Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tom Bowman: Little Miss Judy Miller 2010

As noted in yesterday's snapshot, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 attack in Baghdad by US forces. That's "WikiLeaks." Not "WikiLeak."

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of 2010's Little Miss Judy Miller, NPR's Tom Bowman. Tom Bowman's a trashy whore and he's long been one. He's cut corners on 'reports' and buried information intentionally. Most of the time, we just ignore him because he does his most damage these days on Afghanistan and our focus is Iraq. But on today's Morning Edition, he reveals himself to be Judy Miller Junior Miss Division -- in other words, Miller with no saving graces.

Belittling Wikileaks by intentionally getting their name wrong? While pretending to be a reporter? It's called bitchery and no one excels at it quite the way Bowden does.

The video reveals a lot. And Bowden's not content to allow anyone to process it themselves nor is he comfortable with offering a factual summary of it. Instead, he flat out lies. He lies because that's all he's ever done at NPR.

Especially when the issue is civilian deaths. One example will suffice, from the June 3, 2008 snapshot:

Surprisingly, NPR's Tom Bowman filed no report on Hammond's press conference because Bowman had a great deal to say during that press conference.
Tom Bowman: General, it's Tom Bowman with NPR. You mentioned that there are a thousand filed claims in Sadr City. You paid out about 70,000. Can you give us a breakdown on those claims? How many for property damage? How many for injured or killed civilians?
Jeffery Hammond: Tom, I can't give you a specific -- I don't have the numbers in front of me. But I'd probably guess and say probably 85 percent is for property damage, much of that property damage coming at the hands of indirect fire that was shot from Sadr City. Much of that fell short. We had few mortar rounds that fell short in Jamila market, which I think you know is the critical market that provides much to the rest of Baghdad, and about 25 percent to one-third burned down as a result of short rounds. But probably 85 percent is paid out for propert damage -- as a result of that and just the direct combat fighting.

Tom liked to flash his knowledge to the military hacks, a little gamesmanship apparently. It's not as if his knowledge was ever conveyed on air to NPR listeners. But any good Judy Miller ensures that her sources and handlers are aware she knows just as much as they do. The thing is, Judith Millers don't serve the public. And Tom Bowman's a bad fit for National Public Radio.

He wants to manipulate listeners today with lies.

I'm going to share my take on the Wikileaks video. It's my opinion, no one has to agree with it. It's based on viewing it which puts me on the same level as anyone else who has viewed the video. The US military made a horrible mistake. It is confusing and it probably crosses the line from accident or error when you're shooting dead an unarmed person (who is clearly unarmed and crawling away in the video). Probably? At that point, gunfire's already begun and military case law and military trial findings do not provide the clear cut answer that many may believe they do. Emotions are running high throughout and the military -- as evidenced by remarks caught on the video -- have prejudged and imposed a finding that really is not warranted by what's being seen. Confusion is the main theme.

And, my opinion, I think you can watch the video and be horrified by the deaths of the Iraqis and attempt to sort out what you've seen without reaching for a simplistic answer.

My opinion. Anyone can disagree. Feel free. I'm often wrong, this wouldn't be the first time.

However, when a Tom Bowman comes along to 'help,' he does anything but.

Tom Bowman scrubs the scene and all that does is enrage. Tom Bowman refers to the civilians as "insurgents." The civilians, mind you, including the two Reuters journalists who were killed by the US military. They are "insurgents."

That's what Judy Miller 2010 does, she whores it up real good. Tom Bowman's not a reporter. He just plays one for the public.

Civilians were killed including two reporters. Some will argue, one was a driver. He worked for a news agency in Iraq. You do that, you're a reporter. You're doing stringer work, you're hunting down tips. It's not as simple as in the US. Nami Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh died doing their best to make sense of a war zone and transmit their understandings of events to the world. They earned the title reporter.

They did not earn the title "insurgent." And for Bowman to tar their memories with that smear is not merely disgusting, it's a betrayal of every core belief of the profession he claims to be a part of. There's no excuse for it. There's no excuse for his lies passed off as facts on today's Morning Edition. He's nothing but a trashy whore and here's the thing about whores, they can pass on a disease that infects the whole outlet.

