Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Hate The War

A visitor e-mailed to note that we linked to Democracy Now!'s segment with Daniel Ellsberg in today's snapshot and the e-mailer is upset by that because they don't believe Democracy Now! has led on the WikiLeaks issue.

First, so that we're all on the same page, Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Philip Shenon (Daily Beast) reported Friday that the US government is attempting to track down WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. Mike Gogulski has started a website entitled Help Bradley Manning.

That's where things stand. We've covered the issue repeatedly since April 5th. That includes Daniel Ellsberg's position on the issue. For those who do not know, Daniel Ellsberg is the whistle blower who freed The Pentagon Papers -- papers demonstrating the US was losing and had lost in Vietnam and the government knew it but continued the war, that the government had repeatedly lied to the people. So we've covered it here.

Has Democracy Now?

No. The visitor is correct. It is suggested that if it was necessary to link to the program in today's snapshot, it should have been noted how little the program had done on the issue. Though not noted in the snapshot, Ava and I did a long piece ("
TV: They get paid for this?") on just that issue.

Not only did we note that Democracy Now! had only done one segment on the Collateral Murder video at WikiLeaks, we went so far as to note Amy Goodman (DN! host) blathering on:

Because I really do think . . . if for one week in this country, every newspaper, every surviving newspaper, every newscast in this country had, at the top of their cast or above the fold in the newspapers, the photographs and the articles, the stories about war, showed the images, the babies dead on the ground, the women with their legs blown off by cluster bombs, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Pakistan, the soldiers dead and dying, for just one week, Americans are a compassionate people and they would say, "No, war is not the answer to conflict in the 21st century." But we have to show the images. That's our job.

Except when it isn't and, in the case of WikiLeaks, it wasn't her job.

The video leaked April 5th. Today she did only her fourth (and longest) segment on the story. No, that's not acceptable. Morning Edition has done far more segments than that.

If only we knew, she said in her speech, if only we could show the images . . . And yet she has access to footage of a US military assault on civilians and she makes it a segment once. "Only once. Only once," as Maria McKee once sang ("Only Once," written by McKee, appears on her You've Got To Sin To Get Saved album). Today, to her credit, she played the video in full. But where was that "We must be shown the images of war!" need between April 12th and today?

Scott Horton (Antiwar Radio) has covered the issue more. And, in fact, interviewed Daniel Ellsberg on this topic a while ago. What was she doing? Ava and I pointed out she spent forever on Bolivia's Climate Crisis conference -- four days where it was the entire show except for headlines. She repeatedly interviewed and cited Evo Morales but somehow decided that his homophobic remarks could be ignored. ('Professor' Morales insisted hormone injected chicken is the 'source' for someone being gay -- or bald! -- and that he does not eat them ever because he doesn't want to become gay. The hormones, Professor Morales informed, were female hormones.) She never mentioned it, she just kissed Evo's ass. Over and over.

Remember, she's only concerned about homphobia if it can be used against the Republican Party. She had time to waste with yet another tired Alice Walker interview and a tired Patti Smith interview (I've been very kind and bit my tongue while Patti's launched yet another major historical revision). She had plenty of time to waste. She just wasn't interested in putting Wikileaks from and center. (The three times it was covered in a segment, each show had four segments.)

Now we could have gone through all of that and more. And maybe we should have? That's going to be each person's call. For myself, it was included because it was Daniel Ellsberg. We've got more Juan Gonzalez in our excerpt than Amy Goodman. That may help some, it may not. She's angered a lot of people by dropping the Iraq War. It was what made her famous. Even she admitted that in her speech. But she walked away from it a long time ago. She's not interested in real discussions. Which is why she books Jar-Jar as an expert or her Big Noise fellow who hasn't been on since he made a false claim on the show. That's something at least.

But it wasn't an attempt to promote Goodman.

If it offended anyone, I'm sorry. (The e-mailer was offended. I don't know if any of the above changed that.) But I've noted repeatedly that we link to things now that we wouldn't have in 2006. But there's not the coverage today that there was in 2006.

On those once in a blue moon moments that Goodman covers Iraq, I'll still consider linking to her but reading the very passionate e-mail, I will try to remember to note how little time Goodman makes for Iraq.

There's something very sad -- maybe beyond sad -- about these people who elected to make a buck off the illegal war, who lined their own nests via the Iraq War, and who now pretty much ignore the war completely.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4403. Tonight? 4406.

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