Sunday, March 06, 2005

Community Members weigh in on the shooting of Giuliana Sgrena and Nicola Calipari

For anyone arriving late to this discussion (we have members who can only check during the week), I'd refer you to 'Edward Wong, Jason Horowitz and the New York Times are either glossing or working for "The Clampdown,"' and "Just now on the Laura Flanders Show, update on the conditions in Italy re: Giuliana Sgrena."

Sherry: Eason Jordan's remarks (that he wouldn't stand up for) are looking quite reasonable.

Bobby: You know, I've been listening to Laura Flanders this weekend for the first time. I listened Saturday and I listened Sunday. And I gotta say I like what I heard and I think she did some strong work on the attack of Giuliana Sgrena's caravan by American forces. But as much as I enjoyed it, I couldn't get too excited. I wish I could be more optimistic. I think Laura did a great job. I think people are starting to get outraged in this country. But I know come Monday Rachel Maddow, Air America's own little Lyndie England, will take to the mike to squawk 'support the troops, support the troops.' Rebecca at Sex and Politics [and Attitude and Screeds] is correct. That woman shuts down any outrage with her continuous Bob Hope routine. I can't take big brain [Rebecca's term for Rachel Maddow] on her own. Now that Lizz [Winstead] is gone, so I am. But thanks to members who highlighted Laura Flanders. She's a good broadcaster.

Julian: We won't admit we were wrong. Or our administration won't. But if the press would do their job, the administration wouldn't have to admit it for most people to realize that tragedy that went down, we'd know about it because the press reported on it accurately. Instead, come Monday they'll all be pimping the Bully Boy's spin.

KeShawn: It's sick and I'm disgusted. There's no accountability. And I no longer wonder if reporters are targeted, they obviously are.

Libby: Tonight [Saturday] Laura [Flanders] made the point that the official version of the events was that our troops shot once into the engine block and somehow that bullet, a JFK type magic bullet, managed to hit the woman in the lungs, hit her bodyguard in the back and apparently appear to be 299 bullets. One of the things you linked to pointed out that the shooting went on well after the engine block. I'm sick of all the lies and ommissions by the mainstream media. If they're willing to sit on this story, there's no hope for them at all.

Daryl: The Times puts out the message from 'political analysts' that this is no big deal? What idiot took down those pearls of wisdom and decided to print them? Italy's people were against the war. The Prime Minister was for it. This is going to be a big issue in Italy and the paper's either run by idiots are they enjoy lying to your face. They ought to be ashamed.

Kara: This just in, still heady from his win of GOP Hypocrite of the Week at the BuzzFlash Awards, Bill Keller's decided to try to win the award a second time, consecutively. As part of his campaign build up, he's decided to cover the truth of what really happened. Those who've seen some of the early voting ballots say that Keller's building a solid lead.

Micia: From the safety of the Green Zone, the Times trembles and waits for permission to tell the truth.

Liz: If a member brings it up, I'm sure Edward Wong and Jason Horowitz will be linked to again, but for the record, they can't "come back" from this story in my eyes. They're now card carrying liars and complicit in the cover up.

Francisco: What happened breaks my heart. The attempt at a cover up enrages me.

Anthony: New York Timid? That's too kind. After their white wash today [Saturday], they should be call the New York Liar.

Juan: Exactly how much is enough? At what point are free to discuss to an outrage and discuss it factually? I doubt Nicola Calipari's family feels the need to tip-toe around the issue. I can't believe we're responsible for this man's death but we are. This whole thing gets more screwed up every day. They keep telling us it's getting better and tossing out happy talk. I seriously doubt happy talk's comforting the friends and family of Nicola Calipari.

Brad: The only answer is the immediate withdrawal of all troops. We're tearing Iraq apart while we claim to be rebuilding it.

Gore Vidal is God: Two word, war crimes.

Shawn: I feel as though I'm living in the pages of a Kurt Vonnegut novel more and more each day. The need to push the administration's version of events and not include basic facts proves The New York Times will never break a story, will never take a stand, and won't employ real journalists to cover Iraq.

Dinah: Remind everyone to watch Democracy Now! Monday. We need the truth and we all know we can't count on The New York Times for that.

