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Weigel writes: "What we're hearing more of lately is the specific allegation that the press has purposefully laid down for the Democratic president, and that it's all part of a master media plan to help Democrats foil Republicans."

Former president George W. Bush. (photo: Getty Images)
Former president George W. Bush. (photo: Getty Images)

The Bush Years And What A "Lapdog" Press Really Looked Like

By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America

24 February 13


erpetually fuming about President Obama, Sean Hannity widened his rant Wednesday night on Fox News and condemned the "lapdog, kiss ass media" that allegedly lets Obama have his way. Echoing the same attack, Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week that "Mr. Obama is a once-in-a-generation demagogue with a compliant press corps," while the anti-Obama Daily Caller pushed the headline, "Lapdog Media Seeking Lap To Lie In."

Complaining about the "liberal media," has been a running, four-decade story for conservative activists. But what we're hearing more of lately is the specific allegation that the press has purposefully laid down for the Democratic president, and that it's all part of a master media plan to help Democrats foil Republicans.

The rolling accusation caught my attention since I wrote a book called Lapdogs, which documented the Beltway media's chronic timidity during the previous Republican administration, and particularly with regards to the Iraq War. I found it curious that Hannity and friends are now trying to turn the rhetorical tables with a Democrat in the White House, and I was interested in what proof they had to lodge that accusation against today's press.

It turns out the evidence is quite thin. For instance, one never-ending partisan cry has been the press has "ignored" the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last year; that they're protecting Obama. Yet the New York Times and Washington Post have published nearly 800 articles and columns mentioning Benghazi since last September, according to Nexis.

What the lapdog allegation really seems to revolve around is the fact that conservatives are angry that Obama remains popular with the public. Rather than acknowledge that reality, partisans increasingly blame the press and insist if only reporters and pundits would tell 'the truth' about Obama, then voters would truly understand how he's out to destroy liberty and freedom and capitalism.

Sorry, but that's not what constitutes a lapdog press corps. And to confuse chronic partisan whining with authentic media criticism is a mistake. The Hannity-led claim also isn't accurate. Studies have shown that during long stretches of his first term, Obama was hammered with "unrelentingly negative" press coverage.

By contrast, the lapdog era of the Bush years represented nothing short of an institutional collapse of the American newsroom. And it was one that, given the media's integral role in helping to sell the Iraq War, did grave damage to our democracy.

Looking back at his tenure as Washington Post ombudsman, Michael Getler wrote in 2005 that the mainstream media's performance in 2002 and 2003 likely represented the industry's worst failing in nearly half a century. "How did a country on the leading edge of the information age get this so wrong and express so little skepticism and challenge?" Getler asked.

Let's recall some concrete examples of what helped the Bush era press rightfully earn its title of lapdogs so we can understand why today's conservative claims ring so hollow.

A defining trait of Bush's obsequious press corps was its collective refusal to take seriously anti-war voices prior to the preemptive invasion of Iraq, even voices such as Democratic party stalwart Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). In September 2002, Kennedy made a passionate, provocative, and newsworthy speech raising all sorts of doubts about the war, doubts that would later prove well-founded. The event garnered exactly one sentence -- thirty-six words total -- of coverage from the Post.

The daily was hardly alone in turning away from Kennedy's prescient speech. The night of his address, Nightly News devoted just 32 words to it. On ABC's World News Tonight, it received 31 words, and on the CBS Evening News, 40 words.

Kennedy gave that speech on a Friday. Two days later the Sunday talk shows discussed Iraq in detail, but Kennedy's name never came up. For the network pundits, the anti-war speech from one of the nation's political giants basically did not exist. It was irrelevant to the around-the-clock media chatter about a looming war.

Given that tentativeness, it's not surprising that a survey conducted by the liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that during the first two weeks of February 2003, when the debate about the war should have been raging on the public airwaves, just 17 percent of the 393 people interviewed on-camera for network news reports expressed "skeptical or critical positions" on Iraq.

Additionally, Media Matters found that while 23 percent of U.S. senators voted to oppose the war in the fall of 2002, only 11 percent of the senators invited to appear on the Sunday morning talk shows prior to the invasion were antiwar.

According to figures from media analyst Andrew Tyndall, of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC, and CBS from September 2002 until February 2003, all but 34 -- eight percent of the total -- could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, or the State Department. Only 34 stories, or 8 percent or the reports, were of independent origin.

