Monday, April 18, 2005

BuzzFlash "White House Admits that keeping American citizens from tax payer funded" events; BuzzFlash interviews Riverbend of Baghdad Burning

Let's highlight BuzzFlash.

First, "White House Admits that It -- Not "Zealous Volunteers" -- is keeping American Citizens from Tax-Payer Funded "GOP Party Faithful Only" Bushevik Issue Rallies Across America. It's Positively UnAmerican:"

On March 21st, 2005, at a town hall meeting about President Bush's plan to privatize social security -- an official Presidential event paid for by your tax dollars – three Americans (Alex Young, 25, an IT professional; Karen Bauer, 38, a marketing coordinator and Leslie Weise, 39, a lawyer) were forcibly removed from the audience before the event started without any explanation.
The next day they were told by the Secret Service (in an unusual meeting) that they were removed because the car they drove to the event had a bumper sticker which read "No More Blood for Oil."
Young, Bauer, and Weise received tickets to attend the official event from Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez's (R-7th) office.
Previously, the White House dismissed the incident by stating an "overzealous volunteer" was responsible for denying three Americans their constitutional rights (an excuse they have used to justify similar blacklisting at Bush taxpayer funded events across America), but the White House did not identify the "volunteer" or his affiliation.
And as reported today [LINK], "Since the forum was considered an official event, neither the Colorado Republican Party nor its volunteers were involved, party officials said." Furthermore, Trent Duffy, a spokesman for the White House seemed to change his story and admitted in the article on Fox that it wasn't volunteers but White House staffers that were likely responsible.
The article stated [LINK] "Duffy said the White House sends advance teams to deal with logistics for any official event" -- which the Denver town hall meeting was. "These teams typically handle the screening for speakers and audience members who will be sitting with or addressing the president during the event. They also keep an eye on the crowds for possible troublemakers."

Important story. To read in full, please click on the link.

BuzzFlash also has a BuzzFlash Interview with Riverbend (sometimes known as Girl Blogger)
of Baghdad Burning:

Riverbend: I write the blog because it gives me a medium to express my emotions and opinions and possibly show the 'other' side of the war- the one that is not cheering on the occupation, as many news channels and newspapers like to depict. I began writing the blog because, at the beginning of the war, the pro-occupation media was overwhelming and very few journalists or politicians were willing to look at the ugly side of the occupation -- i.e. the deaths, the destruction and the complete and total lack of the most basic security.
I don't worry so much about myself personally when writing the blog as I worry that if I weren't anonymous, I wouldn't be able to write half of what I write. I wouldn't be able to write about the rise in fundamentalism, for example.
BuzzFlash: In your April 3, 2005, "Baghdad Burning" entry, you are critical of the American broadcasting which has recently invaded the televisions of Iraqis. You write, "I've been enchanted with the shows these last few weeks. The thing that strikes me most is the fact that the news is so … clean. It's like hospital food. It's all organized and disinfected. Everything is partitioned and you can feel how it has been doled out carefully with extreme attention to the portions -- 2 minutes on women's rights in Afghanistan, 1 minute on training troops in Iraq and 20 minutes on Terri Schiavo! All the reportages are upbeat and somewhat cheerful, and the anchor person manages to look properly concerned and completely uncaring all at once." Has the propaganda of Saddam Hussein just been exchanged for the propaganda of the corporate-owned American media that generally follows the White House spin?
Riverbend: Iraqis were never good at propaganda. I think I realized that at an early age while watching state-sponsored Iraqi TV. The messages the former regime wanted us to believe or to reiterate were very directly introduced on state television with few frills or introductions. American media differs in that there is more money and time spent to feed people ideas and news. A lot of the news is obviously exaggerated and sometimes even untrue but it's so carefully put together and staged that you sometimes *want* to believe it. I can see how many Americans can be misled by American corporate media. We sometimes find ourselves watching, fascinated, with news we know to be false, and yet American media makes it look so convincing!BuzzFlash: How have your attitudes toward the occupation of Iraq changed in the past two years?
Riverbend: I think two years ago, there was a sort of general hope that in spite of the difficulties, things would improve drastically in a relatively short time. For example, we never expected that two years after the war we'd still have major problems with electricity, water and infrastructure. It's utter disappointment at this point that security issues haven't been sorted out and Iraq is still a very dangerous place. People wonder now how long this situation will last and just what is being done to improve things.

I think that two years after the war, we're also seeing more inter-factional friction between Sunnis and Shia and Arabs and Turkomen and Kurds. There are certain politicians and parties that are cultivating this friction because it helps promote them amongst their own people.

Also note that BuzzFlash is offering Baghdad Burning: Girl Blogger from Iraq as a BuzzFlash premium.

There are a number of books, DVDs, stickers and the humorous CDs for NCR (National Corporate Radio) (which Dallas greatly enjoyed). Amy & David Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers in paperback is also a BuzzFlash premium, Bonnie M. Anderson's Newsflash (we've highlighted this and I'll steer you to this post), Danny Schechter's film WMD (highlighted by The Third Estate Sunday Review), Robert Kane Pappas's film Orwell Rolls In His Grave (highlighted many times but I'll steer you here and to a piece in The Third Estate Sunday Review). So please check out BuzzFlash and the premiums offered as well.

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