- UN Criticises Iraq for Concealing Casualty Figures

- The Cho in the White House "Nowhere, perhaps," Moore wrote, "were foreign reactions to the Virginia shooting more impassioned than in Iraq, where many residents blame the United States for the daily killings in their schools, streets and markets. 'It is a little incident if we compare it with the disasters that have happened in Iraq,' said Ranya Riyad, 19, a college student in Baghdad. 'We are dying every day.'"

- Bush Blames The Troops "Blame it on the military but make it look like you're supporting the troops. That's been the convenient gambit of failed emperors throughout history as they witnessed their empires decline. Not surprisingly then, it's become the standard rhetorical trick employed by President Bush in shirking responsibility for the Iraq debacle of his making"

- U.S. Gov't Discriminates Against Muslim Immigrants: Study "U.S. immigration practices towards thousands of Muslim immigrants over the past six years received a searing indictment in a study released Tuesday, accusing the U.S. government of turning immigration institutions into security stations that penalise individuals because of their religion and national origin.According to the New York University School of Law's Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) the government is illegally delaying the naturalisation applications of immigrants by profiling individuals it perceives to be Muslim and subjecting them to an indefinite series of security checks."

- Nader to Speak after Cheney Addresses Students at BYU

- Campaign to End Gun Trade Ramps Up "Joining hands with rights advocacy organizations this week, some of the world's leading female politicians and activists said they fully support civil society's call for a worldwide ban on gun supplies that fuel poverty and bloodshed in many regions of the world."

- OSHA Leaves Worker Safety in Hands of Industry After workers faced life threatening illness due to hazardous food additives at the workplace, "the top official at the agency told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing that it would prepare a safety bulletin and plan to inspect a few dozen of the thousands of food plants that use the additive. That response reflects OSHA's practices under the Bush administration..."

- Tillman's Brother Blasts Military's ‘Intentional Falsehoods' "Pat Tillman's brother accused the military Tuesday of "intentional falsehoods" and "deliberate and careful misrepresentations" in portraying the football star's death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire." We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public," Kevin Tillman told a House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearing. "Pat's death was clearly the result of fratricide," he said."

- US War Hero Jessica Lynch: ‘Rambo Image was Based on Lie'

- Democrats Still Silent On Gun Control

Bill Moyers' "Buying the War" Exposes the Media's Failure to do Their Job
Published on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 by Denver Post
by Joanne Ostrow

In some quarters, this week is set aside as "turn off your TV week."Beyond the fact that it's a silly enterprise - Pick and choose, people! Pick and choose! - there is one important offering on the nonfiction front that should not be missed. 0424 06

If we could retroactively pull the plug, say during the saturation coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith saga, that might have been a good week to skip the tube.

But - do-gooders take note - this week a devastating 90-minute documentary should be required viewing. This is the kind of work television can do brilliantly when given time and resources and the talents of a questioner like Bill Moyers.

A point-by-point explanation of how the media failed the public en route to the war in Iraq is carefully assembled and patiently related Wednesday by Moyers on PBS.

"Bill Moyers Journal," at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KRMA-Channel 6, presents "Buying the War", an eye-opening view of how the mainstream press got things exactly wrong in the ramp-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (local listings here)

The passing of unchecked information, the fear of appearing unpatriotic in the wake of 9/11, the readiness to join the drumbeat of misinformation about weapons of mass destruction and the willingness of the rest of the media to follow The New York Times - all contributed to the media buying in and failing to help readers and viewers separate fact from propaganda.

Dan Rather, formerly of CBS, tells Moyers, "I don't think there is any excuse for my performance and the performance of the press in general in the roll-up to the war. Overall … there's no question that we didn't do a good job."

Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press" has a tougher time admitting complicity, or allowing that his influential program was used by the administration. Russert says he simply followed the lead of the front-page story of The New York Times. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went on the Sunday-morning shows and cited the infamous "smoking gun as mushroom cloud" story, which they gave the Times.

Bob Simon of CBS's "60 Minutes" sums up that performance: "Remarkable. You leak a story, and then you quote the story."

As in so many phases of the administration's marketing of the war, the media simply stood by.

Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN, says, "Especially right after 9/11. Especially when the war in Afghanistan is going on. There was a real sense that you don't get that critical of a government that's leading us in war time."

A particularly embarrassing news conference with President Bush two weeks before he ordered the country to war demonstrates the passive state of the press at the time.

"At least a dozen times during this press conference he will invoke 9/11 and Al-Qaeda to justify a pre-emptive attack on a country that has not attacked America," Moyers narrates.

The president calls on reporters designated by his staff. The questions are friendly to the point of puffy. The press corps wouldn't awaken until after Hurricane Katrina. They knew the war was going to happen, so they got out of the way.

The work of an investigative team from Knight Ridder newspapers (acquired by The McClatchy Co. last year) is singled out as a rare example of healthy, skeptical reporting. Yet while almost all the Bush claims about WMD would prove to be false, the story citing "lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons" got little play.

Among the cheerleaders for the war who refused to talk to Moyers for this report are (no surprises here) columnist Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, conservative pundit William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, president of Fox News and former Nixon and Reagan strategist Roger Ailes, Washington Post columnist and Fox news commentator Charles Krauthammer, New York Times reporter Judith Miller, and Times political columnist William Safire.

It's easy to campaign in favor of turning off the television. The bumper sticker "Kill your TV" is ever popular. But if more of us were better informed, as this documentary makes painfully clear, the world outside the box would be a better place.

Members of the media will be parsing this historic lapse for years to come, trying to explain how the watchdogs dozed.

Journalism students everywhere should watch and take notes.


"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

London After Midnight website