Saturday, September 29, 2007

NYT targets Naomi Klein

Alberto Gonzales resigned as Attorney General of the United States, this week, a body blow to Latino pride. But the Hispanic press, which is much more vibrant and active than the Black press, took the occasion in stride, and with great dignity. As reported by the excellent website, the Latino press resisted the reflexive urge to circle the wagons around one of their own, and accepted the fact that Alberto Gonzales is George Bush's boy, who worked against their interests, and should not be defended.
Contrast that with the usual reaction from what's left of Black media, when an African American politician of dubious repute and no loyalty to his own people gets attacked by racists. Case in point: former Memphis congressman Harold Ford, Jr. In the last days of his losing campaign for the U.S. Senate, the Republican opposition bought ads on statewide television showing white girls acting like "Girls Gone Wild" over Harold Ford. It was a racist attack, certainly. Predictably, Black folks circled the wagons around the undeserving Harold Ford, Jr. And in doing so, we debased ourselves, defending a man who never defended us.

The above is from Glen Ford's "Hispanic Media Confronts the Demon: Gonzales. Black Media Should Learn a Lesson" (Black Agenda Report) and Carl, noting Keesha's remarks in the gina & krista round-robin, suggested it over the usual highlight due to subject matter.

In a sign of just how important Naomi Klein's new book is, the New York Times has enlisted not one but two reviewers to slam The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism. In the first four years under Bully Boy, a book review got a huge amount of attention online. But many seemed to miss the point buried deep in it. I know the reviewer and called to ask how, buried in the review, was an opinion that contrasted with everything else. ___ maintained (and still does) that the New York Times rewrote it. So possibly reviewers were rewritten or asked to rewrite? That would certainly explain the overheated opening to Joseph E. Stiglitz in tomorrow's paper. However what explains the lack of disclosure on the part of Stiglitz (a mental midget in the best of times)? Or is it supposed to be a known that he not only worked at the World Bank but was an economic advisor to Bill Clinton? Considering Klein's accurate and stinging critiques of Clinton and the World Bank, that's not the sort of thing that can go undisclosed. Unless you are the New York Times whose ass was saved by big business about a century ago when they purchased the paper's independence.

The demented Stiglitz wants to structure his rebuttal around Klein's early chapter on "a rogue C.I.A. scientist". First off, he wasn't a CIA scientist. He was not in the Agency itself. He did contract work. Second of all, he wasn't a lone rogue. There were many others (some of whom get noted) but Stiglitz plays dumb because that's the only pose he's convincing at.

Little Tommy Redburn pops up in today's Times to do the hatchet job. Well why not? When you're an economic reporter for the paper and your initials aren't "G.M." you clearly have an abundance of time as demonstrated by your late to the party work on Enron (shoddy even when it started). In what can only be read as projection on Redburn's part, he writes, "But her argument constantly overreaches, because her goal is not really to tame capitalism so much as to taunt it." Her goal is to inform. No doubt the economics desk at the paper spends hour pondering whether to "tame" or "taunt," but Klein's just attempting to get the information out.
A goal the paper might share were it not for going out of the new business during the turn of the 20th century. The reformer minded paper can't grasp that because their own reformation process always starts with distortions to 'sway' the public.

Little Tommy then contradicts himself at the end by projecting another goal onto Klein (in opposition to his earlier one) and fails to grasp that he hasn't turned in a book review (or even report), he's turned in telling analysis of himself. It also demonstrates his own tiny intellect ('intellect' may be overly generous) when he insists Klein is a conspiracy theorist. Even Sunday's review doesn't go that far in distorting: "Some readers may see Klein's findings as evidence of a giant conspiracy, a conclusion she explicitly disavows. It's not the conspiracies that wreck the world but the series of wrong turns, failed policies, and little and big unfairnesses that add up."

Some community members have noted the strong push Klein's received from Amy Goodman and Arianna Huffington's site while recieving very little from The Nation. File it under KvH's aversion to war resisters (Klein is the child of a war resister) and KvH's aversion to women (this is the magazine that elected to run something like 3.8 piece by men for every single piece by a woman in the first six months of this year). It's an important book and the proof is in the fact that the paper of no reputable record elects to run not one but two hatchet jobs on The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism. The publisher should note that on the softcover edition. As for the Times, to quote Donna Summer, they're just cats without claws. If the Times had it to do over, they'd portray Karl Marx as a conspiracy theorist as well.

Let's turn to James Risen who attempts to mislead today with "State Dept. Starts Third Review of Private Security in Iraq:"

The State Department has begun three separate reviews related to its use of private contractors for diplomatic security in Iraq after the shooting this month involving Blackwater USA guards that has infuriated Iraqis and damaged the American image in the country.

No, they haven't. That's his opening paragraph and it's incorrect. He will go on to write that the head of the investigation will leave for Iraq this weekend. So saying a third review has started is a bit like saying Mick Jagger's just landed at LaGuardia so the Stones' Madison Square Garden concert has begun! Is Risen really that stupid or just paid to appear so?

As noted in yesterday's snapshot, "AFP reports today that US Gen David Petraues and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker have stated that this 'commission' has still not met and is still 'preparing for its first meeting in Baghdad'. " Risen's on damage control for the State Dept, a never ending mission, decade after decade, for the New York Times.

In the real world, Warren P. Strobel's "Congressman: State Dept. official threatened investigators" (McClatchy Newspapers) notes:

Aides to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard threatened two investigators with retaliation this week if they cooperate with a congressional probe into Krongard's office, the chairman of a House of Representatives panel and other U.S. officials said Friday.
The allegations are the latest in a growing uproar surrounding Krongard. Current and former officials in his office charge that he impeded investigations into alleged arms smuggling by employees of the private security firm Blackwater and into faulty construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

A breakdown of some of today's violence includes . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad mortar attack claimed 1 life (four more people were wounded), 2 people killed (eight more wounded) in a Baghdad exposion, Major Fatah Al-Jobori is dead today from a bombing two days ago in the continued attack on officials in Iraq, a Mosul car bombing claimed the lives of 4 police officers (and left sixteen civilians injured) and a Mosul mortar attack claimed the life of journalist Abdel Khaliq Nasir.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 civilians injured in the crossfire of a Baghdad attack, 1 civilian shot dead in Baghdad in another attack, "6 members of the awakening council of the northa of Babil province" were injured in a gunfire attack and "the Ghanim Qasim, the Imam of Al Huda mosque in Al Karama area east Mosul" was shot dead outside his home today.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes 8 corpses were discovered in Samarra.

Today, the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed during a small arms fire attack while conducting combat operations in a southern section of the Iraqi capital Sept. 29." And they announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier was killed by enemy gunfire in Diyala province, Saturday."

Reuters notes these deaths bring the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war since it began to 3802.

And the US military notes that they killed "criminals" in Baghdad on Thursday via an airstrike. Of course, the US military operates under the same code of justice every other US citizen operates under and that includes the concept of "innocence until proven guilty" and the military is not judge & jury so the term should be "suspected". Or even "alleged."

The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Kat's Korner;
Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mike's Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally's The Daily Jot;
and Trina's Trina's Kitchen

In addition, Ruth says it will probably be short but she will have a report up this weekend (she plans to have it up tonight). Kat plans two CD reviews for this weekend.

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