It sure isn’t thanks to the quality of the news we’re getting here in America!
Here are ten things you don’t know if you just depend on the corporate media for your information:
1. Most Americans would like to see this president and vice president impeached and removed from office. Newsweek magazine published a scientific poll last October showing that 51 percent of us favor impeachment (including 29 percent of Republicans!), but the corporate media, which normally haven’t met a poll they won’t publish, didn’t publicize this one. And now, when the numbers supporting impeachment are surely even higher, you can’t even pay a polling outfit to ask the question. No wonder most people who favor impeachment still think they’re odd ducks.
3. The president has been declared a felon in federal court. Yet even after Federal District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled last August that President Bush and the National Security Agency were committing serial Class A felonies and were violating both the First and Fourth Amendments by spying on Americans’ communications without first obtaining warrants, Bush continued ordering the NSA to continue the patently illegal program for at least half a year. In reports on the spying program, the corporate media never mention that it has been declared a felonious activity by the federal court.
4. Fifteen Democratic state party organizations have passed impeachment resolutions calling on Democrats in Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president and vice president. The most recent of these, the Democratic Party of Oklahoma, passed its resolution at the party’s annual convention on May 19. Other Democratic Party conventions, in states from Nevada and California to Massachusetts and North Carolina, have passed similar resolutions. Most have been ignored by the corporate media even in their own states.
5. Bush’s so-called “coalition of the willing” is not so willing and is not really much of a coalition either. When’s the last time you’ve heard how many countries are on board with the US in the war and occupation of Iraq? The reality? Britain, the only significant contributor of combat troops besides the U.S., is pulling out, as Italy and Spain did earlier, and many other countries, like Denmark, Lithuania and others, plan to be out of Iraq by August or at the latest December. One indication of the seriousness of situation: the Pentagon no longer lists the countries that are members of the “coalition.” The only mainstream report I’ve seen laying out this collapse in international support for Bush’s war was in USA Today last February.
6. The Homeland Security Department last year awarded Halliburton $385 million in a no-bid contract to construct prison camps designed to hold tens of thousands of unspecified prisoners in the event of domestic unrest. Meanwhile, President Bush has signed a bill altering the insurrection act so that he can declare martial rule and order active duty troops to take charge anywhere in the domestic US in the event of “public disorder.” No one in the corporate media has reported on these developments or asked the White House to explain what it’s all about.
7. There is evidence that Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, was a patron of the Washington Madam whose client book of high-class call-girls is causing many in Washington political circles—mostly Republicans it appears, who apparently need to pay for their sex—to sweat. So far no mention of the Cheney angle in the corporate media, though they’ve been having fun with the broader story of a political sex scandal. No mention either of how a brave West Point cadet a few weeks ago refused to shake Cheney’s hand on stage when the vice president was handing out this year’s diplomas at the Army’s premiere officer academy.
8. Among the “worst of the worst” of the “evildoers” captured and held as “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo were children, some of them preteens and kids who were under 15 when captured and brought to the island of Cuba--so many in fact that the military had to set up a special facility, called Camp Iguana, just for adolescent and pre-pubescent “fighters.” The corporate media have barely reported on this atrocity (the New York Times ran only one article mentioning child captives, in June 2005). The only wider coverage of this outrage came recently when the government tried to prosecute one such alleged child “terrorist”--Omar Khadr--only to have the military judge in charge toss his case out because the government had misclassified him. Khadr, we learned, was captured in 2001 in Afghanistan at the ripe age of 15, making him one of the older child captives brought to and interrogated at Guantanamo. Under international law, the U.S. was supposed to treat this and other child soldiers as victims, not as war criminals. Khadr, a Canadian by birth, instead has spent five years doing hard time in US captivity.
9. Well-researched reports on the rampant theft of both the 2000 and 2004 elections, and on Republican plans for theft of the 2008 election, such as Mark Crispin Miller’s Fooled Again, have gone unmentioned in the corporate media. Books on the subject, like Miller’s and like Greg Palast’s best selling Armed Madhouse, have never been reviewed.
10. And of course, there’s my own book. The Case for Impeachment, despite its having sold over 20,000 copies in hardcover, and despite its having now come out in a mass-market paperback edition, in both cases printed by a mainstream publisher, St. Martin’s Press, has not received a single review in the corporate media. In this, my co-author Barbara Olshansky and I are not alone. None of the books on the impeachable crimes of this administration, including one by Nixon-era impeachment panelist and former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, and one by Judiciary Chair Rep. John Conyers, has been reviewed by a mainstream media outlet.
What we’re talking about here is nothing less than a media blackout of important stories and news.
Thanks to the internet and to the grapevine, and thanks to their basic native intelligence, most Americans seem to understand that we’re being lied to and cheated. What the media blackout of important news does manage to do, however, is keep us all thinking that we are in a minority in opposing things like illegal wars, a trampled Constitution, and stolen elections.
In fact, however, we’re actually the majority. Once we realize this, maybe we will have a movement, instead of a just nation of isolated cynics and complainers.
DAVE LINDORFF, a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist, is co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office" (St. Martin's Press, 2006, and now out in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net