As the Empire Crumbles in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2005, 11:15am PT  

God Bless Media Matters.

In a single day yesterday, they tracked what appears to be an epidemic growing number of lies and disinformation now streaming out of the Rightwing Media and, most specifically Fox "News", in an alarming and every increasing tsunami of governmental propoganda.

With the White House now defending the millions of dollars spent to create their very own fake "news" reports and Arnold doing the same out here in California, is it any wonder that the wingnut media seems to feel no compunction about saying whatever they want, whenever they want, all the facts be damned. After all, who is going to stop them?

And, in the meantime, where is the "real" media? Where are the freedom fighters for reality and truth? Where are the mainstream reporters who ought to be exposing this organized and invidious scheme which has quietly --- yet in plan sight and without repercussion --- layered out-and-out lies, disinformation and propoganda directly into the news "mainstream" where Americans by-and-large haven't a clue that they are being played for fools? The corporate mainstream media has completely abandoned their post and their duties as truth tellers for the American people.

Take a look at a list of a few reports --- just yesterday alone --- from the dedicated heroes at Media Matters...

  • Fox "News'" Brit Hume, who already shamefully twisted quotes from FDR weeks ago to make it seems as though the creator of Social Security was in favor of GWB's privatized account scheme, continues the disinfo charade by quoting bogus polls and (rather brilliantly, if we say so ourselves) advancing a complete fantasy that it is Democrats and the "Liberal" media who is offering disinfo to Amercans.
  • Of course, Brit wasn't the only "reporter" hard at work this week on Fox spreading unchecked disinfo on America's most watched "news" channel.

  • Of course, it's not just Social Security that this full court press of press lies at Fox has been on about. Newt Gingrich, on Fox's Hannity & Colmes was allowed to advance the notion that John Kerry and other Democrats are "to the left of the French" for expressing criticism of Bush nominees Wolfwowitz to the World Bank (NEWT: "even the French today were saying nice things about Wolfowitz") and Bolton to the U.N. (NEWT: "liberal Democrat[s]" are "unnerve[d]" by the Bolton nomination because he is "actually dedicated to protecting American interests.") Gingrich, of course, is a regular contributor to all of Fox "News'" programs.
  • Unfortunately, Fox isn't the only one leading the wingnut charge to lie and confuse Americans. Bill Gertz, over at the Sun Yung Moon owned Washington Times, has been hard at work publicizing faked and forged Pentagon documents in order to smear military heroes who jump out of goosestep with the White House Fantasy Machine. We've yet to notice the outrage towards Gertz by the same wingnuts who were so beside themselves concerning Dan Rather having accidentally reported on possibly forged documents. (At least the substance of Rather's possibly fake documents were based in fact...Apparently reality is not a necessary component to forgeries passed on by the Right. Neither is the necessity to resign after doing so.)
  • And then there's poor rightwing "columnist" and activist David Horowitz, who just seems to be making things up out of whole cloth. Correcting, retracting and un-correcting and un-retracting with each and every new day. Apparently nobody got the memo out to him, that it's unnecessary for folks on the Right to either correct or retract. Just make up whatever you want, and there will be no consequences for doing so.
  • There's more from just yesterday alone, but you get the idea.

    And where is the once-great 4th Estate? Some are busy arguing with me via Email that, unlike us bloggers, they have the responsibility to be "balanced" and besides, they just don't have the resources anymore to investigate and newsgather and...well, various other rationalizations, apologies, justifications and excuses for not doing doing their jobs and not holding wingnuts to the same standards that everyone else is held to.

    The need for media reform is at the very heart of virtually every misstep this country has taken in the world over the last several years; from phony wars, to self-destructive domestic policies, to likely un-elected Presidential Administrations. In truth, the notion that Americans simply don't care about what's going on is, by and large, misleading. While, undoubtedly, there is some truth in the idea of the lazy, clueless American, for the most part Americans don't have a clue because they are given none by the very media whose job it is to keep them informed.

    That post, by the mainstream media, has been entirely and completely abandoned at this point. And in the wake of the Fox "News" being left to guard the henhouse, it's not just a lack of information the American public must now contend with, it's a new wave of disinformation that they are being inculcated with every day from every TV screen, page of newsprint and car radio speaker.

    In the bargain --- it is all too clear, and sad to note --- that the very principles our country was founded on continue to disintegrate at an alarming rate...along with our reputation and standing in the eyes of the world.

    We bloggers can only "be the media" to a certain extent. It's not easy to save the entire world on occasional $20 donations. (Of course they help! So be our guest to kick in if you are inclined!) But you, the dedicated readers of BRAD BLOG and other sites willing to do the job that the MSM won't anymore, are responsible for doing everything that you can in the bargain. Send these items around to friends. Write letters to the editor of as many papers as you can. Call and write both the cable and local "News" stations.

    Yet with all of those great efforts, we will need a seachange in the atmosphere amongst the writers, reporters, editors and programmers in the American MSM and a realization amongst them of the responsibility which they have abdicated.

    We realize that many such MSM'ers read this blog. So we appeal to you this morning...on the 2nd Anniversary of a continuing and pointless war which was built on the very lies and disinformation that you all helped to propagate unchecked to the American people...please pay attention to what's going on. And please dig deep to find the courage within to do what's right for your fellow citizens --- in both America and the world --- to reassume the important mantle you once so bravely held as America's final defense in the greater war that must be won. The war for truth, justice and, what we once proudly referred to as, the American way...