Media Quotes


"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media

journalism see also Whistleblowers

Paul Krugman is a Must-Read Today (Again) Why is this column the only place in this newspaper where this honest appraisal of Republican dishonesty appears?...

The modern Republican Party has combined the worst aspects of a cult with those of organized crime. Dealing with them may prove a greater challenge than the Civil War or World War II.

Between their economic chicanery, their divisiveness, and their refusal to face up to real threats to the world, their deliberate malice towards all and charity towards none may ultimately be the end of us all.

Source

Source: Journalism Code and the People Who Make It

STUNNING: Comparing U.S. & World Covers for TIME Magazine comments: Often people who read Time in Asia tend to have broad interests, have traveled, and so on. Americans are what used to be called provincials. We're interested in our own horse race politics but not news, not hard news.... I see used old copies of the Economist for sale on the street for $4 and more in Bangkok. People don't even read that stuff here. We're into pooties and specialty diets.

journalism "...one of the enduring legacies of 9/11 has been this Administration's politicization of terror threats inside the United States, the media's lapdog hyping of the threats--its tendency to act as a megaphone instead of a filter, even in the wake of the Administration's clear record of distortion... news organizations remain much more willing to cheerlead terror warnings than seriously question them or put them in proper political context" (Eric Boehlert. "Politics, the Media and 9/11." The Nation, Sept 25, 2006: 30-32).


"It was during the early days of Clinton's presidency that the democratization of instant information made the insider press corps obsolete. To retain their importance and self-regard, these journalists had to invent a new function for themselves, and they did: interpreting, not reporting, the news. But instead of doing the hard work of researching the historical, economic, sociological and political contexts of a given story and then finding a way to explain these in lay terms, they preferred to rely on what came most easily to them: cocktail party gossip, green room small talk, semiofficial leaks and unconfirmed rumor, almost always offered up as if the source had no interest in pushing a point of view.

"It soon became clear that the insider press corps had developed a set of values almost completely antithetical to those of the majority of the American people. This disjunction is frequently misinterpreted--often deliberately--as one of snooty liberal elitists versus God-fearing, Darwin-disbelieving, upright common folk. It's almost impossible to find reliable evidence for this characterization, either in what the press corps believes or what the public does...

"Oddly, given the many obvious and quite consequential differencews between a blowjob and a botched war effort, the Washington press corps appears to have reached a consensus that the former is a far more serious matter. Pundit "dean" David Broder, who whined that Clinton "trashed the place, and it's not his place," has declared himself uninterested in the question of whether Bush & Co. deceived Congress and the nation into its ruinous Iraq adventure...

"But the insider press corps cannot connect Bush's war lies to his unpopularity, because it has so much difficulty acknowlddging either one. Nor have its members--so many of whom, not just Judy Miller, helped lay the groundwork for this Administration's criminal deception by parroting its lies and propaganda--seen fit to take responsibility for their role" (Eric Alterman. "Lies About Blowjobs, Bad. Wars? Not So Much." The Nation, Feb. 20, 2006: 10).


      "One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

      "There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

      "The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)


"..a recent study by Columbia University's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that the TV stations owned by smaller media firms generally produce better newscasts" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 88).

"..Clear Channel is now widely seen as the poster child for what's wrong with our hyper-consolidated media environment...

"In January 2002, a train carrying 10,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia derailed in the town of Minot, North Dakota, sausing a spill and a toxic cloud. Authorities attempted to warn the residents of Minot to stay indoors and to avoid the spill. But when the authorities called six of the seven radio stations in Minot to issue the warning, no one answered the phones. As it turned out, Clear Channel owned all six of the stations, and none of the station's personnel were available...

"..the so-called "derelict rodeo roundup," in which employees give homeless people a $20 bill, a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor, and a bus ticket to the edge of town, was pioneered in spring of 2003 by a Clear Channel station in Cincinnati...