Meanwhile, given its current primetime lineup, sometimes it's hard to recall that in 2003 MSNBC was so nervous about employing a liberal host who opposed Bush's ordered invasion that it fired Phil Donahue preemptively, just weeks before war began. An internal memo warned that Donahue presented "a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war." (He was MSNBC's highest rated host at the time of his firing.)

Months worth of chronic timidity and newsroom bowing-down to the White House's war culture clearly helped pave the way to war.

Laying out the reasons for an unprecedented invasion during his final, pre-war invasion press conference on March 6, 2003, Bush mentioned al-Qaida and the terrorist attacks of September 11 thirteen times in less than an hour. Not a single journalist that night challenged the presumed connection Bush was making between al-Qaida and Iraq, despite the fact that intelligence sources had publicly questioned any such association.

The egregious, look-the-other-way coverage continued long after the invasion. The U.S. media's collective disinterest in Britain's Downing Street Memo represented a perfect example of dogged lapdog behavior.

Consisting of minutes from a July 23, 2002, meeting attended by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and his closest advisers, the memo revealed their impression that the Bush administration, eight months before the start of the Iraq war in 2003, had already decided to invade and that American officials seemed more concerned with justifying a war than preventing one.

The blockbuster memo was leaked to the Times of London, which printed it on May 1, 2005. How did the American press respond?

It yawned.

Between May 1 and June 6, the story received approximately 20 mentions on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS combined, According to TVEyes. By contrast, during the same five-week period, the same outlets found time to mention more than 260 times the tabloid controversy that erupted when a photograph showing Saddam Hussein in his underwear was leaked to the British press.

In the five weeks following the memo being published in the Times of London, White House spokesman Scott McClellan held 19 daily briefings, at which he has fielded more than 900 questions from reporters, according to the White House's online archives. Exactly two of those 900 questions were about the Downing Street memo and the White House's reported effort to fix prewar intelligence.

That, unfortunately, is what a lapdog press corps looks like. Let's not diminish the significance of that historic failure by pretending today's Beltway press is repeating that catastrophic and unprecedented abdication under Obama. Just because Obama's most strident critics have failed to turn voters against the president doesn't mean the press isn't doing its job. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+110 # fredboy 2013-02-24 09:58
The "press" performed daily (hourly?) fellatio on the whole Bush team. The allowed 9/11 attack clammed them up completely, making them willing servants of the faux president.

The results: Two fake wars costing trillions of dollars and countless thousand lives. A pirate financial marketplace allowed to gut our entire nation. A nation that now whines about the resulting economic calamity. Mass distrust and hatred.

I left investigative journalism when I no longer trusted my editors and all media institutions. Tragic. I was dedicated and excellent--and became hated for it by my own news group. My sin: objectivity and thoroughness, and a willingness to ask every question.
+38 # ssnbbr 2013-02-24 12:06
Sorry you left investigative journalism. It is still sorely needed.
+15 # wrknight 2013-02-24 13:32
Me, too.
+35 # mdhome 2013-02-24 12:39
A good read is an older book by Eric Alterman "What Liberal Media"
+43 # CL38 2013-02-24 13:48
Before the "stolen election", those who read credible books about George Bush & family could intuit how badly a Bush Presidency would turn out. George was a failure at businesses, ran them exactly the way he ''lead' the country (incurring huge debt, not paying the bills & leaving the mess for taxpayers to bail out clean up).

This all reinforces the need and responsibility of voters to educate ourselves about the people and issues BEFORE we vote.
+19 # rpauli 2013-02-24 16:05
Now, about that global warming....
+1 # mjc 2013-02-24 17:05
One might say that maybe at the beginning with all the supposed weapons of Iraq the press faithfully showed on tv and on the internet there was some sort of belief that Iraq WAS a threat, but surely not as we attacked, with bombs and fire day after day, could we really believe that Iraq was an international doomsday nation. But probably the most important problem was that it is extremely difficult to appear to be attacking your own national military ends in the press, or on the internet or on the radio. It is so unseemly that people forget that unseemly may be the real thing.
+5 # X Dane 2013-02-25 21:11

A lot of people didn't mind being "unseemly". There were many people marching in the streets and quite a few wrote articles in the papers.

