credits them with breaking from the pack and printing stories that looked deeply into administration claims. Because the Knight Ridder chain had no paper in Washington or New York, however, its stories didn't get the national exposure they deserved, and networks were skittish about following up on them.
    Tim Russert, of NBC's "Meet the Press," looks intimidated by Moyers and somewhat unnerved by his questions, but at least he agreed to be interviewed. Among those who declined -- and thus became a part of the story more than they already were -- are Judith Miller of the New York Times, a reporter who became a relentless drumbeater for war; Times pundit William Safire, who'd predicted that Iraqis would welcome Americans as liberators when they marched into Baghdad; columnist Charles Krauthammer, another hawkish columnist who's usually anything but camera-shy; and Fox boss Roger Ailes.
    William Kristol, a conservative columnist who, Moyers says, "led the march to Baghdad behind a battery of Washington microphones . . . has not responded to any of our requests for an interview, but he still shows up on TV as an expert, most often on Fox News."
    Even if this Moyers report tells you some things you already knew, it puts the whole story of the media's role in the war into one convenient package -- a story of historical value that is also frighteningly rife with portents for the future and for what will pass as journalism in months and years to come.
    Moyers's last words on the broadcast, at least according to a preliminary script, will be: "The country is in chaos," but the syntax is such that one can't be sure if by "the country" Moyers means Iraq or the United States. Maybe he meant both.

    Bill Moyers Journal: Buying the War airs tonight at 9 on Channels 22 and 26.

    ReplyDelete
  2. SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM:

    The solutions:

    1. An apology to the people of Iraq - may be this ought to be the first one**
    2. For Iraqi's half the battle would be won with our exit,
    3. We need to sub out our jobs to the locals.
    4. Peace keeping force of their choice.

    ** An apology is the honest thing to do, it will make us bigger, generous and kind people. The respect we lost in the last 4 years can be gained back with this gesture.

    Iraq (not the political one, but the regional) has been a seat of learning for over 1000 years. Sunni Shia divide is not as deep as it is portrayed. Rajiv Chandrashekharan of Washington post should step in and talk about his first hand experience. To keep our presence, we keep lying and manufacturing the divide, we propaganda it so much, that some of them may be actually believe in it. But the divide is political and shallow and will mitigate. We need our journalists, not the brainwashed ones, to get out and meet real people, there should be a large sample for the truth, not one expert picked by CNN or FoX.

    Much of the blood letting is frustration - their whole country is destroyed, they do not have jobs, they do not have much hope... when you are frustrated, the "liberators" look evil to them, as we have shown them in the AbuGhraib prison... Once we get out of there, the Shia and Sunni will fight for a while, but the bloodletting will stop. They will not massacre a million, as our shameful presence has caused.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Washington post; Media role in selling the war.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402444_pf.html

    A Media Role in Selling the War? No Question.

    By Tom Shales
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, April 25, 2007; C01



    Perhaps the truth shall eventually set you free, but first it might make you very, very depressed. Tonight's edition of "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS is one of the most gripping and important pieces of broadcast journalism so far this year, but it's as disheartening as it is compelling.

    It's always depressing to learn that you've been had, but incalculably more so when the deception has resulted in thousands of Americans dying in the Iraq war effort.

    In this 90-minute report, called "Buying the War," Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes use alarming evidence and an array of respected journalists to make the case that, in the rage that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the media abandoned their role as watchdog and became a lapdog instead.

    Exhibit A -- the first event recalled in this report -- is a news conference by President Bush on March 6, 2003, which Moyers says is two weeks before Bush "will order America to war." The press conference was a sham, with Bush calling only on "friendly" reporters who'd ask friendly questions. The corker was this scorching investigative query: "Mr. President, how is your faith guiding you?"

    "At least a dozen times during this press conference," Moyers says, Bush would "invoke 9/11 and al-Qaeda to justify a preemptive attack on a country that has not attacked America." The link between al-Qaeda and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was never proved and had to be taken on faith, Moyers recalls, as did the administration claim that Hussein had developed, was developing, or might soon develop weapons of mass destruction.

    Moyers does not set out to attack anyone himself; instead he tries to find out why journalists -- electronic and print -- behaved in ways that are supposed to be anathema to a free press in a free nation. The show asks: Did the Bush administration benefit from having an effective collection of accomplished dupers -- a contingent that Washington Post investigative reporter Walter Pincus calls "the marketing group" -- or did the outrage of 9/11 made the press more vulnerable to being duped?

    Pressures subtle and blatant were brought to bear. Phil Donahue's nightly MSNBC talk show was virtually the only program of its type that gave antiwar voices a chance to be heard. Donahue was canceled 22 days before the invasion of Iraq, Moyers says. The reason was supposedly low ratings, but the New York Times intercepted an in-house memo in which a network executive complained: "Donahue represents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time, our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."

    Dissent was deemed not only unpatriotic, Donahue recalls, but -- perhaps even worse -- "not good for business." Most of Moyers's report involves serious, respected journalists who let themselves be swept up in war fever and who were manipulated by the administration sources who had cozied up to them. Instead of investigating administration claims about al-Qaeda and WMDs and such, cable news offered up hours and hours of talking-head television.

