Monday, January 19, 2009

Norman Solomon: Damn Liar

Now, looking at Obama's choices for key posts, many progressive activists who went all-out for months to get him elected are disappointed. The foreign-policy team, dominated by strong backers of the Iraq invasion, hardly seems oriented toward implementing Obama's 2008 campaign pledge to "end the mindset that got us into war." On the domestic side, big-business ties and Wall Street sensibilities are most of the baseline. Overall, it’s hard to argue that the glass is half full when so much is missing.

That's Norman Solomon and no link to trash. He offers the above and more lies in "The Return of Triangulation" which you'll find at CounterPunch and other places he sends it to for posting. In other words, it's nothing but litter he's tossing around online.

Here are few givens.

If you were a pledged delegate for Barack Obama, you don't get away with pretending otherwise now. Prior to the end of the primaries and well into the summer, Norman Solomon was LYING to people repeatedly by appearing on various radio programs (and especially KPFA) offering 'analysis' but somehow forgetting to explain that as of February 5th he was officially a Barack Obama delegate (he was hoping to be one prior to that). LIARS like Norman Solomon need to be called out. Instead, he got to chat and offer 'insight' on the primaries and on the election and what a 'waste' Ralph Nader's campaign was (he ignored Cynthia McKinney's run) and, earlier, how 'unelectable' Dennis Kucinich was. He got to offer these 'gems' without ever informing people that he was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama.

He'd chat, for example, with Aimee Allison and Philip Maldari on KPFA's The Morning Show and no one thought it was important that KPFA listeners be informed that this 'objective' 'analyst' was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama. Because KPFA got so many complaints (phone calls and e-mails), as summer rolled on, they were finally forced to identify him on air for what he was: A pledged delegate. Starting in the middle of August, they were finally forced to identify as a pledged delegate for Barack.

He was not objective.

He was not impartial.

Most important, he wasn't honest.


And Norman Solomon damn well knows better. Having spent years hectoring Real Media from the safety of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting), he knows what is ethical and what is unethical and he knew he was behaving unethically and that he was violating a public trust.

He thinks he can still get away with that.

If you're alarmed that Barack's a centerist (a Corporatist War Hawk, actually) and you decide to write about that, if you were pledged delegate for Barack, you better take some accountability. If you whored yourself out for Barack, you damn well better get accountable.

And writing a column where you finger point at others and never acknowledge that you campaigned for Barack, that you were a pledged delegate for Barack, that you trashed your image and name to whore out for Barack?

No, that's not allowed. No, that's not acceptable.

Norman Solomon needs to stop his public appearances, his 'writing' and needs to take a lengthy time-out to think about his behavior because it unacceptable and it is unethical and it will not be forgotten just because he wants to pretend like it didn't happen.

And shame on anyone who lets him pretend.

He needs to be held accountable. Jayson Blair was run out of professional journalism circles for lying, Norman Solomon a few consquences for the lies he told.

And people should grasp that Norman knows the rules he broke. For Creators Syndicate, a real outlet, he wrote this in May ("Barack Obama, Media Critic?"):

Last month, at a caucus of voters in the vicinity of my home, I was elected as an Obama delegate. So, for the rest of this year, when I write about the presidential race, I'll be sure to include a disclaimer with that information.

Now that's a lie. He was an Obama delegate on the day of the primaries. In May, he made the final cut of delegates. Those who don't know California's process can click here. And maybe when he was ridiculing abortion rights in January 2008, ridiculing Hillary, he should have disclosed who he was supporting? (Norman Solomon never writes about abortion. He decided to in January 2008 to ridicule it and Hillary. Barack had no record on abortion rights to point to, so Norman tried to smear and ridicule Hillary.) It's amazing that for Creators Syndicate, he felt the need to get honest but not anywhere else.

Norman didn't just disgrace himself, he destroyed his life's work. The author of War Made Easy does not turn around and endorse a War Hawk. No, Barack's not going to withdraw US troops from Iraq (a limited number of 'combat' troops may be removed) but even the idiots who couldn't grasp that should have realized that when he announces repeatedly that he will send more troops to the Afghanistan quagmire, Barack is a War Hawk. There was no reason for Norman to endorse. He discredited himself, he sullied his name and he destroyed his work. That's what a whore will do.

In the prologue to Janis Ian's Society's Child, she writes about the suggestion that she drop race from "Society's Child" and how, if she did, "I can guarantee you a number one record. Just change 'black' to anything else." Ian writes: "I thought about it for around two seconds; then our friend looked at me and said, 'You whore now, you'll whore forever.' Strong words for a fifteen-year-old to hear, but they made sense." If you ask me, Janis Ian learned the truth at fifteen. (For those not familiar with the song, she refused to change the lyric.) Norman Solomon? He still hasn't learned.

I could continue but instead, we'll note this from Kevin Alexander Gray's "Time for a New Divestment Campaign" (CounterPunch):

The Palestinian people live under Israel’s apartheid blockade where even humanitarian aid is not allowed through -- where citizens can get food, medicine and even goats, in addition to guns and weapons, only through tunnels.
Not just in Gaza but throughout all the occupied territories, Palestinian water rights along with their land and human rights have been stolen. Fundamentalist Jewish immigrants from Brooklyn have automatic citizenship and automatic civil and property rights, while the indigenous Palestinians lose and lose some more. Most often, it is Palestinian land that the migrants have settled on, with the blessings of Israel and the financial support of the United States via the Israeli government -- in the face of international and United Nations' resolutions against such settlements. It is Palestinian land, stolen for Israeli settlements, that the Palestinians have been firing mortars onto; Palestinian land that is bisected by Israeli-only roads and a wall that exceeds the Berlin Wall in size and cruelty. (No German had his farm or homestead cut in two by the wall.) They are Palestinian orchards that have been bulldozed; Palestinian homes that have been demolished; and American-made bulldozers that have done the job. A Caterpillar bulldozer crushed 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie to death when she stood in front of a doctor's house in Gaza trying to prevent its demolition on March 16, 2003. And the same bulldozers have taken everything from Palestinian families year after year for decades.
Throughout the latest assault on Gaza, those blindly supportive of Israel raise a straw man argument asking, "Who struck the blow?" Or, "Fired the first shot?" Or, "Launched the first mortar." Their answer to the question is almost always certain to be, "Hamas." Before the days Hamas came to power, the same straw man was raised and knocked down as the answer back then was sure to be, "Fatah" -- led by PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
Supporters of Israel never mention the blockade on Gaza or political assassinations or the wall or the poverty and despair. Instead, they label Hamas or anyone opposing occupation as "terrorists" and lamely apologize for the civilians killed calling them "collateral damage," or they claim that the women and children killed in the school or hospital or UN facilities were "being used as human shield." No one calls the Jewish settlers human shields, though their incursions into occupied territory has been both a provocation and an excuse since 1967.

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