"Egregious examples of [Clear Channel's].. unconscionable.. behavior.. [include] banning the Dixie Chicks and more than 200 peace-related songs..; the many station-sponsored pro-war rallies; the intense union-busting; automated on-air programming and the train wreck in Minot, North Dakota; and the "derelict rodeo roundup"" (88-89).

"Clear Channel's.. non-music coverage was dominated by crime, drugs, and violence"(Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 90).

See..

Clear Channel Sucks "this powerful company has grown unchecked, using their monopoly to control the entire music industry. If you find this alarming, ClearChannelSucks.org is the place for you"
Media Alliance "promoting media excellence, ethics, diversity, and accountability"
Youth Media Council "building youth power through media advocacy and media accountability"
Center for Public Integrity investigative journalism in the public interest


"Journalists, George Bernard Shaw once said, "are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization"" (Eric Alterman. "Bush's War on the Press." The Nation, May 9, 2005: 11).


"Why is science in the media so often pointless, simplistic, boring or just plain wrong? Like a proper little Darwin, I've been collecting specimens, making careful observations, and now I'm ready to present my theory. It is my hypothesis that in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media create a parody of science, for their own means. They then attack this parody as if they were critiquing science.

"Science stories usually fall into three families: wacky stories, scare stories and "breakthrough" stories...

"[the bogus stories] help perform a crucial function for the media, which is selling the reader to their advertisers...

"And last, in our brief taxonomy, is the media obsession with "New breakthroughs": a more subtly destructive category of science story. It's quite understandable that newspapers should feel it's their job to write about new stuff. But in the aggregate these stories sell the idea that science, and indeed the whole emperical world view, is only about tenuous, new, hotly contested data. Articles about robustly supported emerging ideas would be more stimulating, of course, than most single experimental results, and these themes are the real developments in science. But they emerge over months and several bits of evidence, not single rejiggable press releases. Often, a front-page science story will emerge from a press release alone, and the formal academic paper may never appear, or appear much later, and then not even show what the press reports claimed it would.

"Scientists never said that tenuous small findings were headline news--journalists did...

"The central theme: there is no useful information in most science stories.

"Remember all those stories about the danger of mobile phones? I must have read 15 newspaper articles on the subject in a single week. Not one told me what the experiment flagging up the danger was. What was the exposure, the measured outcome, was it human or animal data? Figures? Nothing.

"Why? Because papers think you won't understand the "science bit", all stories involving science must be dumbed down...

"Nobody dumbs down the finance pages.

"So how do the media work around their inability to deliver scientific evidence? They use authority figures, the very antithesis of what science is about, as if they were priests, or politicians, or parent figures. And if they want balance, you'll get two scientists disagreeing, although with no explanation of why" (Ben Goldacre. "Don't dumb me down." Guardian Weekly, Sep. 16, 2005: 19).


How the Media Can Restore Credibility

"... the Gallup poll finds that 49% of Americans consider the news mostly or completely unreliable...

"... the endemic vices of elitism, unaccountability, and star worship that afflict our journalistic institutions beginning with the top management. It will take more than another pro forma mea culpa to rebuild their eroded creditbility. Systemic changes are essential:

"Journalists shouldn't get cozy with government officials... A reporter's job is to discover and tell the truth... politicians and reporters are natural enemies...

"Press conferences produce lies, not news. What comes out of them should be treated as news only after it has been independently verified.

"Journalists should be accessible. Isolation impairs accountability... Every newspaper byline should carry its writer's direct phone number and email address, and they should be required to return their messages...

"Ban patriotism. While I was covering the war in Afghanistan in 2001, a colleague from a major US paper informed me: "We've captured Kunduz!" We? Never mind editorial independence--she identified with the Norther Alliance because they were backed by the United States. CNN mimicked Fox News' perpetually waving stars-and-stripes logo and TV anchors from Maine to Hawaii sported flag lapel pins--a prop on state television in dictatorships. Even when the US is at war, reporters should remain neutral. Skeptics make better journalists than patriots.

