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Story Update: McClatchy Claims It's Barred from Defense Secretary Plane

For those of you following the Knight Ridder (now McClatchy) reporters recently featured in BUYING THE WAR, read this recent article from EDITOR AND PUBLISHER:

Staffers at McClatchy’s Washington, D.C., Bureau — one of the few major news outlets skeptical of intelligence reports during the run-up to the war in Iraq — claims it is now being punished for that coverage.

Bureau Chief John Walcott and current and former McClatchy Pentagon correspondents say they have not been allowed on the Defense Secretary’s plane for at least three years, claiming the news company is being retaliated against for its reporting.

“It is because our coverage of Iraq policy has been quite critical,” Walcott told E&P. He added, “I think the idea of public officials barring coverage by people they’ve decided they don’t like is at best unprofessional, at worst undemocratic and petty.”

Read the full article here.


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oddly enough Gore vidal expressed a sorrow for Pakistani people imediately after the 911 incident in America.As he knew full well that the terrorist were given a place to hide in Pakastan all along so eventually pakistan will be drawn into its own cival war and they have nuke power...

Wipe your feet and salute before entering the Fuherer's
(DECIDER's) plane. Otherwise you may find yourself on the train (cattlecar).
This mild protest takes courage under the Patriot Act in a country where Halliburton is building concentration camps for FEMA.
There may not be black helicopters, but big black cars are cruising around every media outlet. Margie Schoedinger knew!

The 'misfortune' of having major news organizations NOT protesting about this was commented upon by Dr. Martin Luther King -- in the movie 'Driving Miss Daisy':

"The greatest misfortune of our age is not the presence of evil in the world. It is, instead, the apathetic silence of the children of light."

McClatchy is one of a very few news organizations that are worthy of being read. THEY ARE NOT COOPERATING WITH THE BUSH CRIME FAMILY!

If they are denied access to the WH, why are the other news organizations not protesting this!

That was a rhetorical question, and no answer need be given. The others are not protesting, because they are a part of this swindle!

A reporter at my local newspaper won a Pulitzer thirty years ago. This achievement is still featured proudly in the masthead every day. Being "punished" for your reporting, by the Cheney/Bush administration, is a badge of honor; you should brag about it in your masthead for the next thirty years.

the hallmark/highpoint of investigative journalism in most of our lifetimes was woodward and bernstein during Watergate. the key to their efforts was endless follow-up. please do the same with additional shows about the selling of the war, particularly now with today's release of the partial Phase II Intel report. bush et al were amply warned, but ignored the info. where was the press????????????????????? follow up, follow up, follow up. we americans have to be be re-taught about documentation and research. once and done does not inform, it merely titilates.

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross." --Sinclair Lewis

Bitter prescience.

My jaw hangs slack at the abuses we're witnessing vis a vis a free press -- both from the Bush administration and from within the ranks of journalism itself.

I listened to Al Gore on Letterman last night and believe he's right. We've forgotten how to think, to reason.

Worse yet, as a populace, we've allowed this to happen by placidly lapping up news about Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith rather than bigger issues.

I can feel myself becoming more and more politicized, more willing to take action. But, there's this edge of fear and I begin to understand how other human tragedies happen. For fear of what may happen to my career, I sometimes hesitate to speak out.

How horribly often has that happened in recent history? How devastating have the effects of silence.

Your program on selling the war is insightful and compelling, but does not go far enough. My concern about this and other programs that criticize the decision to invade Iraq skirt fundamental issues about September 11. Responsible journalists are criticizing the factual predicate for the invasion, self-defense in the face of a credible nuclear and biological warfare threat by Saddam Hussein. The source of the newfound courage to challenge an administration in the middle of a war is not a factual discovery, an exhumation of the skeptical spine of the press or that the political septic tank overflowed and even the propagandists could no longer stand the stench.

The willingness of responsible journalists to question the motives, methods and actions of the administration gives the public a reality check that is nearly six years overdue. The engine driving the search for the truth is not the resurrection of our common sense but the comfort and safety that comes from criticizing a loser. The only people Americans hate worse than traitors are losers. If the war had gone well, we would still be banging the war drum loudly and often.

It is heartwarming to see responsible criticism of our government by responsible people, and certainly better late than never. Still, the more serious question about who should bear the responsibility for perpetrating 911 is untouched by anyone having something to lose. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that the attack was an inside job, no grand juries have been convened, no public investigation is underway and the only source of available information comes from books and the Internet. This is no way to run an open society. Americans should not oppose an independent investigation that goes where the evidence leads. The media should not bury the truth for fear of retaliation. Since Draconian consequences await a skeptical press, media timidity is understandable, if not forgivable. The press corps, armed with skepticism and courage, should be the watchdogs of democracy. Since 9-11, they have been gullible and gutless.

Interesting, that even in a "free" society some things still cost us dearly. When the straying from the truth is the price of a ticket, you can't afford it. Keep writing from the ground.

After defending all those lies for so long and so strongly you wouldn't want them to change course and begin encouraging truthful reporting now would you?

That's like expecting Bush to speak with both grammar and diction...

The Bruce Bawer segment, mis-titled, "On fighting fundamentalisms", was more about fighting immigration - yet another tiresome NIMBY story - as it mostly dealt with Bawer's dissatisfaction with recent immigrants to the Netherlands, his backyard safe haven from homophobia:

BILL MOYERS: So you're saying we can't treat that ideology, or that culture, as equal to one that espouses democratic values?

BRUCE BAWER: Well, we certainly can't allow that culture to thrive in our own backyard, in our own countries, because it's not only unfair to the people living within that subculture, who are being oppressed, but it's in the long run, it poses a danger to all of us, because of the demographic situation.

Every person feels a need to have a safe haven backyard, but we need to apply our little grey cells rather than irrational fears to the situation. There are some useful basic questions that can be asked. Why is there such a huge wave of immigration taking place in the world right now? Does it have something to do with economic imbalances, exacerbated by our not so wonderful free trade, free market globalisation policies that ignore what is really important to human beings and to the planet? Or with brutal rule-by-the-sword, not-by-agreement agendas?

I have never met anyone who would not have preferred to remain in the country of their birth under different circumstances. People do emigrate for reasons other than economics or political/religious persecution, but not in numbers that would cause the NIMBY in all of us to feel threatened.

Bawer was an unfortunate choice for a segment on fighting fundamentalism because of the confusion with the immigration issue. He was also unfortunate as his focus was on Islamist fundamentalism of which we are getting more than our fair share these days due to the U.S. government's need to create an enemy for distracting from its nefarious Middle East agenda.

I would suggest a much more unique media story to illustrate the iniquitous affect of religious fundamentalism on a people - having a Palestinian in Israel on the show talking about fundamentalist Judaism and its affect on Palestinians in Israel. It avoids the immigration issue, is rarely depicted in the media and it would show that the Israel lobby is not as ubiquitous and all-powerful as has been depicted. Go on Bill, I dare you.

Retribution is a common tactic for the Bush Administration for anyone not following the Meet The Press model Dick Cheney so admires.

The lack of regret expressed by the MSM for being so wrong and pliant in the run up to the war, indeed their continuing use of totally discredited sources that have always been wrong on the war, is symptomatic of the failure of the "Fourth Estate" Jefferson had in mind as a watchdog on our Democracy.

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