I remember reading several articles that pointed out the very fragile infrastructure of Iraq. They said a war will totally destroy it.......and did it ever??

Can you imagine living with summer temperatures of 130 degrees ++ and only 3-4 hours of electricity?? Their water supply was also destroyed, and we were never able to fix it...did we even try?

Ted Kennedy also spoke out very strongly against the war, and other democrats did too, but not enough of them.

Cheney was the one that kept insisting that Iraq had WMD. But all his "proofs" were shown to be false, again and again.
+8 # moodymack 2013-02-24 18:41
Please...don't even murmer "allowed". the Masad designed and exicuted 9/11 and that dirty old Uncle Sam that lives on The Hill indorsed and assisted. Yet the msm would not touch any real investigation.
+12 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-02-24 23:12
Big money, used by the military-indust rial complex has the power to create "faith in an idea" and then with time, faith is more powerful than evidence. Abe Lincoln had it right:"American s can rise to any crisis if given the facts. The point is to give them the facts."
+5 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-02-24 23:23
Those who have worked in the electrical field do know as I do that if one has a peaking power generator such as many cities have installed, that generator cannot go online unless it is in synch with the all powerful grid. If one tries to "throw the switch" and force the peaking power generator online, if their were no circuit breakers to protect the peaking power generator, the generator would burn up. Try to "buck" the media grid that the military industrial complex has in place. If you do, I say to you what I say to the fat lady when she goes to the beauty salon,. "good luck to you."
+3 # flippancy 2013-02-25 17:03
A big amen from a retired electrician.
+5 # hammermann 2013-02-26 06:22
Yeah, Fred. It was hell. The Iraq War was an act of treason- pure + simple. The war left 35,000 American dead or maimed and 400,000 Iraqis -- all because of ex-U.S. President George W. Bush’s neocon conspiracy to punish transgressions from the first Gulf War and drunken Oedipal need to outdo his father, and give defense contractors hundreds of billions (including ex-U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton). I'm still amazed it was allowed to happen and shocked how every media was cowed by the Great Pretender. Interestingly, NYT's editorial head feels the same way. And all who screamed about it were punished. I went on a horrible all night bus ride to my first and only demonstration to the White House, (1/3 mil?) which was invisible in the media (like the protests at Bush's 1st inaugural. And I predicted the CF that followed.
FIRM of MIND, SOFT on FACTS - Bush has, with a steady stream of lies, deceptions, and propaganda, has managed to convince half the country that Saddam supports Al Qaida or even was behind 9-11. Iraq invasion historic blunder that may echo through the decades- 3-17-03 Liberal Slant, Bartcop ALT WARBLOG 3/19-5/19/03
+30 # anarchteacher 2013-02-24 11:25
The true collective face of the Establishment media is exposed as neither “liberal” nor “conservative.”

It is not the noble visage of intrepid crusaders for truth, but a sagging countenance, oily and obsequent by decades of lying and servility to their masters.

These regime stenographers serve power regardless of the murderers, assassins, liars, and thieves at the helm.

But of course this is not how the press perceive themselves. They are not like you or me. They are a special class of beings. They are the Fourth Estate, an imaginary extension of the rigid class structure of pre-Revolutiona ry France from the Estates General.

In the Ancien Regime there was the clergy, the nobility, and lastly, the bourgeoisie and commoners. The Fourth Estate see themselves on an equal par with the first two elevated classes, and above the third.

It is the aristocratic notion that gentlemen and ladies of the press serve a vaunted "public interest," and do not soil themselves with activities of a rank and sordid commercialism. Such endeavors would be a violation of their hoary journalistic ethics.

They have a public trust to enlighten the unwashed masses in their duties to their betters, those who compose the state and their adjunct servitors in the kept press.
+16 # anarchteacher 2013-02-24 13:43
The mainstream media has always been compromised by power.

CBS chairman William Paley, Fred Friendly, Edward R. Murrow, and Walter Cronkite were part of the Agency's Operation Mockingbird to provide deflection and cover for the Agency's 'family jewels' of the day. "CBS News president Sig Mickelson (1954-61) was liaison to the CIA. Because of his frequent communications, Mickelson even had a direct private phone line installed to the Agency.

Read chapter ten, 'Things Fall Apart: Journalists,' in Hugh Wilford's book, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How The CIA Played America, for background on these crucial events. It outlines how the Columbia Broadcasting Service was closely connected to the Central Intelligence Agency during this period.