"Embedded reporters are whores... ersatz journalists who rode into Iraq in American tanks and armored personnel carriers... Correspondents who participate in a story--a war, say--deserve to be fired" (Ted Rall. "It's the Skepticism, Stupid." The Progressive Populist, Dec. 15, 2005: 2, 19).


"The [Bush] government's goal is total information control... Freedom of information and citizen access to objective news is rapidly fading in the United States and the world... This monolithic news structure creates intellectual celibacy, inaction, and fear.." (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 13).


"Government-supplied propaganda has become pervasive in mainstream media, from hiring journalists to write puff pieces to credentialing fake reporters to fawning reports from embedded reporters in Iraq. Where is independent media?" (Amy Goodman and David Goodman. "Un-Embed the Media." AlterNet. Posted April 8, 2005)


"..in 2001, less than one percent of all news stories on the network evening news-casts of ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN were related to Latino issues.. The stories.. often portrayed them stereotypically.. as illegal immigrants, prone to violence, and residing in slums" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 26).


"Clear Channel... the San Antonio-based behemoth's chokehold on American radio... bounced a pair of talk show hosts who opposed the war. Charles Goyette.. at Phoenix radio station KFYI... [and] Roxanne Walker.. at WMYI.. in South Carolina" ("Mercury Rising, Starr Gazing." Texas Observer, 4/23/04: 11).


      "One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

      "There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

      "The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)


"Clear Channel... the San Antonio-based behemoth's chokehold on American radio... bounced a pair of talk show hosts who opposed the war. Charles Goyette.. at Phoenix radio station KFYI... [and] Roxanne Walker.. at WMYI.. in South Carolina" ("Mercury Rising, Starr Gazing." Texas Observer, 4/23/04: 11).


"A handful of self-serving corporate fiefdoms controls practically all of our mass-market sources of news and information. GE now owns NBC, Disney owns ABC, Viacom owns CBS, NewsCorp. owns Fox, and TimeWarner owns CNN; these five have a lock on TV news...These aloof giants openly assert that meeting their own profit needs is the media's reason for existence... Clear Channel.. (which owns.. a third of all the [radio] stations in America), opines that: "We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're simply in the business of selling our customers' products."

"This single-minded mercenary focus combines with general corporate arrogance to bloat the egos of media chieftains... "We paid $3 billion for these television stations," said an executive with Fox... "We decide what the news is. The news is what we tell you it is."" (Jim Hightower. "Just Because They Could." Texas Observer, 7/30/04: 15).


"...the "embedded" journalists joy-riding across the Kuwaiti border... their adrenaline-heavy, totally irrelevant reportage... the wowie-zowie enthusiasm of the "embeds"...

"...Al Jazeera has simply come much closer to doing its job as a news organizations than have CNN and all the rest... the American response to Al Jazeera... our military's killing of journalists from Al Jazeera and Dubai, and ..its attack on the hotel which was widely known to house journalists..." (David Theis. "The View From Doha." Texas Observer, 7/30/04: 24-25).


"... lobbyists bribery of state legislators... handouts of special-interest money is.. carefully obscured..

"...lobbyists in 41 state capitals reported spending $889 million to wine, dine and influence state legislators in 2003...

"The top five states reporting lobbyist spending in 2003 were California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota... Texas had 1,673 [lobbyists]...

"..most reporters don't spend much, if any, time investigating the lobbyists... can have a big impact, yet... didn't make any "news" that we saw.

"Neither did the indirect confessions of journalistic guilt published last month... The Pew survey of 547 reporters and editors... gave poor grades to the coverage offered by the types of media that serve most Americans...

"More than half of the national media people... agreed that the press treatment of President Bush has been insufficiently probing and critical" ("The Electoral College Is Seen By Many As the Deplorable College." Washington Spectator, June 15, 2004: 1-4).


"The Sinclair Broadcast Group, a Maryland-based media company whose holdings include sixty-two TV stations...

