Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Media subservience
Rallies for who?: Clear Channel Worldwide, Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations, over 1,200, has been fingered as a sponsor of numerous rallies endorsing Bush's Iraq invasion ["Media Giant’s Rally Sponsorship Raises Questions"] via Common Dreams. The promotions, called "Rally for America," have "raised eyebrows in some legal and journalistic circles."

"I think this is pretty extraordinary. I can’t say that this violates any of the broadcaster’s obligations, but it sounds like borderline manufacturing of the news," said Greg Robinson, a law professor at University of Virginia and former FCC member.
Again, what liberal media? If ABCNBCCBSCNN, etc., pulled a stunt like this, the right wingers would be screaming their heads off about it! Unreal.

On Eric Alterman’s new book "What Liberal Media": ["Alterman in War Paint"]

"The fact that anyone had to write an antidote to the odious liar Ann Coulter (author of "Slander") and the disgruntled former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg (author of "Bias") is a testament to how far the right wing has gotten in promulgating the fraudulent charge of a liberal bias within the media," – columnist Michelangelo Signorile in the New York Press
Here is Dan Kennedy’s take on the war coverage. ["Into the darkness"]

FAIR on the NYT:

… At the bottom of an inside page in the New York Times, had a different message: "Allies Will Move In, Even if Saddam Hussein Moves Out" was the headline over a page A16 story by Times military correspondent Michael Gordon.

"Even if Saddam Hussein leaves Iraq within 48 hours, as President Bush demanded, allied forces plan to move north into Iraqi territory, American officials said today," the article began.
Gordon pointed to a little-noted line in Bush's speech:

It is not too late for the Iraqi military to act with honor and protect your country by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.
While in the context of the speech, this seemed to refer to what Bush hoped Iraqi commanders would do in the event that his ultimatum was rejected, Gordon reports that this was actually a signal that regardless of what Hussein chooses, the U.S. would still, in Gordon's words,

... enter Iraq to search for hidden weapons of mass destruction and help stabilize the nation so that a new and more democratic regime could take over.
Even if the Iraqi military were to overthrow Hussein, Gordon wrote, "a military intervention seems very likely." He quoted Colin Powell's statement on March 17 to the effect that:
... the only way for Iraq to avoid an attack is for Mr. Hussein to leave the country and 'allow this matter to be resolved through the peaceful entry of force.'
In other words, there is nothing that Iraq can do to avoid invasion and occupation; its only choice is whether or not to surrender. Why dress up this straightforward policy with a claim that Saddam Hussein's refusal to step down within a 48-hour deadline "will result in military conflict"? Presumably because the White House knew that the media would find the drama of the ultimatum irresistible, and would therefore frame the upcoming war not as a choice that Washington was making, but as a final test for Saddam Hussein. Media have by and large failed to challenge this spin campaign, and continue to frame the story as a "defiant" Saddam Hussein spurning the last chance for peace. – "Will the War Begin With a Big Lie?" emailed media advisory from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting.