And progress...of course. NPR dithers along with the ups and downs of government and military reports (Bush and the Joint Chiefs and the State Department on corruption in Iraq) while missing the obvious fact that the situation in Iraq is worse by any measure and getting worse. Juan Cole points out the perversity of this sick media game and the Washington Monthly answers his call with a graph showing all that touted progress in the security situation for US troops (NPR News keeps claiming this progress, too).
On Monday's Morning Edition Montagne, talking to Marine Col. Clarke Lethin speaks through the progress filter, "…are you worried that gains in say Al Anbar and these other places would evaporate when in fact the Marines do leave.”
Tuesday morning news headlines had another typically unsubstantiated claim that 33 insurgents had been killed by US-Iraqi forces. This kind of uncritical reporting for the military is really disgraceful and all too common.
Do you think people in the US work too much while real dollar incomes for median workers have been falling? Are you really disturbed by the exponentially growing gap between the rich in the US and everyone else? Take heart, on Wednesday NPR News proudly announces that workers in the US gain leisure time! Not only that but compared to other countries Americans work shorter hours than most. These stories reminded me of 1984 where Winston listens to the broadcasts of all the great news being issued from the Ministry of Truth...
You probably didn't forget that this week marked the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina destroying much of the US Gulf coast and the US Army Corps of Engineers destroying New Orleans. NPR is comfortable talking about the Katrina part but coverage of the Corps of Engineers fiasco is virtually nonexistent. What we do hear about on Wednesday's ATC is that Bush is visiting New Orleans, but loyal David Greene doesn't mention any of the anger against Bush in the region. This piece was followed by a report from Zaroli about mixed results in the rebuilding efforts in the region.
Thurday morning was "field trip" time. Dina Temple-Raston takes us on a super-exciting, super-secret trip to the Terrorist Screening Center (sounds like the hiring agency for the CIA). You could feel how special Temple-Raston felt just to be allowed in - what a privledge - reminding me of Mary Louise Kelly's tour of the Counter Terrorism Center last Sept. 11th. Temple-Raston continually insists that the center is tracking terrorists and suspected terrorists while completely ignoring its Orwellian use as a harassment tool against domestic dissent. (Something that Mother Jones, Counter Punch, AlterNet, and The SF Chronicle have felt was worthy of coverage). Is Temple-Raston concerned about the abuses and bungling (Wired) of this agency? Not one bit, in fact she tell's us to "rest assured your name is being sent" if you are ever stopped for a traffic stop.
NPR News has been so hard on Karl Rove (just kidding) that on Friday morning they decided to bring on Mark McKinnon, a former colleague of his (and a media advisor to the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns) to put a shine on this sorry enemy of our Constitutional system. This piece is pure insult to anyone who gives a crap about the health of our democracy. As usual NPR fails to mention that Rove did leak Valerie Plame's identity (he just didn't get indicted). Furthermore, not only does Montagne not discuss (again) the Rove role in voter suppression in 2004, but allows McKinnon to claim that Rove "added eleven million new Republican voters." You have to wonder how outrageous a claim has to be to get challenged. McKinnon probably could have claimed that Rove gave birth to all eleven million of them and Montagne would have nodded compliantly along.
What a week! Watch for more garbage about "progress" in Iraq and keep an ear out for even more intense Iran is a danger to the world stories which may be part of a fall "gearing up for war on Iran" campaign (NPR has already enthusiastically signed on).