reproach them of their blindness.
--John Milton, 1642
Today, the daddy is feeling Michael Green, Associat Professor at Hofstra
University. He says it's a shame the way the American corporate media allowed the Bush administration to suckered them into being cheerleaders of a pre- emptive and illegal war in Iraq. Check this out:
Planet of the bizarre, episode 473:
Still lying, still allowed to lie
by Michael Green
I’m sorry, but there are moments when I just feel like a total alien who stumbled onto some planet full of bizarre life forms. They call this place America, and it sure is weird. And, lemme tell ya, I know what I’m talking about here. I’ve visited some pretty weird places in this part of the union.
You might think that a president who is widely known for lying, who leads a party also known for the same, who is at the end of his term and virtually without any punitive power worth speaking of, and who is widely despised at home and abroad – you might think such a president would get a serious grilling when sitting down with the American media for an exit interview. And, even if that might seem like a giant leap for some, perhaps you’d at least be surprised if such an individual was allowed to continue to tell revisionist historical lies without being called to account in the slightest for doing so.
Yeah, well, different galaxy, I guess. On Planet America it seems a lot more like it’s still 2002, and a frightened, compliant press is still learning how to embarrass itself by becoming a tool of a massively deceitful White House. Now that it’s almost 2009, they’ve got it down to a science. Only today they don’t even have the pathetic and shamefully flimsy excuse they did back then, in the wake of the 9/11 scare.
So here’s what happens when one of America’s most prominent journalists – Charles Gibson – sits down to interview George W. Bush. Bush, of course isn’t doing the interview because he can’t think of what else to do with himself anymore (although if you ask him what comes next after January 20, that’s pretty much exactly what it looks like). He isn’t just killing time, waiting for Cheney to dream up some other target for the administration’s predatory instincts. He’s got an agenda, which is why he’s been granting a plethora of (safe) interviews lately. And that agenda is to write the first draft of history. Just like Jackie did her Camelot rap, successfully constructing the frame through which the Kennedy administration would long be seen, so a ham-fisted Burt and Ernie – er, sorry, George and Laura – are running around trying to rehabilitate, for the sake of history, the worst presidency ever.
According to the Washington Post, this is the implementation of a strategy put together at a White House meeting two months ago, where it was decided that administration officials should reiterate key talking points in their speeches and interviews. Per a memo obtained by the LA Times, those include pointing out that the president “‘kept the American people safe' after the September 11 terrorist attacks, lifted the economy after 2001 through tax cuts, curbed AIDS in Africa and maintained 'the honor and the dignity of his office’”. That’s a cute list, isn’t it? In a certain nausea-inducing way. I don’t even know where to get started with that, and it’s probably better for all of us if I don’t. One thing I do have to say, though. Just as in our movie rating system, what passes as the standard for honor and dignity in the White House is so very America. You can murder in cold blood as many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis as you need to to get your rocks off, and that’s fine. But if you actually do get your rocks off – literally, the old-fashioned way – you’re considered obscene. Go figure, eh? Like I said, it’s a wacky little planet.
Of course, George W. Bush trying to save his legacy is not, in and of itself, so outlandish. A politician who doesn’t spin is like a conservative who doesn’t lie. It does happen. It has actually been observed in nature. Just not that often. The outlandish part is, first, the magnitude of the tales being told and sold. And, second, that a still obscenely compliant media allows these to be promulgated, without challenge, completely disregarding any notion of fulfilling a public service mandate to actually inform the people, let alone to hold the country’s leaders accountable. What a concept, eh – a critical media and governmental accountability? I guess all that hardball stuff is only for Democrats.
For the full story, click here.