Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Democracy Now: Reporters in the crosshairs; Reporters Without Borders, Iddybud, Why Are We Back In Iraq?, Daily Howler

Democracy Now! "always worth watching" (Marcia).

"Headlines for March 23, 2005"
- Second Judge Refuses to Order Reinsertion of Schiavo's Feeding Tube
- Minnesota Police Say School Shooter Admired Hitler
- Pentagon To Use Predator Drones for Attack Missions
- Navy SEALs Sues Press Agency Over Abuse Photos
- Liberal & Conservative Groups Join to Fight Patriot Act
"Wounded Spanish Journalist Olga Rodriguez Describes the U.S. Attack on the Palestine Hotel That Killed Two of Her Colleagues"
On April 8th, 2003, the U.S. military opened fire on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, killing two journalists: Taras Protsyuk, a Reuters cameraman from Ukraine, and Jose Couso from the Spanish TV network, Telecinco. We speak with Spanish journalist Olga Rodriguez, who was wounded in the attack. She says, "I never imagined that American troops were going to attack journalists living in a place protected by international law."

"Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness - Documentary Exposes the Truth Behind the Attack"
We air an excerpt of the documentary, "Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness," produced by Jose Couso's network, Telecinco, and broadcast on Spanish TV. It includes interviews with numerous journalists who were inside the Palestine Hotel, the AP reporter embedded with US forces at the time of the attack as well as the US tank commander who pulled the trigger.
"Brother of Slain Journalist Jose Couso Calls for Prosecution of Those Responsible for U.S. Attack on Palestine Hotel"
We speak with Jose Couso's brother, Javier, who is in the United States to call for an independent investigation into the death of his brother and the prosecution of those responsible.

On a similar topic, Reporters Without Borders has "Call for UK report on missing French cameraman on second anniversary of disappearance." From that report:

On the second anniversary today of the disappearance of French cameraman Fred Nérac in southern Iraq, Reporters Without Borders again called on Britain to hand over the full report of the British military police investigation into the case to the French authorities and to Nérac's family.
"Fred Nérac's family is still waiting to find out exactly what happened to him - this is an unbearable situation," the press freedom organization said. "We reiterate our appeal to the British authorities to enable the family to obtain the answers to all of its legitimate questions."
Reporters Without Borders said it urged the Iraqi authorities "to do as much as possible to assist the various parties involved in the investigation and to do everything in their power to help clear up this case."
Recalling that the French foreign ministry recently reiterated its determination to shed light on Nérac's disappearance, the organization also called on the French government to pursue its diplomatic efforts in this case, as promised.

Girl Blogger of Baghdad Burning has a new post up today:

We've completed two years since the beginning of the war. These last two years have felt like two decades, but I can remember the war itself like it was yesterday. The sky was lit with flashes of red and white and the ground rocked with explosions on March 21, 2003. The bombing had actually begun on the dawn of the 20th of March, but it got really heavy on the 21st. I remember being caught upstairs when the heavier bombing first began. I was struggling to drag down a heavy cotton mattress from my room for an aunt who was spending a couple of weeks with us and I suddenly heard a faraway 'whiiiiiiiiiiiiiz' that sounded like it might be getting closer.
The mattress finally budged and began to slip and slide down the remaining 10 steps, finally landing in a big pile at the end of the staircase. I followed it in a hurry, taking two steps at a time, expecting to feel a big "BOOM" at any moment. I tripped on the last step in the mad dash for the ground floor and ended up in a heap on the cotton mass on the ground. The explosion came the same moment- followed by a series of larger explosions that didn’t sound like the ordinary missiles we had been experiencing the last 40 hours or so.