[Note: You heard Dinah. And she's right, Goodman will be covering this on Democracy Now!]

Lori: I'm truly sick to my stomach over this. I see one disaster after another and the press continue to act like it's not there. The denial is destroying our country as surely as this misbegotten war is.

Campbell: I know the paper thinks they can get away with lying because usually the truth just comes out in foreign media and alternative media here. (Loving the Thursday Indy Report, by the way.) But what nut job thought that a nation of outraged citizens (Italians) could be erased?
Do they think we'll just not notice if they don't cover for Italy for a few months?

Domingo: Reporters Without Borders calls for an investigation on the same day the Times publishes their whitewash. I wonder who exactly they think they are fooling?

Liang: When I see the way the media treats non US casualities, I really understand why it was so easy to demonize the Vietnemese in the sixties. (I'm Vietnemese.) If it were an American casualty, it might get some sort of serious attention. But it's a 'silly foreigner' and they don't matter to the media in this country. I hear people scoffing at the idea that the current conflict is anything like Vietnam. They're right in one regard, the media still won't challenge the official propaganda and by the time Vietnam had this much awareness, the media then had found their guts to report the truth.

Ben: My patience towards NYT grows increasingly short. It long ago lost my respect and stories like this (Wong & Horowitz's) are the reason why.

Tori: After you've sold your soul and your credibility, what's left? The Elite Fluff Patrol is all that's left apparently.

Dominick: I'm beginning to think the writers at TNYT are paid just to make it all up. "I can get the facts?" says a prospetive reporter. "We just care how well you can invent!" snaps the paper.

Tamara: Remind me again what the legal argument that The Times is making on Judy Miller? Freedom of the press, right? What exactly does "free press" mean to The Times. To me, it means it tries to report the truth. But I'm looking at the stories you linked to and I'm seeing no truth in The Times. The other links, they're trying to tell what happened. The Times is trying to tell you what Bully Boy wants you to think happen. Maybe "free press" is something The Times wants to put in the back of the closet so that they don't wear it out, only take out for special events?

Wisconsin: I don't know what everyone else is seeing but I can tell you that here I'm hearing about this in the hardware store. When I went to the lumber store, it was all anyone was talking about. And no one was buying the white-wash.

Steph: I'm disgusted at what happened and I'm discussed at the way the Times wants to try to convince us it didn't happen. [Nicola] Calipari is dead. The paper's not very interested in that fact.

Doyle: "I didn't read the news today, oh boy." That's how the Beatle's "A Day in the Life" would have to start out if it was written today because it's become damn near impossible to pick up a paper and get the truth. It's all Operation Happy Talk, 24x7. We are the most uninformed people of any period of our nation. At some point, the media will commission a poll and cluck their tongues over how the people can be so badly informed. "Was it us?" they'll pretend to wonder. Exactly who else would it be? What else could be responsible? The cover of my box of Frosted Flakes? The media keeps trying to have it both ways. "Why are people so mistaken?" they pretend to care. But they just keep misinforming us. I've about had my fill of mea culpas. Either tell the truth or find another occupation. I'll follow the quotes that get highlighted here, but I'm not clicking on any links to the Times anymore. I'm disgusted with that paper and pretty much every other one as well. I'm not giving them my web traffic and I'm not buying their print edition. I don't pay to be talked down too. I've really had it with them. I'll watch Democracy Now! on TV and that's all I see that's worth watching on TV. I'm tired of anchors with their banter and then their serious faces they put on for the three or so minutes that they give us actual news. I'm just sick of the whole damn mainstream media right now. It's failed us and some have given insincere mea culpas and gone right back to lying. You can only take so much and I've had my fill.

Jimarcus: How many times does the press think they can play us before we're all onto their game?

Emily: How do we begin to recover from the blood stains and shame on our country? I'm so sad at what they've done to my country and that our press doesn't share the same concern. America was supposed to stand for something.

Portland: It's not getting better, it's only getting worse. (Would Hillary Clinton like to revise her remarks from a few weeks back?) Cowards in Congress are the reason the Bully Boy gets away with this nonsense. Democrats can whine "we're in the minority" all they want but they should have issued an immediate statement on this tragedy. Instead, they seem to want to wait to figure out whether or not this is something that will go away.