CIA director Allen Dulles, CBS chairman William Paley, and CBS board director Senator Prescott Bush were intimate associates in various elite networks of the northeastern seaboard establishment found in Washington and New York during the days of the early Cold War.

Whether they would meet in their private clubs, at the Harold Pratt House of the Council on Foreign Relations, or in Wall Street corporate and bank board rooms, these old birds of a feather flocked, connived, schemed, and conspired together.

Read the Wikipedia article on Operation Mockingbird, and the online Rolling Stone article, 'The CIA and the Media,' by former Washington Post investigative journalist Carl Bernstein which is discussed in detail in The Mighty Wurlitzer.
+46 # jwb110 2013-02-24 11:48
If the press corp had had any real balls they would have simply not gone to press conferences at the White House. There was no news there. If President's or his Press Secretary's lips were moving they were never telling the truth. The adage "don't believe anything you read in the newspaper" rang more true then then at any other time in the history of the US. And look at what it got us.
+53 # frankdavid 2013-02-24 11:52
The liberal media does not exist.........t here is fox and corporate owned......who are not even close to liberal. The republicans live in a fantasy world all their own.......and it is time to reenact the fairness in broadcasting act to get rid of fox once and for all.
+7 # Realist1948 2013-02-25 13:53
Very true. And let us not forget that Roger Ailes, the founder and current president of Fox so-called "News" is a former Republican political consultant. This man has an agenda, and "fair and balanced" is nt in any way part of that agenda. He is a shill for the right wing (a well paid one).
+25 # grouchy 2013-02-24 11:54
Seems to me they are running out of "themes for their schemes". They have proven so excellent in the past at inventing new ones. Such sadness here. I always thought it was a challenging exercise in trying to predict what kind of crap Rove & Co. would come up (and had wished the Dems would have spent a bit of time on the task).
+7 # anarchteacher 2013-02-24 13:56
From the crucial time before the American government's formal entrance into World War II, establishment elites have fostered an ongoing series of elaborate intelligence operations based on psychological warfare and propaganda aimed at manipulating public opinion and attitudes in regards to the projection of American state power and interventionism .(See Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44).

These operations, both covert and overt, have been one of the central props of the national security state since its inception in 1947.

It was out of these CIA-funded disinformation campaigns which emerged the key ideological voices of the mainstream media and its adjuncts in academia, whether marching under the unfurled banners of social democracy, liberalism, conservatism, or neoconservatism .

For the past seven decades, "responsible public policy debate" has been confined to the narrow perimeters set by these establishment-s anctioned gate-keepers and regime mouthpieces.
+24 # James Marcus 2013-02-24 12:04
The Bankstas... 'own' Them All: Banks, Corporations, Politicians, Judges, Major Media:
and 'We, the People'...becom e Sheeple, and don't even realize it!
+19 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-02-24 12:15
Our whole system is corrupted by the people with more money than they need and a mental illness that never allows them to be satisfied---the y always want more. There mentally ill people own the government and the press. The two major political parties are owned by these immoral people as well. Nothing will change as long as people believe that there is any difference between the two corporately funded parties. A D and an R are on the same payroll and they do not give a hoot about you or your family or the preservation of all life on earth. The super rich (the 1%)have but one goal. More profits on their bottom line in this quarter.
+22 # X Dane 2013-02-24 12:21
What a tragic loss we suffer, when good reporters like you and others, who want to INFORM readers about what is REALLY happening, are silenced....or they leave in disgust.

The lapdog media NEVER called out Bush or the republicans for failing to act AT ALL when they were informed about Bin Laden planning to attack America proper.

That information became known to anybody watching the 9-11 hearings. MS. RICE HAD to read it aloud. I was stunned..... Even more so when absolutely NOTHING was written about it after.

WHERE WAS THE PRESS?? fawning over the president, when he made speeches with the military as back drop.
And Wolf Blitzer and CNN were sickening in their excitement at the prospect of war. They always had that ominous music playing and graphics glorifying the upcoming war.

I still can't stand seeing or hearing Blitzer. I turn him and CNN off. CNN is becoming more like Fox every day.

