If you want to know why so many Americans are clueless about what is going on in the world; read these highlights from an internal memorandum from the world's oldest and largest newsgathering organization--The Associated Press:
· “Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney [Spears] is a big deal. ... We want to pay attention to what others are reporting and seek to confirm those stories that WE feel warrant the wire. ...When we determine that we’ll write something, we must expedite it.”-- Los Angeles AP assistant Frank Baker
Lou Ferrara, the managing editor for sports, entertainment and multimedia for Associated Press said that the news service’s clients were, “yearning for more photos and videos of celebrities.”
Mr. Ferrara said, “It’s really part of a larger strategy for The A.P. to do what it’s always done well.”
(New York Times, 1/14/08)
Last spring a Congressional investigation found that FEMA officials had ignored repeated warnings about dangerous levels of formaldehyde fumes in trailers they were providing to Katrina evacuees. FEMA officials had refused to test the trailers for formaldehyde so they could say they didn’t know there was a problem.
· “[S]enior officials in Washington didn’t want to know what they already knew, because they didn’t want the legal and moral responsibility to do what they knew had to be done.”--The Washington Post, 7/20/07
Now, CBS News reports (1/28/08) that The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suppressed warnings from one of its top scientists about the long-term health risks of formaldehyde fumes in the trailers being occupied by Katrina evacuees.
The director of the CDC’s Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine, Dr. Christopher De Rosa, told his superiors “there is no safe level of exposure” to formaldehyde in trailers, but his warning did not appear in any of the CDC’s public reports. In fact, Dr. De Rosa indicated that FEMA officials directed two of his staff to omit any mention of the long-term health effects of formaldehyde from its February 2007 report. It was only after eight months of pressure from Congressional investigators that the CDC finally revised its report and issued warnings about the health risks of formaldehyde.
· “To not do its due diligence on this issue borders on malfeasance.”--Rep. Bernie Thompson [D-MS], chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee
Malfeasance seems to be the standard throughout the Bush Administration, but how many people do you have to poison before malfeasance becomes premeditated criminal neglect?
More than 143,000 families have lived in these poisonous FEMA trailers--40,000 still do.
We no longer have to wonder how many lies the Bush Administration told to sell the Iraq war to the American people. Somebody has counted them.
A joint study by the Fund for Independence in Journalism and the Center for Public Integrity examined the public statements that George W. Bush and seven other top members of his administration made about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and its links with al-Qaida during the two year period following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
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