DEMOCRATS.COM'S MEDIA METER: Ten of the Top Most Underreported Stories AUG. 23-30
Compiled by Cheryl Seal
This week's suppressed stories PROVE conclusively that the US media, despite phony "confessions of sin" by some papers is colluding with the White House more flagrantly than ever before.
1. Ben Barnes Confession that he helped G.W. Bush get into a safe, cushy post during Vietnam:
That this story has failed to appear as a prominent article in most of the mainstream media is outrageous, inconscionable and - worst - proof that the media does indeed collude as a sort of "cartel" to protect Bush.
Ben Barnes, a Republican who was first the Texas House Speaker and then later Texas's Lt. Governor, came forward to confess that he helped Bush and other privileged young men get into safe, cushy spots in the National Guard during Vietnam. By giving these young men these slots, Barnes acknowledges that he, in effect, sent other, less privileged young men to their deaths.
2. Slowing of Iraqi oil to a trickle after attacks on oil pipelines both in the north AND south of the country.
The reason this story, which broke in other countries' media by August 30, did not appear in US papers except as a buried "footnote" of a story is obvious: the same US media had agreed to hype the story of the "sudden drop" in oil prices from a high of nearly $50/barrel to about $42.00. Some US papers actually went so far as to print misleading stories: "Oil flow not seriously impacted by pipeline attacks." This story was true about five days ago when the only attacks were focused in the less important northern sector. But the attack in the southern area all but shut down the flow of Iraq oil for a time.
Here's the story in a Canadian newspaper: http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1093860426335&call_pageid=968332188854&col=968705899037
International Federation of Journalists Reports that the Death Rate for Journalists in the Field Skyrocketed in 2004
Since G. W. Bush took office, more journalists have been killed in the field than at any other time except perhaps World War II. In 2003, 83 lost their lives. In just the first 8 months of 2004, 75 have died. Most have died while risking their lives to get at the truth. It is little wonder that US media failed to report this story. After all, "journalists" like Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, Brit Hume, et al, couldn't be bothered to "risk" going after the truth from their cosy studios and news offices. As a result of their self-interest and cowardice, the US not only was landed with a disastrous presidency, it was landed with a disastrous bloody war that claimed a high percentage of the fallen journalists.
Kerry Goes after the US Banking/Credit card system of flagrant Usury known as 'Universal Default."
Being soaked by credit card fees and interest rates that, in early decades, were considered usury and illegal, is something that impacts the vast majority of Americans. Yet nowhere in the US media have we heard about the latest attack on consumers by the banking industry: Universal default - a system where by your credit card co. could raise your interest rates to astronomical levels because you were late on a totally unrelated bill (you phone bill, for example). And, of course, since we weren't informed of this by the media, we can hardly expect them to inform us of Kerry's stance AGAINST it. Esp. not during the GOP convention!
The True Scope of the Pentagon 'Israel Spy" investigation
To hear the US corporate media report it, you'd think that the FBI probe into the passing of state secrets to Israel was no big whoop - just some rogue "aide." But, as the Columbia Tribune (there ARE some honest papers out there) reported, the investigation goes far beyond any "single analyst" and involves a shocking cast of potential players that includes Ahmed Chalabi and the Undersecretary of Defense himself, Douglas Feith.
Again, this story is apparently being suppressed to allow the GOP to get the most mileage out of the Convention, unchecked by any "negative stories." But by suppressing the story, the media is going from political game playing into the realm of protecting the treasonous.
Karl Rove Bans UK Leader Howard from the White House
Can you imagine how the media would have howled if a Clinton advisor had taken it upon himself to "ban" a key foreign leader from the White House? And how the media would have assailed Clinton for being so servile and vapid as to allow it? Yet this story about how Blair and Rove conspired to ban Blair's political rival and key UK leader Michael Howard from the White House came and went in the European news without som much as a whimper from the US media.
Rumsfeld's Office Forced to Admit it Had Direct Dealings with Idema, the Afghanistan 'Torturing Bounty Hunter'
That this story has been largely ignored or downplayed by the US media is astounding. First the Pentagon denied 100% that they had any dealings with Idema at all. Next it said well, yeah, they knew about him but he was operating completely on his own and they had never had any contact with him. Now, as the evidence became irrefutable, Rumsfeld's OWN OFFICE was forced to admit that they did indeed have contact with Idema - regular contact in fact.
Oil Prices Drop the OPENING DAY OF THE GOP CONVENTION - right on Schedule as predicted by Bush's buddy Saudi Prince Bandar
In the good ole days, newsfolks actually did something known as tracking and followup. World/political stories were viewed, as they should be, as ongoing processes that, if you monitored them closely enough, could connect the dots. Not anymore. The media memory is about as long as the space between two pharamceutical product commercials on the nighly news. So when oil per barrel dropped in price on the opening day of the GOP convention, NOT ONE AMERICAN NEWSPERSON (unless the story was well buried) connected the dots between the April revelation that Prince Bandar, a Saudi friend of the Bush family who is also with OPEC, promised Bush that he would see to it that right before the election they'd "rig" oil prices downward to help his campaign.
GOP Trying to Suppress Minority Votes using Same Tactics they Used on Black Voters in 2000
In many areas of the country, not just in FLA, the GOP used the most disgusting tactics conceivable to thwart the black vote: phony directions to the wrong polling places; signs throughout black neighborhoods telling voters the wrong day to vote or claiming that they can't vote if they have ever had so much as a parking ticket; closing access roads to polling places in black neighborhoods; closing early, etc. Now they are at it again, this time targeting not just blacks, but Hispanics and Native American voters. In some "voter registration drives" conducted by the GOP in the southwest, they have told voters that they MUST vote Republican if they register Republican. At reservation polling places, they are putting up signs claiming "photo ID required." What staggers us is that the US media not only remains silent on these outrages, thereby promoting their continuation, but continues to blindly promote the party behind the outrages.
Revelation that a photo of G.W. Bush on the Presidential Library of G. H. Bush shows Dubya Wearing Medals he never earned.
The media could print and widely disseminate completely phony photos of Kerry with Jane Fonda. But they couldn't be bothered to report a REAL, undoctored photo of G.W. Bush ON THE WALL OF A PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY that shows him wearing medals he never earned. This is just one more glaring disparity between the way Kerry and Bush are treated: Bush's Vietnam record goes unscrutinized, despite the confessions of Texas's own former Lt. Governor, while unfounded smears against Kerry made by men who never served with him went unscrutinzed but widely disseminated for MONTHS.
CALL YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, TV NEWS PROGRAMS and RADIO NEWS & DEMAND THAT THEY START DOING THEIR JOB!
In fact, tell them they can start with any one or all of the above underreported stories! Keep calling until you start seeing a difference. And if you don't, don't give up. Call the advertisers, too!!
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LET'S TAKE BACK AMERICA'S MEDIA!!!!!