It was also incredible hearing the fawning republicans and ditto press gush that Bush had kept us safe from terrorist attacks????? 9-11 THE BIGGEST ATTACK since Perl Harbor obviously did not count AT ALL.
+12 # Regina 2013-02-24 14:50
CNN is desperate for ratings, and contorting themselves in order to catch up to Fox. The fact that Fox is so high up is a testament to the vast ignorance on the part of the pubic. Fox generates and maintains that ignorance.
+1 # flippancy 2013-02-25 17:07
Quoting Regina:
CNN is desperate for ratings, and contorting themselves in order to catch up to Fox. The fact that Fox is so high up is a testament to the vast ignorance on the part of the pubic. Fox generates and maintains that ignorance.

True, but their ratings are down nearly 50% over the last year and still plummeting. If MSNBC were on basic cable I think they would have already passed them.
+17 # tswhiskers 2013-02-24 12:30
Yes, the media were Bush (I prefer Republican)lapd ogs. Once the conservative media began complaining about the "liberal" media it became almost a pejorative term so that we now have a "progressive" media and a "conservative" media. I have been amazed at the cowardice of the "progressive" media. They are so good at criticizing everything and everyone but they can't take it themselves, hence the term "progressive." The role of the media is not to tell both sides of a story; there may be several "sides" to a story and neither one may be the true one. This is my one criticism of The Newshour on PBS; that by telling both "sides" somehow the truth of a matter has been told and everyone will be happy. In my opinion this is just a gimmick to avoid responsibility for telling the truth of what happened. Like many others, I pine for the days of "objective" journalism. In truth this does not exist, but all responsible journalists made objectivity their goal and many (Frank Blair, Edwin R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite) came very close to achieving it. Now, thanks to Fox News and blatantly conservative commentators, every news outlet is either conservative or liberal. Thankfully, most of the media are not the Bush "suck up" artists that they were in the 2000's, but they still avoid difficult stories and those that might hurt their corporate owners, e.g. the 2008 financial bust, altho that may now be changing.
+30 # The Oracle 2013-02-24 13:07
It's a lot worse than that.
The lap-dog Republican press has been going on since Daddy Bush embedded them with the troops in Desert Storm.
They compliantly with serious determination dogged Clinton his whole 8 years with Whitewater and other nonsense like his "exit plan for Kosovo" culminating in the ridiculous impeachment and Republican clown show. I wanted to jump through my TV and kick Blitzer's ass. And of course there was zero chance of conviction which they never mentioned.

Then Bush gets a total pass for election 2000 Florida/Supreme Court which we still know nothing about. The Iraq War was just one of half a dozen serious criminal/impeac hable offenses by Bush which went practically uninvestigated and reported by the media. 9-11, ceasing to pursue Bin laden, Plame Affair & yellow-cake lie, spy-gate, torture-gate, Guantanamo-gate , US Attorney firings, strange outcome in Ohio 2004, Katrina and even more.
I always wondered, for instance, why no one (to this day) in the media ever questioned that fact that several Supreme Justices who made decision Bush vs Gore in 2000 were appointed by Bush's father. How the hell did that ever pass muster? When has that ever happened before in any court case in America?
+9 # tswhiskers 2013-02-25 09:19
Thank you for your reminder about Bush v. Gore. My question has always been why did the S. Court deliberately TAKE the case away from the FL supreme court. As far as I know, people apply to the S. Court and the Court then decides if they will hear it. Surely they had no right to take a case away from another court. But all info was immediately hushed up and no one to my knowledge has ever explained it. This was a shameful incident and I think we were owed an explanation; it does prove to me how biased the Court was even then.
+5 # motamanx 2013-02-25 12:14
Ask Clarence Thomas about it.
+19 # The Oracle 2013-02-24 13:09
Why doesn't the rest of the media challenge FOX News when they make these pronouncements? I don't get it. I really don't.
+21 # Helen 2013-02-24 13:09
It is no secret that some media outlets, claiming to provide a "balance" of views, broadcast distortions and misinformation to the same extent as they present verified facts, thereby encouraging their listeners' most mean-spirited thoughts and inciting fear, hatred and violence. After all, outrageous contentions attract huge audiences, and when the truth finally emerges, it often gets far less coverage.

