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How the Mainstream Media Got Bush Re-elected – And Screwed America

by Pamela Leavey

Columnists in today’s Boston Globe, L.A. Times, and Washington Post all have pieces that make it very clear that Patrick Fitzgerald had the goods to indict White House aides for obstructing justice in the CIA leak case as of October of last year. Each one of the columnists notes that the MSM was complicit in preventing Fitzgerald from doing so.

Media giants like the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, and others all played the Pre$$titute roll and had they not, John Kerry would most assuredly be President today. These OP/ED’s are all must-read pieces about the White House’s obstruction of justice, how the MSM is complicit in it, and how it impacted the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.

Robert Scheer notes in his column “What Judy forgot: Your right to know,” in the L.A.Times that: “The most intriguing revelation of Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s news conference last week was his assertion that he would have presented his indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby a year ago if not for the intransigence of reporters who refused to testify before the grand jury. Scheer said that without that delay, “we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005.” Had that been the case, John Kerry probably would be president of the United States today.”

It is deeply disturbing that the public was left uninformed about such key information because of the posturing of news organizations that claimed to be upholding the free-press guarantee of the 1st Amendment. As Fitzgerald rightly pointed out, “I was not looking for a 1st Amendment showdown.” Nor was one necessary, if reporters had fulfilled their obligation to inform the public, as well as the grand jury, as to what they knew of a possible crime by a government official.

How odd for the press to invoke the Constitution’s prohibition against governmental abridgement of the rights of a free press in a situation in which a top White House official exploited reporters in an attempt to abridge an individual’s right to free speech.

The spirit of a law is more important than the letter, but the reporters who fought to avoid testifying to the grand jury in the investigation that snared Libby upheld neither. They were acting as knowing accomplices to a top White House official’s attempt to discredit a whistle-blower.

Thomas Oliphant says in his column, “The coverup worked” in the Boston Globe, that Fitzgerald “was in effect showing that the quixotic pursuit of a nonexistent right or privilege by some news organizations is one reason President Bush was reelected last year. . . [I]magine last week’s astonishing developments unfolding in the fall of 2004.”

…[T]he obstruction of justice alleged in this case kept us from knowing material things about our leaders at the moment we were deciding whether to keep them in office. In more common speech, obstruction of justice is a coverup, and the coverup worked — just as the Watergate coverup in 1972 kept facts from the public that would have guaranteed Richard Nixon’s defeat.

E.J. Dionne asks the quintessential question in the WaPo, “Has anyone noticed that the coverup worked?” …[L]ibby knew that at least some news organizations would resist having reporters testify. The journalistic “shield” was converted into a shield for the Bush administration’s coverup.

Note the significance of the two dates: October 2004, before President Bush was reelected, and October 2005, after the president was reelected. Those dates make clear why Libby threw sand in the eyes of prosecutors, in the special counsel’s apt metaphor, and helped drag out the investigation.

As long as Bush still faced the voters, the White House wanted Americans to think that officials such as Libby, Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney had nothing to do with the leak campaign to discredit its arch-critic on Iraq, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

In late September, Pre$$titutes noted “The Media’s Role In The Maligning Of John Kerry.” Today, one day before the anniversary of that fateful day last November, we all bear the injustice of what might have been. Time and time again last year, we witnessed the maligning of Kerry by MSM. As Pre$$titues notes, “if Kerry were president today, America would be on the road to recovery, recovery of our dignity, recovery of our integrity, recovery of our reputation as the world’s moral leader.”

It’s a sad day for America to wake up to, one year later and know that it was all based on lies and it could have been prevented – had the media done their jobs. Instead we have Russert’s, the Fineman’s, the Blizter’s, the Miller’s, the Cooper’s and so many others, to thank for feeding the Disinformation Society and polluting the minds of Americans at a time when, had the truth prevailed, informed voters would have made a different choice.

Oliphant ends his column today asking could Bush “have survived the surfacing of the truth a year ago?” The answer is categorically – NO.

UPDATE: Given today’s news, it appears Bush’s house of cards is finally starting to tumble thanks to Harry Reid, Master of the Rules.

Related Post: November 2, 2005 – One Year Later: What a Stronger Country We Could Have Been.

