Controlling the News May 31, 2006
TBR News.org – May 31, 2006
“We occasionally take a national poll on subjects of general interest. Of course these polls are run through a private firm working for us on contract and from time to time, when we are covering a sensitive subject, the pollsters are politely informed as to what to find and what not to find. In this case, the polls showing the collapse of public confidence in Bush, the Iraq bloodbath, the honesty and effectiveness of the Republicans in Congress, are considered “sensitive issues,” and it is generally agreed that we will be kind.
It is pretty obvious that Bush’s ratings are going down, down, down in the elevator of history but we are asked not to be too pointed in this. The Administration’s argument? If we were to show Bush dropping to a 10% approval, even if we were in error (a printing mistake for example) the public would read this and the real results would be even worse. So, let us say, all accurate polls show Bush at 28% – 26%, we would show him at 31%-30%. If we showed him, as CNN loved to do, have him at 45% when he actually is at 28%, our creditability would tank the same way. There are times when we are caught between the truth and the usual lies.
The killings in Iraq are a case in point. Both the White House and the Pentagon want this to go quietly away. The usual method to accomplish this is to have some general, medals and all, announce that the matter was being investigated and if something bad happened, why of course those who were bad would be punished. Those who were bad are never officers, only a “small number of confused soldiers” who would be given a friendly, press-free court martial and given modest sentences.
However, the Marine Corps had a case last year in which giggling jarheads deliberately shot a wounded man to death. There were pictures of this ugliness but in the end, the Marines responsible were completely acquitted. The photographs may not have lied but the Marine Corps Justice system certainly did..
Our fellow journalists in France and Britain know all about these periodic slaughters of unarmed and innocent civilians, mostly by U.S. Marines, but somehow our media is looking elsewhere.
Note if you will that the recent stories about the murder of Iraqi women and children in November of last year were suddenly eclipsed in the news by the blowing up of three U.S. reporters by the evil Iraqis. There will be endless and pathetic stories about the poor reporters, their children, their hopes and aspirations and just maybe, the public will have its attention diverted. Then, ten months later when all eyes are elsewhere, it will be solemnly announced by the Department of Defense that the Marines were all acquitted because it was proven that a two year old baby, that had been shot in the head 17 times, had pointed a Russian-made rocket launcher at a brave Marine who, as we all know, was defending not only the United States against terrorism but also aiding the loyal and loving Iraqi people to achieve the freedom they have been longing for and now, under Bush, have found.
Sometimes, working for the media is like working in a sewer in the heat of summer. A lot of the lies, like the sewage shit, stick to the shoes.”
Last updated 06/06/2006