Bowman casts aspersion on WikiLeaks (in addition to getting their name wrong), he dishonors the memories of Nami Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh by referring to them as "insurgents." He's disgusting and he's trashy. There's no excuse for him. He pretends to want to provide 'context' by repeatedly referring to a military investigation. He sidesteps the Hellfire missile, that's not 'context' he wants to provide. He never mentions that Reuters has repeatedly requested the video and repeatedly been denied by the US government. I can't even talk about how he reshapes history with regards to the two Iraqi children wounded because I will not be able to keep this entry work safe. The "investigation" he refers to is a July 19, 2007 after review. There was no investigation. It was the same after review that any other incident in Iraq would receive. Bowman's not just a hack, he's a liar.

He may think he helps the US service members who took part in the incident. He doesn't. He lies and he lies badly and, in doing so, he only inflames tensions.

Again, I think the video (my opinion) conveys confusion. Had Bowman stuck to that aspect of it, his analysis would have been on strong ground. Instead, he decided to get creative. Just as Judy Miller's WMDs were never found in Iraq, neither is the portrait Bowman painted this morning on NPR.

Mujahid Yousef (New York Times) reports

The family of a Reuters photographer killed in an American military airstrike watched the video of it late Monday and burst into tears as they saw what appeared to be the crews of two American Apache attack helicopters kill their son and 11 other people, gloating at what the crewmen seemed to think was a successful strike on insurgents.
"At last the truth has been revealed, and I'm satisfied God revealed the truth," said Noor Eldeen, the father of the photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, who was 22 when he was killed in July 2007. "If such an incident took place in America, even if an animal were killed like this, what would they do?"

Jenny Booth (Times of London) provides profiles of Nami Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.

The following community sites updated last night:

We'll close with this from Chris Hedges' "How the Corporations Broke Ralph Nader and America, Too" (Information Clearing House):

Ralph Nader’s descent from being one of the most respected and powerful men in the country to being a pariah illustrates the totality of the corporate coup. Nader’s marginalization was not accidental. It was orchestrated to thwart the legislation that Nader and his allies—who once consisted of many in the Democratic Party—enacted to prevent corporate abuse, fraud and control. He was targeted to be destroyed. And by the time he was shut out of the political process with the election of Ronald Reagan, the government was in the hands of corporations. Nader’s fate mirrors our own.
“The press discovered citizen investigators around the mid-1960s,” Nader told me when we spoke a few days ago. “I was one of them. I would go down with the press releases, the findings, the story suggestions and the internal documents and give it to a variety of reporters. I would go to Congress and generate hearings. Oftentimes I would be the lead witness. What was interesting was the novelty; the press gravitates to novelty. They achieved great things. There was collaboration. We provided the newsworthy material. They covered it. The legislation passed. Regulations were issued. Lives were saved. Other civic movements began to flower.”
Nader was singled out for destruction, as Henriette Mantel and Stephen Skrovan point out in their engaging documentary movie on Nader, “An Unreasonable Man.” General Motors had him followed in an attempt to blackmail him. It sent an attractive woman to his neighborhood Safeway supermarket in a bid to meet him while he was shopping and then seduce him; the attempt failed, and GM, when exposed, had to issue a public apology.
But far from ending their effort to destroy Nader, corporations unleashed a much more sophisticated and well-funded attack. In 1971, the corporate lawyer and future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell wrote an eight-page memo, titled “Attack on American Free Enterprise System,” in which he named Nader as the chief nemesis of corporations. It became the blueprint for corporate resurgence. Powell’s memo led to the establishment of the Business Roundtable, which amassed enough money and power to direct government policy and mold public opinion. The Powell memo outlined ways corporations could shut out those who, in “the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals,” were hostile to corporate interests. Powell called for the establishment of lavishly funded think tanks and conservative institutes to churn out ideological tracts that attacked government regulation and environmental protection. His memo led to the successful effort to place corporate-friendly academics and economists in universities and on the airwaves, as well as drive out those in the public sphere who questioned the rise of unchecked corporate power and deregulation. It saw the establishment of organizations to monitor and pressure the media to report favorably on issues that furthered corporate interests. And it led to the building of legal organizations to promote corporate interests in the courts and appointment of sympathetic judges to the bench.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends