Thursday, June 29, 2006

Where's the Iraq coverage?

Let's kick things off with Democracy Now!

10 Members of Granny Peace Brigade Released in Philly
In Philadelphia, 10 members of the Granny Peace Brigade were arrested Wednesday after refusing to leave a military recruiting center.

This is important and Cedric and I are making it our lead item. The Granny Peace Brigade is older women speaking up and saying no to war. They go into recruiting centers and say, "Sign me up." Then they sit outside them. They aren't waiting for some political party to figure out if the war is right or wrong, they're excersizing their free speech rights and bringing the war home.

I had an e-mail about Rebecca's post yesterday ("pissed"), by the way. Wasn't I ashamed of her? No. No one is. If you missed it, yesterday Amy Goodman interviewed three people. One of whom was the foreign minister of something from Israel. He got all bent out of shape about questions he was asked. (Like C.I. always says, "You can ask me any question, that doesn't mean I have to answer.") So he has his little tantrum on air about how dare anyone bring him on the show and he was misled and Amy Goodman said, "I'm sorry." I don't think she should have told him she was sorry. I don't know why she did. When other guests are upset, they have to deal with it or not. When Bill Clinton was griping, she didn't say, "I'm sorry." He was president at the time. If some little former government flack gets his nose bent out of shape, as Cedric always says, "Oh well." Rebecca will be writing about today's show later on (or may be writing it right now but I checked before I started blogging and it wasn't up).

I'm sorry, if you're going to cover Gaza, get it right or don't do it. I'm wondering where the Iraq coverage is. I've had Afghanistan, I've had Gaza over and over. Where's Iraq?

Where is the war coverage? And WHERE IS THE COVERAGE OF THE FACT THAT THE US GOVERNMENT LIED -- THEY ARE KEEPING BODY COUNTS OF IRAQIS. That was published on Monday. C.I. noted it. I ran the Iraq snapshot here, so it was noted here. Where the FUCK is that coverage?

Bully Boy does want a pleasant 4th of July. He wants you to go into that vacation, where families gather, thinking, "Oh the resistance is ready to give up." There's an item in the headlines that Rebecca's addressing tonight. It's on Gaza.

It's an occupation, I'm against occupations. If you're going to cover it, cover it in full. Otherwise, I want to hear about Iraq. I agree with Rebecca that the coverage has been poor on Democracy Now! about Gaza. It was poor again today. If you can't cover it, don't cover it. I'm perfectly fine with hearing about Iraq. If someone's uncomfortable talking realities, then don't talk about it at all. It does less damage then getting it wrong.

Kat heard something on The Morning Show this week where the guest corrected something in an introduction, noting that the attacks had been ongoing or something like that. She said the host thanked the guest for making that point. Nobody's correcting anything on Democracy Now! I love the show but if you're not getting it right, don't cover Gaza. It does too much damage. I understand that some people don't want to address it. I understand that people who do try to address it get demonized. So if that's your fear, don't talk about it. Cover something else.

I'd rather hear about Iraq anyway because we do have a WAR -- we being the United States. We're aiding and abetting and covering for the oppression and death going on in Gaza. No question. But we're directly responsible for Iraq. I love Amy Goodman, I love Democracy Now! but the coverage on Gaza has been BAD. Rebecca loves the program too, loves Goodman too. If she's going to say, "This is wrong" when it's wrong, I'm not going to be upset with her.

This coverage has been BAD and this nonsense of "balance" isn't cutting it for me either. Two days in a row and it's been as bad as the New York Times.

Judge Sentences Katrina Looters to 15 Years in Jail
In other news from New Orleans, a judge has sentenced three people to fifteen years in prisons for looting in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The three were convicted of taking liquor, wine and beer from a grocery store.

This is so stupid. First of all, if you're facing flooding and death, maybe you need a DAMN drink. Did anyone ever think of that? But fifteen years? Will everyone who "looted" get 15 years? (Cedric knows about some stuff here and is writing about it. I'm not because it's Cedric's knowledge and I'm not stealing it. Read Cedric tonight and you'll find out about it.)

