Just to set the scene: dreaming last night, I was informed that Christopher Hitchens had written an outrageous article in a major Dreamland newsweekly purporting to expose my central role in Spygate, but I was unable to respond because I was visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame with my new pet monkey. (More of a baby chimpanzee, on waking reflection, but a monkey in the dream. And the Pro Football Hall of Fame seemed more geared towards the interests of baby chimps/monkeys and their owners than I would, on waking reflection, expect, not having visited. Bananas, things to swing on, that sort of thing – no football at all, actually. In any case, it was awesome.) Background, then, for this:
It seems the AP has fallen for the McCain campaign’s and the RNC’s effort to prevent anyone from using McCain’s own words against him during the 2008 presidential campaign. As noted earlier, what the McCain campaign is pushing for here is a standard in which any negative ad targeting McCain must be delivered with the McCain camp’s own spin included in order to be within bounds — a standard few politicians, to say the least, have ever been granted. And even though the political press has been highly indulgent of the McCain campaign on this issue, I don’t think I’ve seen any news organization so egregiously buy into McCain’s false statements as the Associated Press.
And for this:
It has now been more than ten days since the New York Times exposed the Pentagon’s domestic propaganda program involving retired generals and, still, not a single major news network has even mentioned the story to their viewers, let alone responded to the numerous questions surrounding their own behavior. This steadfast blackout occurs despite the fact that the Pentagon propaganda program almost certainly violates numerous federal laws; both Democratic presidential candidates sternly denounced the Pentagon’s conduct; and Congressional inquiries are already underway, all of which forced the Pentagon to announce that it suspended its program.
Still, there has not been a peep from the major news networks at the center of the storm, the integrity of whose reporting on the Iraq war is directly implicated by this story. Even establishment media defender Howard Kurtz called their ongoing failure to cover this story “pathetic.”
Like Fox and CBS, NBC News outright refused to answer any questions about the allegations when asked by the NYT‘s David Bartsow, and its prime time anchor, Brian Williams, has delivered seven broadcasts since the story was published and has not uttered a word to NBC’s viewers about any of it. Yesterday, I wrote about an entry on Williams’ blog — which he calls “The Daily Nightly” — in which Williams found the time to mock one frivolous cultural puff piece after the next in the Sunday edition of the NYT, even as he still had refused even to acknowledge the expose in last Sunday’s NYT that calls into serious question the truthfulness and reliability of his “journalism.”
It appears that the rules of journalism for 2008 dictate that discussions of policy and the working of our democracy are completely beyond the pale, an insult to the integrity of the system which keeps us up-to-date on what Obama’s crazy ex-minister recently said, who got attacked by a bear, who got attacked by a shark, where Lindsay Lohan and friends were spotted, and other burning issues of the day. Or, optionally, they are completely in the tank. If I want this sort of journalism, I’ll just go to sleep, where I will also have a fucking pet monkey.
Getting out of bed in the morning is always a mistake.