Cedric: The paper of misrecord tops itself. As Amy Goodman noted, The Lies of the Times. Truer words were never spoken.

Gina: Does anyone still believe that we're not part of the problem over there?

Skye: Anyone who reports on this attack on a journalist and then segues into 'support the troops' is doing no favors. I'm thinking of the common sense challenged Rachel Maddow who will probably note this (not as a burying the lead since the show Unfiltered buried the lead on Lizz [Winstead] leaving) and then, in what she thinks is a cheery voice, start talking up some support the troops crap. She's a wet blanket at best, a gatekeeper at worst. And I hope the show is cancelled quickly now that Lizz is gone.

Barry: How much more has to go to sh*t before we start talking seriously about removing the troops?

Heath: What happened was wrong. That's it. That's the story. No rational person can minimize this. Watch the idiots who try to. They'll try. The Times didn't print those lies because they hoped to be different. They printed them to fall in step behind everyone else.

Maria: I want to start off by saying thank God for Laura Flanders. Don't know if you heard her show tonight [Saturday] but she's not going to let this story die. If we had just two more people like her, we could get some truth. (Or maybe if they moved her to weekdays. But I wouldn't be able to listen to her then because with my kids, it's too crazy to listen at night, and at school, there's hardly time to check e-mail let alone listen to a radio program.) So I want to start off noting that because I think a lot of the time we're grateful for voices like her's but we forget to say thank you. (Maybe that's just me.) Having noted a real journalist, I'm left wondering where the others are? Don't get me wrong, come Monday, I'm sure Amy Goodman will cover this on Democracy Now! I'm not talking about her or anyone else who's a strong voice. I'm talking about the networks that have minimized this today [Saturday] on their evening broadcasts. I'm talking about CNN which used to be the home of "breaking news" but every time I flip to it, they're talking about something else. I'm talking about Dateline which had an ad for tomorrow's episode [Sunday] and they're covering the Scott Peterson trial. That's news? Will that junk news story ever die? Let's pay attention to what else they'll trot out to try to avoid addressing this story and the reality of what went down. I'm betting they'll all be covering Michael Jackson on Monday. See how much time they devote to this story.

Rob: The paper insults readers and the truth with these kind of stories. There's no excuse for it. But there's never any consequence for it either. People can lie and lie and they keep their jobs. Makes you think the lies are sanctioned by higher ups.

Alabama: This is just more blood on Bush's hands. It's hard to believe the country we had before he came to power. I don't think the "world changed." I think the presidency changed and that's what landed us in this mud slide that's taken us far away from everything our country is supposed to stand for.

Bernado: Let me guess how this will play out. The reporter, a foreigner. The right wing echo chamber will start calling the whole thing a publicity stunt. The mainstream media will report on what the right wing is saying on the radio and possibly scowl a little but continue to playing the clips. And in a few weeks, most Americans will believe that the whole thing was a hoax.

Megan: Memo to the Times: "Play me once, shame on me. Play me twice, shame on you. Keep trying to play me and expect me to believe your bullsh*t, see a doctor!"

???: It just gets worse and worse each day but the news keeps giving us Happy Talk. And they wonder why polls show they aren't trusted?

Syracuse: Okay, there was an interview with Naomi Klein that got highlighted here and in it she talked about stressing international law. I think that applies to what's happened with the reporter and the man who rescued her. I can't remember where the interview was but I thought the part about international law was especially strong.

[Note: "What Are We Fighting For?" by Lakshmi Chaudhry is from the AlterNet web site.
I think the quote Syracuse is referring to this section -- I could be wrong -- of the interview Chaudry does with Naomi Klein:
Klein: It's very, very frustrating. What I keep coming across in the U.S. anti-war movement is the acceptance of this idea that Americans are incapable of caring about anyone but themselves. The progressives in the U.S. are fairly self-loathing, in that, basically we allow ourselves to oppose a specific policy, but we completely internalize the values and the principles of the right — ideas such as Americans can only care about selfish demands; they can't really care about people in another country; to talk about international law in the United States is to be seen as giving up U.S. power to foreigners.
We basically accept all of this instead of making passionate arguments in favor of international law that would actually convince people. In a lot of cases, the policies are there but we don't have the strength of our convictions to make them. We buy far too easily the belief that these are too far outside the mainstream, too far outside the box, and Americans will never go for it. So we're too cowardly to put forward real policy alternatives and we only allow ourselves to critique, and therefore, become not credible.]