"Sinclair stands out as an impressively dumbed-down operation. Like Rupert Murdoch's Fox Network, it shamelessly distorts the news and mocks those who would let reality interfere with its ideologically induced ignorance... corporate mouthpiece, Mark Hyman, who speaks of "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" in France, a "hate-America crowd" in the media and "unpatriotic politicians who hate our military" in Congress... Sinclair refuses to broadcast the names and faces of America's dead soldiers... it is more than happy to provide its viewers with propaganda "news" stories manufactured by the Bush Administration to fool the public..." (Eric Alterman. "Is Koppel a Commie?" The Nation, May 24, 2004: 10).


Book recommended by The Nation: Bonnie M. Anderson. News Flash. Jossey-Bass, 2004. "How big media killed the news... exposes how American media conglomerates have bankrupted the credibility of broadcast journalism... "infotainment" instead of responsible reporting..."


"In November, Verso Press is releasing The Record of the Paper: Fifty Years of the New York Times on U.S. Foreign Policy, by Howard Friel and Richard Falk. The study contends that over the last half-century the paper of record has misreported facts relating to the wars waged by the United States, from Vietnam in the 1960s, to Nicaragua in the 1980s, to Iraq today" ("Political Cookbooks." Washington Spectator, Sep. 1, 2004: 3).


"The media get more and more divided into those who have some concept of journalism and those who simply consider themselves political and cultural warriors" (Molly Ivins. "The News Hens Get Teresa." The Progressive, Sep. 2004_ 50).


"Time for another Gooberhead Award... [to] the honchos of NBC, CBS, and ABC. These media barons decreed that this year's national political conventions were worthy of only one hour of prime-time coverage... The corporate arbiters of our public airwaves deem it more important to broadcast re-runs of sit-coms than to cover our nation's quadrennial rituals of democracy. The honchos say that the conventions are scripted events that are not "something we need to cover on the broadcast television network"...

""Dan Rather of CBS... refers to them as "money-raising, lobbyist-hunting-ground infomercial"...

"It would be great TV to have investigative reporters poke their cameras into the exclusive watering holes where corporate lobbyists are.. blatantly buying our government. Second is the astonishing police crackdown against ordinary citizens who dare to protest at these conventions. Like a Third World dictatorship, our government now routinely uses massive and abusive force to shut down democratic expression, and it's time for the media to expose it" (Jim Hightower. "How Newsworthy Can You Get?" Texas Observer, 9/10/04: 15).


"...an ideological movement that masquerades as a respectable segment of the media. This mass movement is dedicated to preserving power for the combination of wealthy corporate executives, religious fundamentalists and neoconservative ideologues who make up the Bush Administration's base, with little, if any, regard for the truth of its arguments. Its members include Fox News... embittered Republican politicians turned pundits... Matt Drudge, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Washington Times...

"... the so-called liberal media (SCLM). Their willingness to treat scurrilous slander as mere "politics as usual" abdicates the most fundamental responsibility of journalism: to ascertain, as best as one can, just what the truth of a given situation may be" (Eric Alterman. "We Lie. We Decide." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 10).


"When it comes to presidential politics there seem to be a half-dozen narratives favored by big (and small-minded) media: Who's ahead?, "Gotcha!", the (cynical) assumption that all policy announcements are explainable as political maneuvering, the idea that a campaign is being run by either skilled pros or incompetent losers, and here's what [name your candidate] ought to do, etc." (Victor Navasky. "Where Rather was Right." The Nation, Oct. 11, 2004: 5).


"...Henry Adams... "The press is the hired agent of a monied system," he wrote, "and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved"...

"A handful of self-serving corporate fiefdoms now controls practically all of America's mass-market sources of news and information...

"These aloof giants openly assert that meeting their own profit needs is the media's reason for existence -- as opposed to meeting the larger public's need for a vigorous, democratic discourse. Lowry Mays, honcho of Clear Channel..."We're not in the business of providing news and information... We're simply in the business of selling our customers' products"

""We paid $3 billion for these television stations," said an executive with a Fox affiliate in Tampa. "We decide what the new is. The new is what we tell you it is" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer. The Hightower Lowdown, May 2004: 1).