I want to note C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" in full like I always do but, first, I want to note the need for it. It's the only alternative to the mainstream coverage.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Chaos and violence continue.
Stooges, fools and cheerleaders allow it to continue. Meanwhile the so-called coalition continues to shrink.Romania becomes the next to tell the Bully Boy, "Catch you on the flip-side." Retuers reports Calin Tariceanu (prime minister of Romania) announced today that Romania would pull all troops by the end of the year -- before Romania's 890 troops can be pulled the Supreme Defence Council has to give its approval. Romania's president has slammed the proposal as had American ambassador to Romania and Advance Auto Parts merchant Nicholas F. Taubman. Bully Boy pioneer Taubman expressed his "impression that not all of the relevant parties, whether within Romania or beyond, were consulted before this proposal was announced." "Within Romania or beyond"? Spoken like a big donor, not like an ambassador, but Advance Auto Parts isn't known for turning out diplomats.
This as Rocky Mountain News reports that the Colorado Army National Guard's 169th unit will ship 100 soldiers to Iraq in July (with 300 of the "2/135th Aviation Company" currently training in Texas with orders to deploy in Septemeber).
Despite yesterday's 'coverage' of the "insurgent-poll" nothing really changed. It was another day of violence and chaos in Iraq.Australia's ABC reports that Australian troops were "under attack" in southern Iraq. The Associated Press reports that "Iraqi and U.S. troops battled Shi'ite militiamen in a village northeast of Baghdad" -- still ongoing when the AP filed their report. Reuters notes, on this incident, that a police commander was shot dead by a sniper and two others were wounded.
Those were among many of the deaths in Iraq. As Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show, there were multiple victims of violence today: trash collector, head of security for Baghdad University (Kadhim Challoub), merchants, baker, electrical worker and a woman who'd been waiting in her car with her two children (the children were wounded, not killed) among them. Reuters notes, in Kerbala, the death (by gunshot) of "a criminal intelligence policeman" as well as the death of two Iraqi soldiers (as well as one civilian, with one soldier and two other civilians wounded) in Faulluja, and one Iraqi soldier dead with seven more wounded from a roadside bomb in Riyadh. In Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded at a Shi'ite soldier's funeral initially claiming the lives of at least four. Reuters would later put the number of those dead at seven.As Mark Mericle noted on yesterday's KPFA The KPFA Evening News, "People gathered in 34 cities around the country yesterday to show their support for Lt. Ehren Watada" introducing a news report by Julie Sabatier from Portland.
Two other items noted on yesterday's KPFA Evening News, the 'apologetic' Joshua Belile, who once apologized (or 'apologized') for his song while advising others to "let it go," has now announced that he will be releasing "a professionally recorded version of the song in a few weeks" and in Berkeley, the city council has put a "symbolic" referendum on the ballot calling on Congress to impeach the Bully Boy due to his lies that led us into an illegal war. (June 27th was also declared Cindy Sheehan day.)
Reuters notes that seven corpses were found (male) in the Tigris River ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture"), while two more corpses (male) were discovered in the Euphrates River ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture"). Reuters notes that: "Morgue officials say 30-50 bodies are found in Baghdad alone every day." In Kirkuk, the AP reports the corpse of a fifteen-year-old female was discovered -- "kidnapped five days ago." The AFP puts the count of corpses discovered throughout Iraq today at 18.
File it under "No one could have guessed," Condi No-One-Could-Have-Guessed Rice had a "testy exchange" with Russia's Sergei Lavrov (Russia's Foreign Minister) in a "closed-door meeting" from which the audio feed was accidentally left on. "What does that mean?" Rice asks at one point, to which Lavrov responds, "I think you understand." In what might have been her most honest reply, she declared, "No, I don't." On that, we believe you, Condi, we believe you. The issue was how to word a statement on the security situation in Iraq and the anger spilled over publicly after the meeting, in front of reporters when Rice responded to Lavrov's comments about changes in America that he'd seen since he first visited in 1979, "So when did you go and where did you go in the United States in 1979 that you saw so much change? I am really interested." Though Rice may have forgotten, her current title is Secretary of State.
What gets play and what doesn't? One might think that Nancy A. Youssef breaking the news Monday that the US government, despite claims otherwise, was indeed keeping body counts of Iraqis. You might think that would be news . . . but you'd be wrong. What gets runs with?
Not truth. July 4th's a-coming, can't have families getting together in the United States without some false hope or Bully Boy might get a trashing that wouldn't bode well for the November elections. So nonsense gets tossed out by the puppet government and the media amplifies it.
Yes, we're speaking of the nonsense that "insurgents" are on the two-year-withdrawal bus. Since the domestic, US media has never explored the terms "insurgent" or "resistance," who knows what they mean? The AFP notes: "At the same time, a foreign diplomat raised questions about the identity of armed groups reportedly in contact with the government and whether they carry any real weight in the nationwide insurgency." Al Jazeera notes that eleven groups have met with occupation puppet Nouri al-Maliki and that eight of them are the ones being referred to. Do they carry any weight? A good question to ask. (Instead, it's easier to report/"report": "Insurgents meeting with Maliki!") Al Jazeera, which may be the only news organization that's going by more than government sources (it's spoken to representatives for the groups) reports that "the 11 groups operate north and north-east of Baghdad in increasingly violent Salahuddin and Diyala provinces.
"Increasingly violent. This isn't Anbar, this isn't even Baghdad. These, if Al Jazeera's reporting is correct, are groups from, for Iraq, relatively restful provinces that are growing "increasingly violent." It's a nice bit of happy talk to send us all into the holiday weekend. It's not, however, reality. Having never explored the issue (other than to guess fighting is fueled by Iran -- wait, no! it's Egypt), they now want to get behind eight groups or eleven groups and the news consumer is left uninformed. (Possibly that's the point of it all.)
Reality was Nancy A. Youssef's report. Have we seen that covered in the New York Times? Have we seen it covered elsewhere? Maybe the silence is due to the fact that the administration being caught in yet another lie seems more "redundant" than "newsworthy"?

This was at Danny Schechter's News Dissector, you can see him and Amy Goodman in one place. I'm noting it because I think both are worth seeing. I still love Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! but I'm not going to pretend the Gaza coverage was anything but bad. That doesn't mean Amy Goodman's bad. She's not. But the coverage indicates to me the show needs to focus on something else because it is too weak. Not everyone can cover everything. That's just reality. If you've got a spot that you're weak in, go to what you're strong in. If you can do fast balls, you pitch them until your arm goes out because that's your strength. Here's the thing about where you can see Amy Goodman and Danny Schechter:

REMINDER: EVENTS THIS WEEKEND --NY STATEPanel on Threats to the press and democracy; Friday night, June 30th, 7:30 PM, SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge, from Congressperson Maurice Hinchey, Amy Goodman, Danny Schechter and Jeff Cohen, Alan Chartock, emcee, Sunday, July 2nd, 5:00 PM, Rosendale (NY) Theatre -- sneak preview of my new film In Debt We Trust. (For more on film, See
Hope to see those of you who can make it. Everyone welcome to read, join, and support Mediachannel. Check out our new home page with articles about the World Cup, The Bush strategy, and why citizens have to join the media as well as a new Mediachannel Europe page. Just click on the EU Flag.

I haven't checked out Mediachannel lately. (I'm busy with school.) I'll check it out later and if there's something on the World Cup, I'll include it either tomorrow or Saturday (whenever I post next). In the meantime, check out Cedric's "Holla' Back Girl Uses Nah-Nah Diplomacy" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! CONDI TRIES OUT THE NAH-NAH DIPLOMACY" (joint post! joint post!). And check out C.I.'s "NYT: Dexy wants to process, everyone in a group circle!" and "NYT: Covering the spin and not much more" which will keep you informed and, with the first one, laughing. Rebecca said C.I. had a headache and a half this morning (actually sick to the stomach) over the "covering the spin" entry. Rebecca said, "You are making yourself sick, note the Washington Post article and why it matters." (I agree.) Then they went and worked out and, when that was over, C.I. posted the Dexy entry. C.I. wanted to talk about it before posting. Rebecca pointed out that most everyone would give Dexy feather kisses for it and that's when C.I. said, "Well if everyone's doing it, you know I'm not." (And they both laughed.)
Everybody's having so much fun out west. :( Wish I was there. (I've got classes and no way to get away. I know C.I. would take care of the travel for me, it's not that. It's that I have classes.)
(And I'm not trying to embarrass C.I. on that but, as Ma has pointed out, C.I. deserved a public thank you for that and a whole lot more. Betty said if I brought that up again here to mention that she too says "Thank you. Big time." C.I. doesn't think it's anything and gets mad if you say thank you, but it is something and those of us who get treated have a right to say "thank you." We're looking at a weekend trip sometime soon, by the way.)