Sunday, July 8, 2007

Media News Roundup- Sunday July 1st to Sat July 7th

Are You Enslaved by the Corporate Media ?

Keeping an eye on the failing Fourth Estate and looking for some TRUTH in journalism.

Media follows GOP talking point on Libby commutation furor being a partisan issue, failing to make connection to larger factors. Media under reports UN study showing more Afghans killed by NATO forces than Taliban. Bright spot of the week: Keith Olbermann at MSNBC speaks out strongly about Libby commutation and the White House administration.

Media Misses the Importance of the Libby Case and Commutation

President Bush's decision to commute the sentence of Vice President Cheney's former top aide I. "Scooter" Libby made a great deal of news this week, but fell shy of offering any context. Reducing the incident to merely "partisan" bickering, media pundits and journalists followed the White House and GOP talking point claiming Libby had only been charged with "lying." In reality, Libby was deeply embroiled in the question of who leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's undercover status. The reason that he was charged with perjury and not any other charges, was because his very act of lying and obstruction of justice hindered the investigation of Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. Whatever else Libby, and by extension his boss Vice President Dick Cheney were involved with, was impossible to uncover in full--and thus prosecute--because Libby continually lied. *That* was why he was charged with perjury and sent to jail. Furthermore, the entire matter of the outting of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent was the result of her husbands' (former Iraq ambassador Joseph Wilson) challenge of the White House's WMD claim involving now debunked claims of Saddam Hussein receiving uranium from Niger. This is the missing context that too many journalists seem willing to let fall to the wayside, thus denying their audiences from fully understanding the full meaning of these events.

Media Silence on UN Report: NATO Strikes Kill More Civilians Than Taliban

Buried far beneath the headlines, a UN report released this past Friday summarized that NATO air strikes--which have stepped up in the past year--have killed more Afghans than the Taliban insurgents they were intended to target. Over 500 Afghan civilians have been reported killed this year, and the rate has dramatically increased in the last month. Other accounts by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Associated Press offered different counts, but agreed that more civilians were killed by NATO troops than by Taliban militants thus far in 2007. The climbing death toll has inflamed tensions among regular Afghans, forcing even the NATO installed President Karzai to speak out. On June 23, in response to the deaths of more than 100 civilians in a single week at the hands of U.S. and NATO forces, President Karzai called for investigations. "Afghan life is not cheap," he stated angrily, "and it should not be treated as such." Other than a few online news sources, the story has gotten little traction in the larger American press.

Keith Olbermann at MSNBC Speaks Out Strongly About Libby and the White House Administration

Olbermann gives a refreshing reminder of the important role journalism should be playing in our social and political system:


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