It seems to me that our right to free speech and a free press entails a responsibility which all Americans must bear, which requires us to ascertain the truthfulness of what we hear and to demand that the truth be heard far and wide. During the past decade, we let deceitful politicians and their lapdogs off the hook, and we paid dearly for so doing. We lived, and to some extent are still living. in a state of dishonesty. Too many of our legislators represent private or corporate interests to the neglect of the general welfare and the health of our planet. Accommodating lies, past or present, and basing subsequent decisions upon them, is clearly irrational. 
+18 # The Oracle 2013-02-24 13:12
The mainstream media is a Wall St for-profit corporate cartel/monopoly just like the oil, insurance and banking cartels on Wall St. They hate Obama and paying taxes. If he wasn't about 100% squeaky-clean, successful, brilliant and popular they'd be on him in a heartbeat. One slip-up and he's toast with them.
+10 # wrknight 2013-02-24 13:41
Conservatives complain about the liberal media. I was under the impression that Fox News is part of the media, but it appears that Fox News is either too liberal for conservatives or else Fox News isn't news media at all.
+1 # flippancy 2013-02-25 17:09
Quoting wrknight:
Conservatives complain about the liberal media. I was under the impression that Fox News is part of the media, but it appears that Fox News is either too liberal for conservatives or else Fox News isn't news media at all.

Because Canada forbids lying by their TV news people they will not allow Fox to broadcast there.
+18 # Anarchist 23 2013-02-24 13:56
Lao Dog Press: JFK assassination-D an Rather saying 'his head snapped violently forward'; RFK -Sirhan Sirhan was 10 feet in front of RFK, but the wounds were close up and from behind; Jonestown -the body count kept changing over time but nobody really cared; Waco-they used tanks; MOVE ON, Philadelphia-20 square blocks eventually destroyed-just black people-move along, nothing to see here!; 9/11 Hey how about..Bldg 7, explosions, glass and marble smashed in lobby, explosions in basements before planes hit, etc...Iraq War-protestors in the streets-I was one-nothing reported. But you will definitively know what so-and so is wearing! 'Free Press' another oxymoron like 'Military Intelligence'-b ecause all the real intelligence is ignored!!!!!
+7 # mjc 2013-02-24 17:08
You see what we are not allowed to see, Anarchist 23. Thanks!
+8 # PGreen 2013-02-24 15:47
Such is the nature of an oligarchy as the one we live in, that establishment institutions exist and function to perpetuate the interests of an elite few. (corporate and government executives both, but the latter retains at least the pretense of accountability) The Establishment Media has not reformed itself any more than Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Just as the financial industry is still a crisis waiting to happen, the EM is poised to openly support the interests of an elite few in just as deliberate a manner as it did during the Bush years-- obedient participants simply require the right excuse to "report responsibly in the national interest" -- and national interest, to them, means the oligarchy rather than the public, though they are presented as the same thing.
+9 # vgirl1 2013-02-24 15:53
Why does anyone take seriously anything any of he punidiots on FAUX have to say.

Whatever they say is more than likely 100% the opposite.

So whenever they say something just know it is 180 degrees out of sync with the truth/reality.
+6 # bmiluski 2013-02-25 10:03
The same reason people take religion seriously. They'd rather be told what to think then actually have the guts to do it themselves.
-13 # egbegb 2013-02-24 19:03
MMFA reported that 77% of Senators supported the Iraq war. That's why the "deniers" got so little coverage. Consensus politics always win big time in the journalism trade.

I watch 2 of (ABC,CBS,NBC) and FoxNews daily.
I promise you if you watch all three (ABC, CBS and NBC) you
will not get anywhere near the news you would get had you
watched Shep Smith. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, AP, NYT, CNN all simply don't deliver news that conflicts with a progressive
view and don't ask POTUS hard questions. That they don't opine in public or report on real stories is very unusual.

Author of this post quoted MMFA, an organization of impecable reputation, that 800 reference to Benghazi were in NYT and WaPo in 5 months. That's approximately 400 articles each. There are ~150 days in 5 months. 400 divided by 150 is 2.666666