    Former CNN president Walter Isaacson tells Moyers: "One of the great pressures we're facing in journalism now is, it's a lot cheaper to hire thumb-suckers and pundits and have talk shows on the air than actually have bureaus and reporters."

    Dan Rather -- who has left his CBS anchor chair but continues with solid and superior reports on the high-definition cable and satellite channel HDNet -- tells Moyers: "The substitute for reporting far too often has become 'Let's just ring up an expert.' . . . This is journalism on the cheap, if it's journalism at all."

    Rather is among a select group of working journalists who agreed to be interviewed for the Moyers report. Others include media critic and Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz, Bob Simon of "60 Minutes" and, formerly from Knight Ridder Newspapers, John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel.

    Moyers credits them with breaking from the pack and printing stories that looked deeply into administration claims. Because the Knight Ridder chain had no paper in Washington or New York, however, its stories didn't get the national exposure they deserved, and networks were skittish about following up on them.

    Tim Russert, of NBC's "Meet the Press," looks intimidated by Moyers and somewhat unnerved by his questions, but at least he agreed to be interviewed. Among those who declined -- and thus became a part of the story more than they already were -- are Judith Miller of the New York Times, a reporter who became a relentless drumbeater for war; Times pundit William Safire, who'd predicted that Iraqis would welcome Americans as liberators when they marched into Baghdad; columnist Charles Krauthammer, another hawkish columnist who's usually anything but camera-shy; and Fox boss Roger Ailes.

    William Kristol, a conservative columnist who, Moyers says, "led the march to Baghdad behind a battery of Washington microphones . . . has not responded to any of our requests for an interview, but he still shows up on TV as an expert, most often on Fox News."

    Even if this Moyers report tells you some things you already knew, it puts the whole story of the media's role in the war into one convenient package -- a story of historical value that is also frighteningly rife with portents for the future and for what will pass as journalism in months and years to come.

    Moyers's last words on the broadcast, at least according to a preliminary script, will be: "The country is in chaos," but the syntax is such that one can't be sure if by "the country" Moyers means Iraq or the United States. Maybe he meant both.

    Bill Moyers Journal: Buying the War airs tonight at 9 on Channels 22 and 26.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A Lion Roars

    http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/ny-ettell5184059apr25,0,3994515,print.story

    A liberal lion roars about war

    BY VERNE GAY
    verne.gay@newsday.com

    April 25, 2007

    Way, way back when we were all much younger or maybe not even born at all, and when most people just watched three networks, "Bill Moyers' Journal" finally came to a quiet if not exactly final end.

    Yet even in its diminished state, this was a notable milestone in broadcasting circles because "Journal" had been such a distinguished news program for public TV during the '70s and because the man whose name was so prominently attached to it had even changed network TV journalism - or, I should say, tried to.

    These days, Moyers is an old liberal lion who occasionally pops his head up to fulminate against the right. But back then he was a young lion who fulminated against the dumbing down of TV news. He went on to work at CBS News, where his next target ultimately became his own employer. Then, as now, that sort of thing didn't square well with CBS and before long, he blew off the network and headed back to public TV where he's (mostly) been ever since.

    Meanwhile, "Journal" sat moldering in the grave.

    Until tonight. After a quarter century, "BMJ" returns as a regularly scheduled series, and considering the long hiatus as well as the lengthening shadows of this extraordinary career - Moyers turns 73 in June - there's something elegiac about this reprisal. On screen, Moyers - who tonight tackles the story of how the press botched the run-up to the Iraq war - seems more resigned than outraged. In this exploration, the press' failings in 2002 and '03 feel like a natural consequence of the way Washington works. Moyers' whole aspect here often seems larded with a sense of sadness and regret; he's not looking for answers as much as for confirmation - of the way the world works and the way absolute power corrupts.

    As a result, a certain bitterness and world-weariness hangs over tonight's 90-minute premiere (the show will then air Fridays at 9 for the next two years). But given all that we now know, how could it be otherwise?

    "Buying the War," of course, has been scooped, and several times at that. The most recent damnation of the press' pre-war reporting also arrived courtesy of PBS - Lowell Bergman's multipart "News Wars" for "Frontline," which undertook a microscopic look at the Valerie Plame Wilson business, in which the CIA operative was outed by the Bush administration in reprisal for her husband's criticism of administration statements about weapons of mass destruction.

    Moyers and his producer, Kathleen Hughes, eschew the Wilson case for a much wider perspective on the press, and it's a better and much more informative broadcast as a result. "Buying the War" has already managed to generate a little advance publicity thanks to some breast-beating by Dan Rather, who says, "I don't think there is any excuse for, you know, my performance and the performance of the press in general in the roll-up to the war."

    While Rather's mea culpa sounds a little like the one he seems to give regularly these days at college commencements or the like, Rather does come up with this pearl, which seems to neatly sum up much of what characterized some prominent TV coverage of late 2002 and early 2003: "Reporting is hard [and] the substitute for reporting far too often has become, let's just ring up an expert. 'Let's see ... these are experts on international armaments, and I'll just go down the list here and check Richard Perle,'" the prominent hawk who argued that WMDs existed in Iraq.

