June 17, 2005

Conyers Hearing Hits The Headlines

Yes, bloggers, we have traction. As this piece in the New York Times makes clear, the Conyers hearing is set to get at least some of the attention it deserves. It looks at this stage like most media outlets will be forced to address the Conyers hearings, but how will they spin the story?

This BBC story spins it as a Bloggers' 'victory' over Iraq war memos - well, shucks....!
A handful of bloggers and consumer advocate Ralph Nader have called for impeachment proceedings. At this point, that is unlikely, Professor Cornfield said.

What is more likely is that Republicans will lose control of the daily agenda in Washington and lose their aura of political invulnerability, he added.
No, mate - we want impeachment... and more!

Also anticipating the Conyers hearings, an article in the Washington Post, News Media Give Overlooked Memo on Iraq Second Glance, says:
For the past 15 years, conservatives have used their outlets -- in talk radio, right-leaning news operations, editorial pages and, more recently, blogs -- to pressure mainstream journalists into covering stories that might otherwise be ignored. And they have had striking success, from allegations about President Bill Clinton's personal life to CBS's questionable documents on President Bush's National Guard service to the Swift Boat Veterans' attacks on Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in last year's presidential campaign. Now the left can claim a similar success.
Again, however, the Post article downplays the Memo and the facts it reveals. Take this segment, for example:
Marjorie Miller, foreign editor of the Los Angeles Times, said she is "a little mystified" at the criticism of the press over the Downing Street memo and a related one written before the Blair meeting.

"I find the memos historically interesting in filling in some of the connective tissue between what was public and what was being discussed privately," she said. "But they still remain Britain's view of the U.S. It's not a smoking gun or anything...."
Well, Marjorie, it IS a smoking gun. As John Bonifaz explained during today's hearings, the memo is not just "old news" as the White House portrays it. It is not just some guy with a Web site's opinion of what happened, it is a genuine government document quoting the head of British intelligence, who had just returned from Washington and was breifing the Blair government on exactly what he had been told by the heads of US intelligence! That's NEWS, Marjorie!!! It's something that will stand up in court, if you can even imagine such a thing happening!

During today's hearings, Ray McGovern complained that the CIA had been taken over by career analysts who were just "yes-men" committed to producing whatever intelligence their superiors wanted to hear. Reading the Post article above, it is hard to escape the conclusion that US newspapers are suffering from the same problem. Let's hope the public are given a real chance to decide these issues for themselves, based on ALL the evidence available.

1 comment:

Exadios said...

I agree with Cornfield. A lot of people I know have been more willing to tlk of impeachment lately. But I think it is unlikely. I would be happy to be proved wrong though. :-)

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