Curiously, that silence extended to most of the U.S. media -- including the Star Tribune. For days, it appeared the story had no legs.
Unless you went online.
Cyberspace was roiling with it. Whole websites were being set up around the memo and liberal weblogs and websites were ablaze with outrage -- some of it at the U.S. media for not reporting on the memo. Some of the sites gave instructions for pressuring local media to run a story.
So, what was going on here at the Star Tribune?
A week after the London Times printed the story, reader Jim Bootz, 48, a system administrator in Minneapolis, sent me an e-mail: "Please consider printing the story on the leaked memo. ... the memo shows clearly that the intent was there to invade Iraq all along. ... The Star Tribune's silence on this matter is deafening."
Bootz had seen the London Times story on the liberal http://www.buzzflash.com/ and thought it was important. I didn't realize then that his e-mail was the vanguard of many more that would be aimed at me and other ombudsmen around the country. I forwarded it to nation/world editor Dennis McGrath and asked if he knew anything about the topic.
McGrath knew about the memo -- but not from the traditional news wires. In this country, wire services had provided only a brief mention of it May 2 deep in a New York Times advancer on the British election. McGrath knew about it because he had started getting the e-mails, too.
He and his wire editors began watching for a wire story. A week later, they were still watching.
The above is from The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's readers' representative column. If you read The Third Estate Sunday Review, you know that the first place Jess, Ty, Ava, Dona, and Jim (and those helping like Rebecca, Betty, Folding Star, Kat, Ruth and myself) head to when deciding what to make the focus of the editorial is BuzzFlash. (We'll be reprinting a Third Estate Sunday Review editorial from yesterday later this morning.) There's a reason for that. You'll find links to some strong (and incredible) original content (exclusive to BuzzFlash) there and you'll also find links to various news sources. Just scanning down the headlines of the links will give you a strong sense of what's going on. So please make a point to visit BuzzFlash.
Here are ten links to things you'd see if you were visiting BuzzFlash this morning.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (which is actually a decent MSM paper) Admits That It Only Found Out About the Downing Street Memo from a Reader Who Saw the BuzzFlash Coverage 6/12
(We quoted that above, so consider it a freebie and not part of the official ten.)
The Secret Service is Entrusted to Protect the President, but the Secret Service Still Works for and is Accountable to the American People: A BuzzFlash Editorial
Boston Globe Story: Military operations in Iraq have not succeeded in weakening the insurgency, and Iraq's government, with U.S. support, is now seeking a political reconciliation among the nation's ethnic and tribal factions as the only viable route to stability, according to U.S. military officials and private specialists 6/12
St. Pete Times's Phil Gailey: The American people have been had, as the Downing Street Memo reminds us 6/13
Chris Hedges, war correspondent: " If we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, we will not so much defeat dictators such as Saddam Hussein as become them." 6/12
How the CIA works with the media -- a classic by Carl Bernstein 6/13
More nightmares from Downing Street get play 6/13
42 percent say we're headed for 'Nam 6/12
Bush wildly exaggerates conviction numbers to promote Patriot Act 6/12
This Week BuzzFlash's GOP Hypocrite is a State Senator from Kansas Who Commits Hypocrisy Everytime She Votes for Herself, Because She is Opposed to Women Having the Right to Vote -- And Now She Wants Women to Help Elect Her Kansas Secretary of State. So Many Republican Hypocrites, So Little Time.
Barbara's Daily BuzzFlash Minute is Back!
Mr. Wagoner, Firing GM Employees Means Cheaper GM Cars? -- Letters from Ethan
The ACTUAL Smoking Cannon Memo from Britain: "The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it." July, 2002
Thom Hartmann's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month -- What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report On The 2004 Presidential Election
Okay, eleven. But hopefully the point is made.
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