Free Press working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates


"Dan Rather... Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw... has some intersting admissions to make about the effect of conservative media pressure on them... the right's effective campaign to "work the refs."...

"Rather noted that they are "all over your telephones, all over your e-mail, all over your mail," and it "creates an undertow in which you say to yourself..."..you know what, if we run this story we're asking for trouble with a capital T. Why do it, why not just pass on by? That happens--I'm sorry to report that happens.."

"Peter Jennings concurred, adding that he sensed a degree of "anxiety in the newsroom, and I think it comes in part from the corporate suite"... "this wave of resentment rushes at our advertisers, rushes at the corporate suites and gets under the newsroom skin, if not completely into the decision-making process to a greater degree than it has before" ...

"...the questions of the networks' unwillingness to ask tough questions of Bush and his advisers before the war, Rather admitted, "When I referred to fear before, that's one of the specific things I had in mind"...

"Network news is getting hit from all sides. Their corporate owners are squeezing them at every opportunity to increase profits by simultaneously skimping on costs, pusibg for "tabloid" stories and dumbing down what's left. Viewership is declining... The future is clearly with narrow-cast networks, like Fox's right-wingers and Jon Stewart's fake-but-truer-than-the-real-thing news" (Eric Alterman. "Anchors Aweigh: The Refs Are Worked." The Nation, Nov. 1, 2004: 12).


"...as a whole, the media seem far more interested in careers than truth. And for a group thatís supposed to be relating a whole lot of complex ideas about the world, they sure do seem parochial...

"Hereís a new principle they might add to the J-School dogma: donít quote people who are lying just to have ďboth sidesĒ represented. And hereís a tip: donít source with fringe nuts. Thatís not objectivity; itís retarded" (Joshuah Bearman. "Even the Media Hates the Media." LA Weekly, Aug. 30, 2004).


"...it took me awhile after my time in government to realize that what's important to the journalist is not how close we are to power but how close we are to reality... chalenging the official view of reality and getting as close as possible to the verifiable truth... connect the dots and lay the record bare... as the late Martha Gellhorn once put it, that "serious, careful, honest journalism is essential, not because it is a guiding light but because it is a form of honorable behavior"" (Bill Moyers. "Letter From Bill Moyers." Texas Observer, 1/7/05: 39).


"Independent media outlets are needed now more than ever. The last few months have seen severe cutbacks in news departments across the nation, and particularly in Texas... We believe in a Fourth Estate dedicated to the public, not the corporate interest" ("Climbing Back." Texas Observer, 11/19/04: 3).


"...the so-called liberal media's abdication of its constitutional role--together with an active campaign of deception by the right-wing media, on Fox and elsewhere--is a nation voting in profound ignorance of what its votes will mean... 72 percent of Bush supporters operate in ignorance, and believe Iraq had actual WMDs... 75 percent of Bus supporters believe Iraq was providing significant support to Al Qaeda... A mere 31 percent of Bush supporters are aware that most of the world continues to oppose the US invasion of Iraq... and more than a quarter believing that the rest of the planet approves.

"It's hard to argue that democracy can be said to be functioning under these circumstances" (Eric Alterman. "Faith-Based Journalism: The Refs Work Themselves." The Nation, Nov. 15, 2004: 11).


"...as a whole, the media seem far more interested in careers than truth. And for a group thatís supposed to be relating a whole lot of complex ideas about the world, they sure do seem parochial...

"Hereís a new principle they might add to the J-School dogma: donít quote people who are lying just to have ďboth sidesĒ represented. And hereís a tip: donít source with fringe nuts. Thatís not objectivity; itís retarded" (Joshuah Bearman. "Even the Media Hates the Media." LA Weekly, Aug. 30, 2004).


"..what is written and depicted in the media.. is often done so to further a particular political or social agenda... overwhelming onslaught of corporate propaganda, slick public relations spins, and outright lies" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 182).

See..

