Thursday, September 13, 2007
This week simply demands a midweek post!
No Shame Department
On Sunday Tom Bowman had the gall to say "Now, some nine months later, Petraeus has convinced some skeptics like Michaels O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution." Skeptics!? O'Hanlon has been an ardent liar and promoter of the Iraq War from before the get-go! NPR knows he is always wrong and a pro-war spokesperson and yet brings him on again and again (including today) as a supposed expert - or tries to pass him off as a skeptic.
Major General Garrels reports that 'It's Working'
Quoting Petraeus on Monday's ATC, Block asks Garrels, "...the military objectives of the surge are in large measure being met...a drop in security incidents....Does that jibe with what you've been seeing and hearing when you've been there?" And in-bedded Garrels responds, "Yes it does. Most people, most commanders here, say things have improved, but...the gains are very fragile..." Then citing Crocker, Block adds, "...2006 was a bad year for Iraq. So 2007 is looking better." Garrels responds, "That's right. It's slow." Regarding Petraeus' shell game "draw down" Garrels notes of US troops, "they thought that his timeline makes sense....One captain said to me 'Listen, we're finally engaged in counterinsurgency strategy head-on and it's working. Let us make it work.'" These NPR News drones would do well to read McClatchy - they actually investigate the cooked numbers from the US military about the success of the surge and come up with a different picture.
On Tuesday ME Inskeep talks to NPR's Garrels and Bowman. Amazing, astounding, big improvements and progress is what Tuesday morning is all about. Reporting from combat outpost "Apache," Garrels tells Inskeep, "There are dramatic improvements here..." According to her ethnic cleansing north of the "outpost" has not happened "because of the surge...according to commanders and Iraqis who live here" (since when has Garrels freely talked to "Iraqis who live here"). Garrels credits all this improvement to, "The big difference is that US troops are now living in the neighborhoods. They know their areas of operation very well. They know the people. And they are working very, very closely with the Iraqi Army..." Later we get treated to - BING! - a former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan (at least he's earned his liar credentials). Bing West is on to tell us how he can stroll around peaceful Fallujah without his flak jacket - wow!
Tarabay Uses Her Microphone
Tuesday ATC was much better. Jamie Tarabay does an admirable job of letting various Iraqi workers talk about their views of the surge (they have a bitter, dismal view of their security). Seriously, isn't this what journalists are supposed to do - use their skills and resources to hold up to scrutiny what the powerful are telling us - without always turning to sources who are beholden to the institutions of power? Also on Tuesday, we hear not only from a Republican Senator, but from Democratic Senator Feingold who is articulate and firm about the Iraq disaster and the nonsense of surge success.
Let it Snow...
On Wednesday's ATC Michele Norris talks to Tony Snow: "You've had a particularly tough run defending an increasingly unpopular president and an unpopular war..." She lets Snow get away with saying, "I hate to say it, but the public trust in journalists is far lower than it is the President's..." Two major issues with this: 1) Popularity is not the main issue for Snow. The FACTS of Bush's lies and incompetence are the problem and the public's growing awareness of the reality of Bush's disasters is the issue and 2) Snow's statement about journalists doesn't wash at all (except among Fox viewers) - Bush has disapproval ratings of 62-64% while favorabilty ratings for news reporting from national cable, network, and newspaper outlets are 75%, 71%, and 60% respectively.
The Freaking Beard
Please tell me that I had an auditory hallucination and that my listener support dollars weren't really used to put together Wednesday ATC's 2 and 1/2 minute segment on whether Bin Laden's beard is fake or dyed black. Seriously, why not spend a little time explaining why the foreign policy of the US first helps train and create a despicable character like Bin Laden and then continues policies that play right into his hands? That would be worth at least a couple of precious minutes.