82 Responses to “How the Mainstream Media Got Bush Re-elected – And Screwed America”

  1. GO Nick!! BTW Nick, did you ever get the chance to read my post on Stacey Tallitsch? I thought you would have gotten a good uplift out of that one.

  2. Deanster,

    Also forget your fantasies that Dean is in complete control of the DNC as Chair. The position is an administrative position. His support for the position within the party is based upon hope for his fund raising and organizational skills–not support for him as a future candidate. Dean’s poor performance to date in the posiiton has weakened him further.

    Some of the 2004 candidates still have a shot in 2008 (assuming Hillary can be stopped) including Edwards and Clark, with Kerry having by far the best shot after Hillary. Dean is unlikley to ever get the nomination and even less likely to be elected.

  3. Nick,

    Need a few more quotes?

    JANUARY 31, 2003 – LA TIMES
    Ron Brownstein writes that “if Bush presents what he considered to be persuasive evidence that Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction, [Dean] would support military action, even without U.N. authorization.”
    FEBRUARY 10, 2003 – NY TIMES
    “Action with the U.N. is where we should be aiming at right now. We should be going back and set a timeline with the U.N. for absolute disarmament. I’ve chosen 60 days. And then there would be military action. Look, Saddam has to be disarmed. Everybody has to understand that.”
    FEBRUARY 20, 2003 – SALON.COM
    Jake Tapper writes, “[Dean’s position] is — ‘as I’ve said about eight times today,’ [Dean] says, annoyed — that Saddam must be disarmed, but with a multilateral force under the auspices of the United Nations. If the U.N. in the end chooses not to enforce its own resolutions, then the U.S. should give Saddam 30 to 60 days to disarm, and if he doesn’t, unilateral action is a regrettable, but unavoidable, choice.
    FEBRUARY 25, 2003 – PBS NEWS HOUR
    “If Saddam refuses, for example, to destroy the missiles as the United Nations has demanded, then I think the United Nations is going to have an obligation to disarm him.”
    “If he were [an immediate threat], I would advocate unilateral action.”

    There are many more, but I think this proves our point. If Deanster comes back and wants to press the issue, I can also pull out plenty on Dean and Medicare, but there’s really not much point in going into that any more.

  4. What the hell, let’s look back at Medicare too. I’ll just go with one article. Check out the last paragraph–it’s an example of how Dean’s own dishonesty is what led to the change in how the media covered him. (Hopefully since this was written the author better understand’s Kerry’s position on the IWR vote):

    Dean Did Want to Wield a Scalpel on Medicare
    Marie Cocco
    September 30, 2003
    On Dec. 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton wielded the pen Lyndon Johnson had used in signing Medicare into law years before to veto Newt Gingrich’s effort to drastically cut spending on insurance for the elderly and turn LBJ’s Great Society program over to the insurance industry.
    It was a turning point in Clinton’s tenure, a moment he would use to rescue his presidency from the surging forces of the Republican revolution led by the House speaker and refute Gingrich’s claim that Clinton was “irrelevant.” This is a bit of political theater worth recalling – accurately – now.
    And, oddly, Democrats are re-enacting the great Medicare melee of 1995.
    Howard Dean, the candidate Republicans love to depict as the heart-throb of the loony left, in fact won conservative praise in the mid-1990s for his agreement with Republican plans for deep Medicare spending cuts. The record shows Dean, who as Vermont governor was serving as head of the National Governors’ Association, endorsed cuts of the magnitude Gingrich envisioned. He did so while the bills were moving through the Senate.
    The good doctor may not have stood for pictures with Gingrich (lucky for him!). But the record shows he supported putting Medicare and Social Security on the block. This was an effort to ensure that all federal programs, not just those affecting state finances (welfare, Medicaid, money for local cops) got the Gingrich ax.
    Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), one of Dean’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been pointing this out for weeks, most strenuously in the candidates’ New York City debate last Thursday. Dean has been defending himself. And this is the problem.
    His defenses are, to put it gently, curious. At first Dean told The Washington Post that he didn’t remember who was on which side of the Medicare fight. A few days later, a campaign spokesman, Jeremy Ben Ami, told me there were “all sorts of different fights” over Medicare from 1995, when the Gingrich Republicans took over, through 1997, when Clinton – by then re-elected after a campaign, essentially, against the Gingrich Congress – forged a budget agreement with them.
    “The alliances were constantly shifting,” Ben Ami said.
    No, they weren’t.
    Clinton and Democrats on Capitol Hill took enormous political risks in 1995. No one knew, then, who would be blamed for not one, but two shut-downs of the federal government during the political impasse.
    But here is what Gephardt, Clinton and other Democrats did know: This was no mere exercise in budget gamesmanship. It was an ideological showdown over the role of government itself.
    “If we solve Medicare, I think we will govern for a generation,” Gingrich told the Atlanta Constitution in June of 1995. More famously, he would tell lobbyists for the insurance industry that he expected the agency that runs Medicare to “wither on the vine” once congressional Republicans introduced the old folks to the miracle of private HMOs.
    “We don’t get rid of it in round one because we don’t think that’s politically smart,” Gingrich said.
    Today, conservatives in the House are still pursuing their dream deferred. They are determined to use the Medicare drug-benefit bill to achieve wholesale Medicare privatization. They may well block the drug measure itself if they don’t get their way.
    So, Dr. Dean, your impulse to put everything on the table for major surgery may have been fine, for a governor. Your impulse as a candidate to obscure the record is just impertinent.
    In any campaign, candidates must square their current rhetoric with their past record. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has been taken to task for his creative explanations for voting in favor of the Iraq war resolution. In due time, Gephardt may be asked to defend congressional votes going way back to 1977.
    Voters generally judge not so much by whether there’s been a change of heart, but by a candidate’s forthrightness in explaining it. And on whether the flip-flopped issue has sufficient importance.
    Dean’s already flunked the first test. He’ll find out soon enough that Medicare matters. Especially to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