That means in any issue of either rag, you could expect to see between two and three articles every single day from September to February. This strains the notion of credibility as most MMFA articles do if analyzed in detail. If I am wrong, just post all those 800 Benghazi references for the NYT and WaPo.
+13 # ligonlaw 2013-02-24 22:54
The Bush Administration' s transgressions were so much worse than Watergate. While Nixon did not participate in the Watergate crimes, he assisted in the cover-up. No one died. The Bush-Cheney Administration outed a CIA agent who was looking for, and finding, weapons of mass destruction held by terrorists. They lied to the American public about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, warned of his nuclear threat which didn't exist and removed our troops from Afghanistan where Bin Laden was operating. The lies of the Administration rolled up a body count exceeding 100,000 lives, caused 15 millions Iraqis to flee their homeland, introduced war crimes such as torture and rendition into our arsenal. Every prediction and assessment from the White House was vastly different from reality. Yet, the press cowered and gave the perpetrrators tongue baths, year after bloody year. There were almost no journalists working in the American press.
+7 # RMDC 2013-02-25 06:08
It is pointless even to talk about an American media or american journalism. It has neither. It has a corporate propaganda system. The system for control of the "public mind" as Edward Bernays wrote in his book called Propaganda in the 1920s has been in development for at least 100 years. It is now fully matured.

Chomsky and Herman's Manufacturing Consent is still the best analysis of how US media became a propaganda system.
+7 # Texas Aggie 2013-02-25 07:32
Trying to counteract the Hannity/Rove misinformation campaign with facts is a fool's errand. Those boys know full well that they are lying out all orifices, but their goal is to misinform American voters and they have absolutely no qualms out of using the "liberal" media to get their message out. They know that no one in the media is going to question them or put them on the spot because it never has.
+8 # kyzipster 2013-02-25 08:17
In the name of patriotism and solidarity the media gave the Bush Administration a free ride after 9/11, it lasted until Katrina which was so horrific that the press could no longer ignore the incompetence and immorality of the conservative worldview. Very frightening period, we may never fully recover from the damage. The press may have been the biggest factor.

In its efforts to appear non-partisan, the press is still complicit in allowing Republican lies to go unchecked. Sometimes there is only one truth and more often than not, the Democrats are the adults in the room trying to embrace some common sense. It's beyond pathetic.
+4 # alanvance 2013-02-25 09:05
As I watched the events of 9/11 unfold on a computer screen in my apartment in Trinidad I was struck by the early and confident assertion by the network anchor that Osama bin Ladin's "fingerprints" were "all over" the assault. Then and now, it seemed to me the sort of verdict that is made () after careful investigation, or (2) as a consequence of an unseen someone at the network breathing into his ear the potted judgments that are the pillars of a plot. A principal function of network news has been to guide the attention of viewers and listeners into approved channels, to dismiss as "conspiracy theory" all speculation, however evidence-based, that would present the governing class as criminal. It is true that the "journalism" industry can be waspish about wars in decline, wars that have had their day. MSNBC's Hubris is an example. But never are the arguments against war presented when they are needed and when their presentation would, if not persuade, save a semblance of honor and professional responsibility for the men and women who cheer-lead us into follies such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam.
+3 # kyzipster 2013-02-25 10:53
I watched a British documentary on terrorism. They illustrated how the US government and the media created Al Qaeda out of thin air many years ago. They needed a label, they needed to be able to categorize an abstract enemy.

It's not that Al Qaeda doesn't exist today exactly but the belief that it's a powerful, well organized, worldwide network is mostly still a fantasy. Rather than some organization called Al Qaeda attracting terrorists like bin Laden, terrorists like bin Laden have adopted the label because it serves their purpose, it scares the crap out of people. All someone has to do to become America's enemy #1 is to call themselves a member of 'Al Qaeda'.

In reality, bin Laden commanded a loosely knit band of criminals who were small in number. They managed to pull off a historic and dramatic act of murder in the most simplistic way imaginable, changing our history and our laws. Giving the military and Congress another excuse to bankrupt the Treasury.
+6 # motamanx 2013-02-25 11:56
It has become boiler plate for some time that the right blames the left for what it (the right) has already done, or is about to do.
Remember blaming Kerry for the Swift Boat thing, when Bush was in TX snorting coke in an obsolete jet plane that never was going to see action?
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-02-25 13:17
What a Lapdog press really looked like?

What it looks like right now.

Who are these delusion peddlars?

To expect to find significant qualitative differences between the NYTimes & the WaPo on one side, and Fox & Cnn on the other, suggests a radical self delusion has already emerged.

As for the "left" media, to the left of what fascism?
+3 # flippancy 2013-02-25 17:13
Sadly, the conservatives are now to the right of fascism.

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