Democracy Now! radio program "to meet a growing demand for trustworthy, independent news and information in this time of war"
Flashpoints! investigative news radio..known for its hard-hitting international investigative journalism
North Bay Progressive "all the news that didn't fit"
Alternative Information Center a Palestinian-Israeli organization which disseminates information, research and political analysis on Palestinian and Israeli societies as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while promoting cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis based on the values of social justice, solidarity and community involvement
Between the Lines monthly "which opposes the exclusive Jewish-Zionist nature of the state of Israel and the authoritarian regime which has emerged in the areas beneath the control of the Palestinian Authority"
Challenge "a bi-monthly leftist magazine focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.. one of the very few sources in English focusing on the problems of Arabs in Israel. We cover such issues as the plight of local Arab workers amid the forces of globalization, the struggles of unrecognized Arab villages, and land confiscation"
Electronic Intifada about "Palestine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the economic, political, legal, and human dimensions of Israel's 37-year occupation of Palestinian territories"
Palestine: Indy Media "founded to record and explore the current practices of the Israeli occupation and the real background to the conflict. For the first time this will be a truly free forum for the Palestinian people who choose to participate"
Islam Online news and interpretation
The Other Israel Newsletter of the Israeli Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) "ACME, free of corporate media funding, is a strategic network linking media educators, health advocates, media reformers, independent media makers, community organizers and others"
Retro-Poll challenges manufactured consensus by corporate media


"Like any government rallying a country for war, the Bush Administration is engaged in a massive propaganda campaign... U.S. corporate media.. see their role as supporting the government at the expense of wide debate [ie., democracy] and fair treatment of dissent...

"[For example] Juan Gonzalez recounts the difficulties he encountered at the paper while investigating the environmental consequences of the World Trade Center disaster. While most mainstream media were uncritically repeating the assurances of officials, Gonzalez was breaking stories about toxins in lower Manhattan that far exceeded safety levels. The backlash was intense; complaints about Gonzalez came rolling in from one of Rudolph Giuliani's deputy mayors, the head of the N.Y. City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce, and EPA administrator Christine Whitman.

"Subsequently, Daily News editors "showed a marked reluctance" to pursue the story. "One courageous editor at the News, however, refused to buckle under the pressure," writes Gonzalez... "within days of forming the team," Pienciak "was removed from his post without explanation"" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 293).


"..the problem known as "lap dog journalism".. self-censorship runs rampant.. do not.. carry out investigative reporting.. lacks any skepticism toward authority... [most] news stories.. originate from government officials and Big Business... the mass media serve as mouthpieces for those in power...

"A healthy, tense atmosphere between news sources and journalists is indispensable for solid journalism to flourish" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 314-315).


"..you know the kind of spider-brained, commercially poisoned piece-of-crap reporting you get in America" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 1).


"The U.S. media is still peeing on your leg and telling you it's raining" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 3).


What is "laughably called America's "journalist culture".. a flock of docile sheep.. content to munch on.. then reprint a diet of press releases and canned stories provided by government and corporate public-relations operations" (14).

"No one ever lost their job writing canned statements from a press release" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 15).


"..the media is "biased".. their real affiliation is to Hezb'Shekel -- the party of money... scribbling songs of puppy love to the miraculous work of the new breed of get-it-while-you-can CEO centi-millionaires" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 207).


The Press Mess--It keeps swelling and smelling. First there was the discovery by USA Today that the African-American columnist and cable-TV commentator Armstrong Williams had taken a $240,000 payoff from the Department of Education--taxpayer money--to promote the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind program.

"Then the Washington Post found that the Bushies had paid a semi-syndicated columnist, Maggie Gallagher, $41,500 in taxpayer dollars to promote the president's sexual abstinence program.

"USA Today found another columnist payoff. This one was for $10,000, which the Department of Health and Human Services gave to Michael McManus to puff up the president's no-sex-before-marriage gospel.

"We were then treated to the discovery that a partisan-sounding, pro-GOP questioner at a series of White House news conferences had been granted an official White House press pass two years ago under the fake name of "Jeff Gannon" of Talon News.

