Sunday, July 1, 2007

Media News Roundup- Sunday June 24th to Sat June 31st

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

Media follows White House line, making every insurgent in Iraq "al-Qaeda." Media touts Healthcare and big Pharma attacks on Michael Moore's SICKO. Bright spot of the week: Bill Quigley at brings back race, poverty and Katrina.

Media and White House Collaborate to Make Insurgents "All al-Qaeda"

File this under, "I thought I was the only one!" I thought I was the only one who noticed a recent White House shift, that the mainstream media has dutifully followed, in renaming all of the foes the U.S. has in Iraq as "al-Qaeda." McClatchy's Baghdad correspondent, Mike Drummond, noted as much in a June 25th article stating:

The Bush administration's recent shift toward calling the enemy in Iraq "al Qaida" rather than an insurgency may reflect the difficulty in maintaining support for the war at home more than it does the nature of the enemy in Iraq.
Never mind that most reports show that the U.S. is actually fighting Shiite militias, or that most of the insurgents in Iraq are home-grown and NOT foreign fighters, but taking a cue from the lead up to war the White House has decided to collapse the varied groups all under the heading al-Qaeda. And, just as before, the corporate media has swallowed the tactic with nary a question. For more, see Glenn Greenwald at

Media Touts Big Company Line in Attacks on Michael Moore's SICKO

In a bizarre focus on Michael Moore's documentary movie, varied media outlets have felt the need to "balance" out the discussion of the film--by featuring those whom the film criticizes. For some reason, the news media has decided that big Healthcare and Pharma corporations deserve the right to make their case, which usually begins and ends with attacks on Moore's film. Consortium News notes that ring wing pundits went out of their way to lambast the film, even before its release. FAIR pointed to a June 28 article in USA Today that criticized the movie with flimsy claims, and then "balanced" their commentary with an "opposing view" by a representative of the private health insurance industry.

Bright Spot of the Week

Bill Quigley at Brings Back Race, Poverty and Katrina

Sometimes it seems as if the near-death of an American city, and the fate of its dispersed and devastated black community, has disappeared from the radar of media pundits and politicians alike (John Edwards being a notable exception). While the Katrina debacle helped show a world the criminal neglect and incompetence of the administration, plunging George W. Bush's favorability ratings and culminating in the sweep of the Democrats into Congress this past fall, it is a tragedy whose importance has almost been forgotten. Bill Quigley reminds us about this *continuing* disaster, without shying away from the reality of race and poverty.

How to Destroy an African-American City in Thirty-Three Steps - Lessons From Katrina

By Bill Quigley
t r u t h o u t Guest Contributer

Friday 29 June 2007

Step One. Delay. If there is one word that sums up the way to destroy an African-American city after a disaster, that word is DELAY. If you are in doubt about any of the following steps - just remember to delay, and you will probably be doing the right thing.

Step Two. When a disaster is coming, do not arrange a public evacuation. Rely only on individual resources. People with cars and money for hotels will leave. The elderly, the disabled and the poor will not be able to leave. Most of those without cars - 25 percent of households in New Orleans, overwhelmingly African-Americans - will not be able to leave. Most of the working poor, overwhelmingly African-American, will not be able to leave. Many will then permanently accuse the victims who were left behind of creating their own human disaster because of their own poor planning. It is critical to start by having people blame the victims for their own problems.

Step Three. When the disaster hits, make certain the national response is overseen by someone who has no experience at all handling anything on a large scale, particularly disasters. In fact, you can even inject some humor into the response - have the disaster coordinator be someone whose last job was the head of a dancing horse association.

Step Four. Make sure that the president and national leaders remain aloof and only slightly concerned. This sends an important message to the rest of the country.

Step Five. Make certain that local, state and national governments do not respond in a coordinated, effective way. This will create more chaos on the ground.

Step Six. Do not bring in food or water or communications right away. This will make everyone left behind more frantic and create incredible scenes for the media.

Step Seven. Make certain that the media focus of the disaster is not on the heroic community work of thousands of women, men and young people helping the elderly, the sick and the trapped to survive, but mainly on acts of people looting. Also spread and repeat rumors that people trapped on rooftops are shooting guns not to attract attention and get help, but AT the helicopters. This will reinforce the message that "those people" left behind are different from the rest of us and are beyond help.

For full article:


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