Vincent: We're not getting the truth about what happened and we didn't get the truth about Falluja. This may be off topic but I want to cut and paste an e-mail Dahr Jamail sent out today to people who sign up for updates at Iraq Dispatches:
Video From Falluja
I am proud to announce the availability of rare video footage from inside Falluja. This documentary was created by Dr. Hamodi Jassim, an Iraqi film-maker who made this film working on his own resources in his war-torn country.
If you are interested in learning more of the truth behind the siege of Falluja, I highly encourage you to purchase this video to learn more-as well as to help support Iraqi independent journalism.
Testimonies From Falluja
Testimonies From Falluja - An Al Qitaf Artistic Production
PepperSpray Productions announces a new 33 min video produced in Iraq by independent Iraqi videographers. Dahr Jamail does the English voice-over and is assisting with the video's dissemination in the US. "Testimonies From Falluja" contains photos and footage from the US assault on Falluja, as well as interviews with Iraqi survivors and refugees.The US has obstructed - and continues to obstruct - journalists from documenting the horror that was and is Falluja. This video is unique in that it focuses on Falluja, that it was made by a team of independent Iraqi videographers, and that we are able to see it in the US.The DVD is available for $10 on the PepperSpray Productions website. Funds generated by this video will support further independent reporting from Iraq.
Buy the video

[Note: It's not off topic and we're a resource/review. Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention, Vincent.]

Abhilasha: I meet a lot of people who want to make jokes about my accent or ask my family owns a gas station like Apu on The Simpsons. There's a real lack of knowledge of about other people and other cultures in this country. I seriously wonder if the education system did a better job of educating about the world, would most people born and raised in this country be so uncaring about the lives of people from other countries. I don't know if it's xenophobia. I think it's more due to a lack of information and a reliance on stereotypes. Nicola Calipari and Giuliana Sgrena were not aliens from another planet. Sgrena is a person who breathes just like you or me. Calipari was the same but now he's been murdered. This is happening to people and they are dying every day. We need to really look at how we see people from other countries.

Cory: Each day of the occupation brings more violence and more destruction. The only answer is to bring the troops home now.

Ted: I want to call attention to something I found on Information Clearing House. It's called "Words From a 'Liberated Iraq'" and here's one part of it:
Mr. President, In 1991 America promised that Iraq will be returned to the "pre-industrial" age and they nearly did that by bombing and destroying everything. The Iraqi people surprised the world by reconstructing what was bombed. On top of that, new projects were implemented despite the sanctions. As an Iraqi this makes me extremely proud of our achievement in 1991. We the Iraqis set the standards of reconstruction. After 22 months of "liberation" and the lack of honest and visible reconstruction work I feel that America miserably failed to meet that standard.
For 13 years Iraqis were living on food rations given by the government. We were told that our government was robbing us and providing us with only 2200 Kcal per day. The "liberated" government of Iraq after the liberation is still providing us with about 2200 Kcal per day of food ration.
The government of Iraq used to spend about 150 million dollars a month to import and distribute the food rations. According to your CPA Inspector General, 8.8 billion dollars were unaccounted for in one year. Mr. President, these 8.8 billion dollars are enough to feed all the people of Iraq for nearly 60 months. This fiscal irresponsibility and the lack of transparency in spending our money make me wonder about the aim of the "liberation" of Iraq. I'm sorry to say that the Iraqi people are being robbed blind. We are being "liberated" from our wealth also.

[The author of "Words From a 'Liberated Iraq'" is Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar.]

Brandon: The Bully Boy's destroyed the economy, the values basic to democracy (real values, not psuedo ones hopped up by tele-vangels), millions of lives and Iraq. But only the Times is responsible for destroying its credibility, no one else. They bear full responsibilty for the joke that they have become.

Susan: I'll sum up the paper's attempt to lie to the readers today by citing two lines from Tori Amos's "Sort of a Fairytale:"

These guys think they must
Try and just get over on us.

Susan: [Con't] It's not happening. We've seen through enough lies. And the New York Times means very little anymore.