  5. Ron

    LOL! Keep them coming!

  6. Ron

    I’m loving it, loving it, loving it, LOOOOOVING it.

    Donnie

    I never did see your post. But I’ll go look for it now. What was the title?

  7. What did I miss? Am I just looking in the wrong places or is Novak getting a free pass in all this?

  8. Here’s the link Nick http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=986

    WooHoo, run and take cover Pamela, Ron is bombing the place. HAHA :)

  9. Vicky

    Hopefully not but it does look that way for now.

  10. Donnie

    Like I told the Deanster last night — “Ron is SO adept at responding to your brand of BS.”

  11. Donnie

    Just read the your post and I LOOOVE it. This guy tallitsch sounds like just what the doctor ordered and then some.

    Here’s the reponse I just posted over at your original post:

    “Donnnie

    Love it. Southern populism at its finest. I’ve seen other folks channel people Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, John Edwards, Ralph Yaroborough, etc. but this guy seems to be channeling them all at once. Excellent-very eloquent and a wonderful mix of facts and figures along with simple human passion for a cruel wrong that has been done to these folks in New Orleans. Just wonderful.”

  12. Nick, I wondered if you ever read that one. We had a talk about Louisiana and how things might turn out after the Katrina and Rita factor. So what do you say now. :)

  13. Yes you did Pamela. You told him, and then Ron showed him!! LOVE IT!!

  14. Vicky,

    Novak is largely getting a pass. That’s partially because there’s so many more important targets in government, and partially because the laws against revealing Plame’s identity by government officials do not apply to him.

    Still, he will be forever known as the person who did publish Plame’s identity and hopefully that will catch up with him sometime.

  15. Donnie,

    That’s nothing. You should have seen the old official Kerry Blog where we dealt with such issues all the time.

    There was one major difference. Back during the primary battles we felt no need to hold back. Now there is no point to an all out attack on Dean so I’ll limit it to the above for now to respond to Deanster.

  16. Donnie

    Some of us on the Kerry blog we’re very well known for our defense of JK and providing all the facts. Ron’s one of the best!

  17. I am enjoying it. What really got me to laughing, was when he asked us to click his name, like it was supposed to scare someone. LMAO-Too Funny!!!

  18. Pamela,

    It’s a shame Donnie never got to see us deal with Lala.

    Donnie,

    Lala is a nickname for our most obnoxious troll on the blog. He was a Kerry hater who leaned towards Dean who would come with a number of names, including Lalaland (claiming we were in Lalaland for believing Kerry had a chance at winning the nomination).

    Lala, as I began to call him, would do things like post multiple times, post under other people’s name, and become an all around pest.