"He turned out to be one James Guckert, not a creditable journalist but a propagandist fronting for a Texas Republican website, GOPUSA.com. His White House press pass was belatedly canceled" ("A Family's House Is Its Castle--Without a Moat." Washington Spectator, March 1, 2005: 4).


"The controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq...

"...Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayyoub... a US warplane swooped in and fired a rocket at Al Jazeera's office...

"At noon on April 8, a US Abrams tank fired at the Palestine Hotel, home and office to more than 100 unembedded international journalists operating in Baghdaad at the time. The shell smashed into the fifteenth-floor Reuters office, killing two cameramen, Reuters's Taras Protsyum and Jose Couso of Spain's Telecinco... "Pentagon officials, as well as commanders on the ground in Baghdad, knew that the Palestine Hotel was full of international journalists"...

"..."...the American... military--do not want us there. And they make it very uncomfortable for us to work... this is leading to security forces in some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly force and with impunity."

"The US military has yet to discipline a single soldier for the killing of a journalist in Iraq... the killing of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, shot near Abu Ghraib prison... the killing of Al Arabiya TV's Mazen al-Tumeizi, blown apart by a US missile... on Baghdad's Haifa Street...

"...at US military checkpoints... March 2004 shooting deaths of Ali Abdel-Aziz and Ali al-Khatib of Al Arabiya.... Reuters freelancer Dhia Najim was killed by US fire...

"...tortured by the US military... Salah Hassan and Suheib Badr Darwish of Al Jazeera... and three Reuters staffers...

"... journalists were reporting on places or incidents that the military may not have wanted the world to see" (Jeremy Scahill. "Shooting the Messenger." The Nation, March 7, 2005: 4-6).


"Some journalists are stubbornly pursuing the truth despite growing media monopolies, government secrecy, and spin doctorsó-but itís getting tougher" (Bill Moyers, http://www.futurenet.org/, 4-4-05).


"In the conservative blog world, the very act of weighing evidence, or even presenting any, is suspect. The modus operandi is accuse, accuse, accuse and see what sticks. BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis, who has become a self-style evangelist for right-wing bloggers... declares, "We're all journalists... The only thing that made journalists journalists before was access to the guy who owned the press." That, of course, is nonsense. Journalists aspire to standards of fairness(Eric Alterman. "The Pajama Game." The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 10).


"In the conservative blog world, the very act of weighing evidence, or even presenting any, is suspect. The modus operandi is accue, accuse, accuse and see what sticks. BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis, who has become a self-styled evangelist for right-wing bloggers... declares, "We're all journalists... The only thing that made journalists journalists before was access to the guy who owned the press." That, of course, is nonsense. Journalists aspire to standards of fairness, accuracy and research that are not generally observed by Jarvis's pajama-clad army. What's more, good journalism takes time and often money. At a recent meeting of bloggers and journalists at Harvard, Jarvis reportedly became so incensed when New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson asked him if he knew how much it cost to operate a bureau in Iraq, the moderator had to ask everybody to behave" (Eric Alterman. "The Pajama Game." The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 10).


"In an era of drive-by journalism, where reporters turn up in places only when there is a major crisis, Fisk is a throwback to an earlier period when journalists would stay in a country for many years and learn the language and customs and develop and mine contacts" (David Barsamian. "Robert Fisk." The Progressive, June 2005: 39).


"The Bush Administration and its ideological allies are employing every means available to undermine journalists' ability to exercise their First Amendment function to hold power accountable. In fact, the Administration recognizes no such constitutional role for the press...

"As an unnamed Bush official told reporter Ron Suskind, "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality"...

"They are taking aggressive action: preventing journalists from doing their job by withholding routine information; deliberately releasing deceptive information on a regular basis; bribing friendly journalists to report the news in a favorable context; producing their own "news reports" and distributing these free of charge to resource-starved broadcasters; creating and crditing their own political activists as "journalists" working for partisan operations masquerading as news organizations...