    Moyers and Hughes name names, and they are pretty much the ones that have longbeen implicated in the failure to vet administration claims of WMDs, or presumed Iraqi/al-Qaida ties. In lieu of a talking head from The New York Times, for example, the camera lingers on those famous bulbs that hang on the side of the paper's midtown headquarters. They look old, encrusted with dirt, in need of a good cleaning. The Washington Post comes in for a whacking, too, with the paper's excellent media critic, Howard Kurtz, saying that from August 2002 until the outset of the war in March 2003, he counted "140 front-page pieces ... making the administration's case for war."

    Moyers doesn't turn all of the media elite into a band of simpering toads who croaked in unison. Knight-Ridder Washington reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay were skeptical from start to finish. (Bergman also singled them out.)

    How did the press fail? Walter Isaacson, the former president of CNN, explains just one of the ways: "One of the hazards in this business is when you rely on top-level sources too much, [then] you can lose out on getting the real information."

    English professors call this sort of thing "a paradox."

    Of course, the whole moral of this story is don't believe everything you read, hear or see. The old lion in winter - in other words - still has a few things to teach us.

    BILL MOYERS' JOURNAL. It's back, after what may be the longest hiatus in TV history. Wednesday at 9 on WNET/13

    ReplyDelete
  5. UNKNOWN SOURCE

    > "Buying the War"
    How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out

    ReplyDelete
  6. FROM KIRIT DESAI:

    I read your post after watching BMJ tonight. Bill Moyers has truly remained a journalist through out the report. He showed all excuses that journalists like Rather, Russert & Simon presented regarding the press towing with all fabrications from Washington corridors (inside). Except for Knight-Ridders group, no major media outlet really cared to check the facts over the reasons on the war initiated by the administration. Sen. Byrd & Kennedy were the only prominent people in the congress who did not stamp the war and never got any space in the media. Phil Donahue became the obvious casualty as media moguls decided to pull the plug on any dissent.

    It is worth watching for all and especially those who self-righteously trampled rights of others who opposed or even questioned the war... or looked down upon other nations for not sending the troops there. The damage is irreversible and incalculable in terms of men, women & children lost on both sides. People's faith in Government & leadership has been shaken now. The worst loser in the game is media. NY Times, Washington Post or WSJ would not remain a strong voice in next major event as media lost a big moment to shine in the role of vigilance when American people wanted to know more about the war that could have been dealt differently.

    Bill Moyers once talked about awakening the wounded spirit of America. He could not have done any better.

    Cheers.

    Kirit

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  7. FROM KIRIT DESAI

    I see you quoted my comments on Bill Moyers' documentary. You made a right observation that people knew about deliberate wrongs on the war & it is not going to affect the segment of America who does not really care besides the Idol worshipping.

    My point was on Moyers' work singularly. I have seen him being transformed into a citizen-reporter - from his CBS days to Public Service networks. There are very few reporters who remained so dedicated. Even after somewhat forced retirement, he chose to return (@ ripe age in his seventies) to TV medium, in order to address the malaise in Washington & leadership moving into wrong direction for the future of America. What he talked about in this documentary is not only about the wrongs on the war, but included a sharp criticism on his own fellow journalists showing clay feet in the time of crisis.

    Even Moyers is aware of his PBS outlet having no impact on the other side of PBS medium. But Moyers' point had given the voice to the people who could not even criticize media or Govt. policy on this matter, e.g. Today CBS reporter Mark Knoller tried to defend journalists by saying: "...reporters were not willing dupes of - or accomplices to - the President’s decision to go to war in Iraq... or ..What do you ask (the Prez. in Primetime press conference on March6, 2003)?"

    He got plentiful from readers: "....Start by getting your personal philosophies straight. There is such a thing as Truth & Spin, Fact, Error, Qualifications, Education, Conflicts of Interest....It's always easier to excuse and empower ignorance by insisting there is no such thing as "education" or "truth."

    Remember, Watergate was exposed with a small, boring clipping on a third rate burglary. Moyers has given the platform to those who could make a difference.

    Kirit

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  8. FROM VIKAS C.

    "Bill Moyers once talked about awakening the wounded spirit of America. He could not have done any better."

    "Bill Moyer's documentary was perhaps shocking to the nation, but to many it wasn't. Most People knew the truth or suspected the deliberate wrongs our Administration was committing."

    The problem is that however good it might have been, not many Americans tuned into their PBS stations - those who did already knew what Mr. Moyer was talking about and those who need to know the most were probably busy watching American Idol or Hannity and Colmes.

    Mike, you say that

    "We need to let the world and the Iraqi people know that the only individuals to blame the mess in there is our President, vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State departments, and not the Americans. Just like the people in Iraq and other nations, we the Americans did not have a voice, those few who did, got muffled and were called unpatriotic."

    I don't agree with you. This contention might have been true before the Presidential elections of 2004, but President Bush won the majority of votes and the electoral college by a comfortable margin in 2004 and that result precludes Americans from feigning ignorance or helplessness.

    -Vikas

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