Vanity Fair's David Margolick has "What About Novak?" which Cedric noted and asked that we highlight this section:

Novak has been the center of controversy before, usually over his deep-seated hostility toward Israel, a curious thing coming from someone who, until seven years ago, was at least nominally a Jew. Many despise him for his doctrinaire, Darwinian conservatism. But since telling the world 21 months ago that Valerie Plame works for the C.I.A.--something even Valerie Plame's friends and neighbors hadn't known--he has, to many, reached a new high (or low) in loathsomeness.
It was bad enough that he exposed a covert C.I.A. agent, possibly threatening her, her projects, and her contacts. Worse, he may have done so for partisan political purposes: to discredit her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador and C.I.A. adviser, who had accused the Bush administration of using patently false intelligence to scare people into supporting its invasion of Iraq. Even worse still, Novak seems to have gotten away with it: while two other reporters, Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of The New York Times, face jail for refusing to divulge their sources in the case, the man who broke the story apparently doesn't. If anything, his influence and access remain quite undiminished.
Worse than all that, Novak is not just unapologetic for what he did--he says he would do it all again--but unconcerned for his embattled colleagues. Never, either publicly or privately, has he expressed any concern over their predicament. Indeed, for the past 18 months he's said next to nothing at all about the case. Novak's status has become a great Washington guessing game. Everyone has an explanation, but none seems to fit.

Maria notes Iddybud's post today for community members looking for something to listen to (something not involving the initials TS). Here's Jude of Iddybud:
Hear John Edwards' Podcast - NOW!
John Edwards Podcast - March 23UPDATE:The first John (and Elizabeth) Edwards Podcast is ready for you to hear. Go to this address and download the MP3.

Over at Interesting Times, Chris has "Imminent Death (not a Shiavo post)" which examines the continued rumors of the split/impending death of the GOP. From his entry:

The truth is that, as soon as any party member shows some signs of independent thinking, they are quickly taken back to Professor Rove's re-education camp and they soon re-emerge once again touting the greatness of the Republican cause. The GOP has gotten too enamored of the benefits of the coalition to ever risk it on such quant concepts such as ethics and responsibility and serving their fellow man.
But here is the bigger point: why should Democrats care? Do the occasional public qualms of a few shaky members of the collective add any weight to our own political arguments? Are those arguments somehow more legitimate if we can find one or two Republicans to agree with them? And isn't all this breathless anticipation of Republican crackup just another example of passive Democratic strategizing ("Let's wait for them to really step in it, then the people will vote for us!") Yeah, the people are really going to support a party that sits on its ass waiting for the other guy to f**k up.

Mr. Cannon's conclusion: "So: According to Warren Mitofsky and those wacky folks at the SSRC, the exit polls were marred by an over-abundant supply of "chatty Dems" who -- for God knows what reason -- bragged about voting for Dubya. And this, we are told, is why we must weight the 2008 exit polls more heavily favor of the G.O.P."
"These people are not only rationalizing the 2004 vote theft, they are laying the groundwork for an even grander heist in the future."
What's that from? Why Are We Back In Iraq? And Lloyd says there are mulitple entries today that are all must reads. The above was from "Bush Won the Popular Vote in 2000, Didn't He?"
But go to Why Are We Back In Iraq and read all of today's entries.
Marcia e-mails in praise of Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler today. "Yes! There is a God! And she smokes! Somerby's on a topic other than a certain woman in Florida! I know he only wrote about it Tuesday for the first time and he was talking about the press but I was so afraid he was going to get sucked into that one story like everyone else."

Somerby's dealing with the realities of John McCain (whom he dubs Senator Bullroar):

And because this great man is a great press corps darling, the press corps just won't make him stop. This morning, Fletcher doesn't bat an eye as he types up Bullroar's misstatement; nowhere are the Post's readers told that McCain's statement is blatantly bogus. Nor will other reporters flag the great man's groaning misstatements. In today’s New York Times, for example, Anne Kornblut reports the Bush-McCain event. She saw McCain make this blatant misstatement--but she doesn't mention it in her piece. Under current rules, it's OK to lie in the public’s face--if your name is George Bush or John McCain.
Readers, this has gone on for so long with McCain that we think it’s time for your brave "liberal spokesmen" to stop it! And so, this morning, we directly address the Washington Post's E. J. Dionne. Dionne, a well-known fiery liberal, recently praised Senator Flim-Flam (sorry--Chuck Hagel) as "brave" and "forthright"--even as Hagel presented misleading statements about SS that were almost comical in their absurdity (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/9/05).
So E. J., it's time to be a real man! Why don't you stand up for once and insist that McCain stop his repeated, bald-faced misstatements? You pimped for Hagel two weeks ago. Why don't you stop wasting time with the clownish Wonkette and tell your darling, Senator Bullroar, to stop his grotesque public lying?
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