"...all these efforts are aimed at a single goal: the destruction of democratic accountability and the media's role in insuring it.

"The Bush attack on the press has three primary components--Secrecy, Lies and Fake News...

SECRECY

"Since President George W. Bush entered the office, the pace of classification activity has increased by 75 percent...

"In addition, as Aftergood notes, "an even more aggressive form of government information control has gone unenumerated and often unrecognized in the Bush era, as government agencies have restricted access to unclassified information in libraries, archives, websites and official databases." These sources were once freely available but are now being withdrawn from view under the classification "sensitive but unclassified" or "for official use only." They include: the Pentagon telephopne directory, the Los Alamos technical report library, historical records at the National Archives and the Energy Department intelligence budget, among many others. Even more alarming is the web of secrecy surrounding the operations of what has become the equivalent of a police state at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons around the world, where the accused are routinely denied due process and traditional rules of evidence are deemed irrelevant...

LIES

"...the conservative media... refuse to report facts when they conflict with White House spin...

""What's going on here is something like lying by reflex... Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you wonder why they bother...

"Nuclear materials: The Los Angeles Times recently reported that government scientists apparently submitted phony data to demonstrate that a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada's Yucca Mountain would be safe...

"IN these two emblematic cases, as it has done so many times before, the Administration simply issued its own pronouncements, ignored reality and went its merry way, damn the consequences both for the reality of its policies and for its own credibility. Those found guilty of deception did not mind the one-day story that would result demonstrating them to be liars...

FAKE NEWS

"The Bush Administration has invested untold millions in video "news releases" that disguise themselves as genuine news reports and are frequently broadcast by irresponsible local news programs. In three separate opinions in the past year, the Congressional Government Accountability Office held that government-made news segments may constitute improper "covert propaganda"...

"The reports are clearly designed to simulate legitimate news programming...

"These phony news reports have much in common with stage-managed "public" presidential events that bar all potential dissenters and script virtually every utterance...

"In addition to creating its own mediated version of reality, the Administration has also invested considerable resources in corrupting members of the media with cash payments...

"Our once noble calling is increasingly difficult to distinguish from things that look like journalism but are primarily advertising, press agentry, or entertainment" (Eric Alterman. "Bush's War on the Press." The Nation, May 9, 2005: 11-20).


"While most mainstream media outlets earned the scorn that has been heaped upon them for their stenographic reporting of the Bush Administration's prewar claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, one newspaper chain's Washington bureau was consistently--and, it turns out, correctly--skeptical of the White House. Before the war began, Knight Ridder's small but able team of reporters was the exception to a bad rule, producing a steady stream of now widely praised articles with headlines that referred to the "Failure to find weapons in Iraq" and "Troubling questions over justification for war in Iraq."

"But the war that might have been averted by more skeptical reporting from the rest of the media will outlast Knight Ridder. Pressed by investors who grumbled about the company's putting too much money into journalism and returning too little profit, Knight Ridder sold out to the California-based McClatchy chain, which paid $4.5 billion and then announced it would auction off, by summer, a dozen Knight Ridder papers, including eight represented by the Newspaper Guild...

"What's needed is a new model for old-media ownership, and it's just possible that one could come out of the Knight Ridder debacle. A uion-friendly private-equity firm, Yucaipa Companies, is bidding against several of the country's more unsavory chains for the twelve papers, most of which are unionized. If it succeeds, newspaper employees could over time buy ownership of a new corporation set up to run the papers" (John Nichols. "How to Free the Press." The Nation, April 17, 2006: 5-6).


"In recent year, Time, America's largest-circulation newsweekly... its opinion pages are filled with vitriol, anger and abuse, almost always directed at liberals...

"... a larger point: That America's most influential magazine can carry this imbalance so long without anyone paying attention--and can win the industry's most coveted award while doing so" (Eric Alterman. "Time is on Their Side." The Nation, June 12, 2006: 10).


Colby Glass, MLIS