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All the News that Fits the Bush Agenda

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It is difficult to understand how anyone with even a modicum of critical intelligence, can still believe the right-wing complaint that the mainstream media (MSM) "has a liberal bias." Evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, and new evidence appears almost daily.

The persistent belief in "the myth of the liberal media" is still more evidence of the efficacy of "the big lie." The myth is repeated so often and forcefully that, among the "true believers," it is accepted despite the evidence. "They wouldn't say it, if it weren't true, right?"

And so the mainstream media, with a very few honorable exceptions, persists in its unwavering service to the GOP, George Bush, and his "war on terror."

Case in Point: The (alleged) London/Airline Bomb Plot.

On August 10, the day after Ned Lamont's victory over Joseph Lieberman, the MSM breathlessly announced that an imminent plot to blow up as many as ten trans-Atlantic airliners had been foiled in London. Some twenty-four British Moslems, we were told, had devised the plan which would cause, in the words of a London police administrator, "mass murder on an unimaginable scale." (So much for fabled British understatement).

And who will save us from such dastardly deeds? Why, none other than our "wartime President" along with his faithful Brit ally, Tony Blair. (The polls indicate that "the war on terror" is Bush's strongest issue, and perhaps his only effective issue). Thus several Busheviks were quick to claim credit for the work of British law enforcement.

Sensational! And Topic #1 on the MSM for a few days, at least.

Then it all began to unravel:

* Specific details of the plot were obtained from lead suspect, Rashid Rauf, under torture by Pakistani authorities. As is well known, testimony obtained by torture is of little value, since the victim will say anything he believes the torturers want to hear, regardless of the truth.

* The plot couldn't have been "days away," as first announced, since none of the alleged plotters had airline tickets, and a few did not even have passports (required for international flights).

* Chemistry experts report that the kind of "binary" chemical explosives described in news reports would be virtually impossible to activate and explode in flight.

* Moreover, why should terrorists resort to such complicated and unreliable methods, when all they need to do is stash explosive devices in the cargo compartments of the airliners (as was done in the Lockerbie bombing)? The Bush administration, let us recall, has declined to enact full-scale inspection of airline cargo. "Too costly," we are told.

Away from "the mainstream," additional serious and informed doubts about the plot have been raised by eov Parrish in Working for Change, Craig Murray in The Guardian, Christopher Reed in Counterpunch, James K. Galbraith in The Guardian, and Gwyn Dyer in The Age.

PSST! That's the sound of another "terror plot story" being deflated.

And so, we've heard very little about the "deadly liquids bomb plot" of late. But it did succeed in diverting public attention from the Connecticut primary. Mission accomplished.

In short, in with a bang, out with a whimper. "The Great Liquid Bomb Plot" shrivels in the light of subsequent evidence - and lack of evidence.

This is not to say that there was no serious terrorist bomb threat that further investigation might prove, followed by the conviction of the culprits. We just don't know. And that's the outrage. We have a right to know, and the media has an obligation to report. But once again, the MSM, in its typical failure to report counterbalancing doubts and anomalies, casts no light on the issue. It merely adds more fuel to fire up public fear in support of Bush's "war on terra."

Rot at the Top: The decline and fall of "The Grey Lady."

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Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. Partridge has taught philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The (more...)

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