Sunday, May 27, 2007

Teen Queen and War Pornographer Meet Ugly

In this morning's New York Times, Kirk Semple's "U.S. and British Airstrikes Hit Iraqi Militia" has some strong points and some weak ones. Supposedly Semple never gets called out by me -- the e-mailer hasn't read closely. But he can run with his professional jealousy (not of me) this morning because I'm tired and pissed and don't feel like taking it on Semple.

No need to worry, everyone's favorite punching bags show up: Gordo and Allisa J. Rubin. Though we're told one reported from DC and the other from the Green Zone, let's hope some form of protection was used when ultimate War Pornographer Michael Gordon met Teen Queen for "Chaos Is Seen in Iraq Exist, But Experts Split on Degree." DC hookers trot out their usual lie: Leaving means the end of Iraq!

Actually, Joe Biden's plan means the end of Iraq (partitioning the country). Leaving doesn't mean any such thing. The article peddles the myth that a US withdrawal means many things. For instance, our tea leaves readers (well, those probably aren't tea leaves in Gordo's hand) just know that mayhem and chaos will be the two shades if US forces leave. Violence and chaos is what you have now with US forces on the ground. Leaving very likely means the same, but it can't be stated for a fact that it means that. Gordo stumbles stepping over that one (difficult to walk with both hands down your pants?). Having pushed that lie, they then move on to the next one: talk of withdrawal doesn't really factor Iraqis into the equation. That's what's known as projecting.

The New York Times doesn't really factor Iraqis into the equation which is why they refuse to note polling that finds Iraqis want US troops out. It's why they're shocked, SHOCKED, that the Iraqi parliament wants to set a deadline for troop withdrawal.

In one of the more laughable moments, Gordo and Rubin (who've never written of polling on Iraqis conducted by reputable polling firms) offer: "To address the issue, The New York Times interviewed more than 40 Iraqi politicians and citizens and consulted recent surveys of public opinion in Iraq." They then go on to lie (and it's a lie, call it what it is) that most Iraqis want the US to stay. Now that's only true if they're going by their Group of 40 or some supposed polling org. That is not at all accurate if they're going by actual public opinion surveys. But they lie: "The somewhat surprising verdict was clear." We're not repeating the lie that follows.

Here's the reality. They spoke to "more than 40 Iraqi politicians and citizens." We know it was less than 45 or they would have typed "approximately 50." A8 offers some names and that really underscores the "politicians" aspect. They didn't go out in search of average citizens. Big surprise, a member of al-Maliki's cabinet wants the US to stay. If you had a job in the puppet government, you probably would as well. "Prominent sheik" Ahmed Rham Menshid al-Asi wants it too. Let's pretend he's "Average Joe." Hassan al-Sineid is billed as "a close associate of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki."

What do Iraqis want? US out!

40 Iraqis in a nation of over 20 million doesn't qualify for an appropriate polling size. (The CIA most recent estimate is off due to the fact that it's old -- pre-invasion -- and Iraq has such a huge refugee crisis -- internally and externally but I'm referring to the external.)

Gordo's been selling death in Iraq since before the illegal war started. What was his laughable lecture to Amy Goodman about journalism? You report and then you report again and then you report some more. Where in that process has Gordo ever been fact checked? At this point, he's more dangerous than Judith Miller because Miller was at least humiliated (and some say enraged) by the lack of WMDs. Gordo has no embarrassment over anything, not his false reporting on 'aluminum tubes,' not anything. He doesn't grasp at all what a joke he is and thinks if he keeps repeating falsehoods whispered to him, he's a reporter. The reality is, when your image is Gordo's, you're not even useful as a water carrier and his sources will take note of that and find a fresh face to feed.

Though they claim that someone (not them, of course, probably the unnamed Iraqis in the end credit) spoke to 40 Iraqis, they are far more interested in quoting everyone they can think of who supports perpetual war. (Carl Levin and John Murtha, briefly, are the only ones who argue against it -- deep into the article.) Here's their poll (their only poll), it's by the Center for Strategic and International Studies -- a motley crew who saw "commies" everywhere in Latin America during Reagan years. That would be the group that can 'boast' of having Henry Kissinger on its board (and not for dating Jill St. John), Lee Hamilton, Sam Nunsene and a host of other losers who apparently can't get it up without picturing some foreigner dying. Chief among them, the quoted Anthony H. Cordesman whom the Times fails to tell you was once the national security guru for Senator Crazy (aka John McCain).

The Third Estate Sunday Review has the following:

Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: The Party of Stella Toddler
TV: Friendly faces aren't who we meet
Chrissy Explains It All (finally)
Still sad after all these months
And from the world of music . . .
Dennis Kucinich addresses Iraq's oil

If you read the TV commentary when it went up (some time ago, 90 minutes?) this was added:

[Added: This went up an hour ago and we've already received one phone call from a friend at PBS disputing this point. We asked ___ what we'll point out now: Is PBS authorized to reveal medical conditions? The poverty stricken women has malaria. We know that not because she shared it -- she avoided speaking and she obviously didn't even want to be on camera. We know that because the doctor and Brancaccio discussed it. If Big Business thinks 'medical ethics' means "We pay for it so we can disclose whatever the hell we want," we'd suggest someone call the AMA immediately. We'd also suggest that dishing on whether or not the woman will pay her bill crossed a serious line. ___ agreed that maybe we had a point. We'd say the "maybe" in that sentence was unnecessary.]

We really didn't have time for that nonsense and I certainly didn't. (And Ava and I thought our friend at Mad TV was a whiner.) I'm not in the mood for the Times this morning. If Semple got an unfair pass, oh well, live with it. (That's aimed at one who continues to whine to the public account about how mean I am but how I always look the other way when it comes to Kirk Semple. Work on your reporting and worry less about Semple's, you'll probably have a happier life.)

RadioNation with Laura Flanders begins airing its one hour taped show today at one pm on Air America, XM satellite radio and online. The retooling supposedly means it will be Flanders chatting with The Nation crew for an hour. That's really not going to fly here. (And again "taped" for all those noting one guest in e-mails and thinking you can call in and ask the guest why anyone would want to be a peace resister.) We'll note her show each Sunday. We may not note in the guests. In terms of the 'biggie,' I believe Peter Rothberg is required in job description to announce that person's every move. I'm not. And I'm on the west coast and realizing the show's already aired. For those who missed it (and I obviously did) the archives are linked to on the left, near the top. Archived shows have been going up on Wednesdays; however, that was when they had to reduce a six hour program to one hour (I believe it was one hour they reduced it to). Since this should require far less editing, it may (or may not) be up sooner. And if I seem down, it's not on Flanders. It is on the entire premise for the show which, as I remember, didn't work out very well for Mother Jones when they tried it. Flanders needs to be live and she needs to be speak with a wide range of guests, not just people who've penned an article (usually a doodle) in that week's issue of The Nation magazine. It's like sentencing Flanders on a land-locked death cruise (which heads to Alaska shortly).

Oh, I'm tired, Kat just reminded me and said don't link. Kat has arranged a Monday schedule. I may or may not do a snapshot. I will do a morning entry and probably one other entry. Kat's latest CD review(s) (it's two CDs in one review) will go up on Monday as will Ruth's latest and Isaiah's newest comic. This morning (it's still morning in my time zone) we'll have a repeat of an Isaiah comic from March in an "everything old is new again" thanks to the Dems' actions last week. I will be doing the "And the war drags on" entry tonight.

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