    I figured turn about was fair play. When he got obnoxious, interfering with conversation, I would enter my own posts under his name. I would take part of he would say, and then start talking about the influence of the drugs, or the voices in my (or actually his) head.

    I got word back that even Teresa Heinz Kerry enjoyed reading those posts making fun of him.

  19. LMAO Ron, sorry I missed that.

  20. Ron

    The Lala days were amongst the craziest. Oh, we had some laughs. Donnie would have fit right in.

  21. OUCH!!! You guys are gonna love this. Brings new meaning to the old saying “Hell Hath no Fury”

    Man Sues Ex-Girlfriend Over Glue Attack

    GREENSBURG, Pa. – A man claims his ex-girlfriend owes him more than $30,000 for gluing his genitals to his abdomen five years ago. “This was not just some petty domestic squabble,” attorney Grey Pratt told a Westmoreland County jury Wednesday.
    http://houmatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051103/APA/511031052

  22. Lot’s of blather — very Democrat in its lack of focus and self-indulgence. The US is now being led by anti-social bullies, verging on the sociopathic, and we treat them like they were just ordinary folks with a clever streak. They not only turn our hard-earned democracy back into into a theocratic plutocracy, but they do so with the malevolent glee of spoiled children who don’t give a damn for the suffering of others. Democrats and the media can share the blame for not recognizing that the Devil is at work here. Where are the psycho profiles of leadership when we need them? Why do corporations have more rights than real people? And, why is the profligate use of money to buy elections an acceptable example of freedom of speech? I’m afraid that if the Democrats ever regain power nothing will change. It is certainly time for a Centrist movement, like the Progressives of 100 years ago. Much of the social legislation that the Republicans now wish to dismantle came out of the Progressive Movement, which was itself a response to a robber barony that was as rapacious as that which we are witnessing today. Please, let’s get out of the two party rut and stop rehashing old mistakes. A majority of Americans are crying for responsible governance, not ideology.

    Jay

  23. Donnie,

    Yeah, you would have loved seeing them go at in in the old days on the Kerry blog. That little gang of my old KFF heroes were amazing. Lurking and reading their posts and battles was all that kept my hopes and spirits alive at times during the dark period of the primaries in the fall of ’03.

    My first real post on the JK blog was a few days before the Iowa primary. I finally had to thank them for everything they were doing, for how hard they worked, how amazed I was that the worst things looked the harder they would work, that I loved reading their posts and that I was making my largest donation to date in their honor.

    There were some nights I’d almost hurt myself laughing so hard watching them doing battle. Blasting the trolls with facts and ripping apart their drivel. At times just toying with some of them for fun until they got bored and then they’d just rip their heads off. Mark from Iowa(you’d have loved him too) especially seemed to like toying with them for a while, like a cat with a mouse, before finally decapitating them.
    :-)

  24. Sounds fun Dave.

  25. Jay Says: November 3rd, 2005 at 8:51 pm

    Say what? Most progressives wnat a more liberal agenda not a centrist agenda. Most progressives want to the do away with the centrist model – the DLC, etc. Not sure that you are making sense here, Jay.

  26. Dave from Princeton

    You’re tarnishing my nice girl image! 😉

    LOL!

  27. Words such as progressive, liberal, and centrist are very unclear. While Jay calls for a centrist agenda, much of what he says sounds like things people who consider themselves progressives would say. Without specifics of what he considers a centrist agenda I can’t say if I agree or disagree.

    Normally I’d agree with the idea of getting out of the two party rut. Unfortunately, at the moment, the Republican Party is controlled by the extremists of the right wing, leaving the Democratic Party as the only option for both centrists and progressives.

  28. Ron

    Jay made little sense to me… unless it was a veiled suggestion of leaning towards HC.

  29. Pamela,

    The problem is that Jay uses words like centrist and progressive without saying what he proposes. The terms are too vague and are used differently by different people. He (as well as everyone else who argues based upon liberal vs. conservative labels) need to be more specific as to what they are actually supporting.

  30. Donnie

    Still not ready to say for sure how Lousiana will turn out, but this guy does raise my hopes somewhat for a southern populism resurgence.

  31. home loans mortgage Says:
    May 18th, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    SPAM!!!! ALL OUT SPAM!!!! GO AWAY!! You suck more than Bush, so you piss off!!

  32. Donnie

    Massive SPAM attack! Ugh!