Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Supreme International Crime

On Thursday morning, I first read on Juan Cole's Informed Comment about the stunning El Pais release of more indisputable evidence that Bush and Co. conspired, planned, and carried out the supreme international crime as defined at Nuremberg

...the defendants planned and waged aggressive wars are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

For the United States, this IS one of the most important news of the week; there's nothing bigger. So let's see where it gets covered on NPR News - as of Sunday morning (9/30/07), nowhere! If you search "Aznar" on NPR you'll see that it got a decent mention on Day to Day, that's it. Basically the same treatment that the Downing Street Memo received.

Get Me a Blue Form - More Blackwater

Blackwater is gunning for work here in the homeland (which should make everyone very nervous). On Friday morning NPR presents a generally positive presentation of Blackwater in New Orleans. I loved this scenario that was in the report and on the web description of the story:
  • "For example, inside the recovery office, employees had a code. If workers felt uncomfortable or didn't feel safe, they were supposed to call out loudly for a 'blue form.' That was a signal for one of the Blackwater guys to come over and stand close by. Their mere presence did a lot to calm rattled homeowners who were frustrated with the FEMA process. Davis said it let the people coming into FEMA know they needed to keep their voices down."
Funny how much the crime ring of the current administration permeates federal government culture. Pure thuggery - the "mere presence" of a trigger happy mercenary does so much to "clam" down those dangerous homeowners. You might expect a serious report on Blackwater to cover its Christo-fascist leanings, but we get nothing from experts on this aspect of Blackwater, Jeremy Scahill or Chris Hedges.

Sending a Message

Guy Raz reports from the "17 square mile" Balad Air Base in Iraq, which Raz tells us is the "second busiest airport in the world." Raz notes, "You may wonder why there's so much activity here. The Air Force says it's all related to the so-called surge of ground forces that started back in February." Raz talks to Brigadier General Stephen Mueller, who according to Raz, says "that while the Army's been ratcheting up its offensive operations, so too has the Air Force. So far just this year the Air Force has dropped more bombs over Iraq than in the previous three years combined..." Raz continues, noting that "Mueller estimates that this year alone, air strikes have killed about 200 of what he describes as al-Qaeda operatives. Now he concedes that the increase in airpower does have some collateral price. The Air Force doesn't officially track non-combatants killed by airstrikes, but the British based antiwar group Iraq Body Count...estimates about 50 Iraqi civilians are now killed by air strikes every month."

Yes, and several other sources put the civilian death tolls in Iraq far higher than IBC which relies solely on reported deaths. NPR's downplay of the massive death toll in Iraq is typical of the mainstream media in general.

Raz tells us that "the Air Force describes the use of air power in two ways - kinetic and non-kinetic power...Kinetic means destructive power like an airstrike...and nonkinetic means nondestructive power like this sound [roar of F-16]. These flyovers account for the majority of what's called close air support missions....a loud terrifying's a sound designed to remind Iraqis that their sky is controlled by the United States, and those F-16s can strike anywhere in their country within ten minutes." Raz states that "One officer I spoke with...described what he called 'modern gunboat diplomacy' in Iraq. He told me about a recent incident where an army commander...was trying to convince a tribal sheik to cooperate on some matter...nearby there was an F-16 hovering high up in the sky, ready to swoop down at moment's notice just to send a message, which it did - and the message was received. The sheik cooperated." (Guy closes it here).

Made me think of that scene in the Godfather where Michael is explaining how his father works:
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Kay Adams: What was it?
Michael: Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured the bandleader, that either his signature or his brains would be on the contract.


On Thursday afternoon Siegel muffs a great opportunity to hold Columbia University's President Bollinger to a single standard.

Would he be as rude to an actual mass murderer and war criminal as he was to a Holocaust denier. Or is that censorship?

Would he be as blunt and confrontational to our own lying, petty, pro-torture, war criminal President or do our own get a free ride? (A reader of this blog sent this great mirror image of Bollinger's performance.)

It is interesting to compare Bollinger's downright schmoozy treatment of Pakistani dictator as compared to his treatment of Ahmadinejad. I also noted no public condemnation of the scary Turkmenistan dictatorship during it's leader's visit [video link] to Columbia.

A Killer Angel

On one hand we have bigots like Ahmadinejad who deny the Holocaust, and then on Tuesday morning we have NPR joining in to exploit the Holocaust. Could there be anything much more revolting than celebrating one of the 20th century's greatest war criminals and mass murderers as a Holocaust hero? Talk about cynicism. We get to hear Kissinger say "There's nothing I'm more proud of, of my service to this country, than having been one of those who had the honor of liberating the Ahlem concentration camp." Ugh...

Steel yourselves for the day Kissinger dies. I'd wager money that when it happens, NPR will give him a glowing send-off.

More Betrayal

Last Saturday (Sept. 22) ATC gave extensive coverage to's "General Betray Us" ad. We get to here our chief mass murderer George W. say "the ad was disgusting." Who cares?
One can debate the tactical wisdom of MoveOn's campaign, but how about if NPR would do a little back reporting on the past incompetence of Petraeus and the obvious spin of his testimony. Instead NPR generally has nothing but glorious admiration for Petraeus.

Working for Blackwater

Interesting how some journalists describe Blackwater's most recent massacre. The Independent notes:
  • "The reports we got from members of the public, Iraqi security personnel and government officials, as well as our own research, leads to a markedly different scenario than the American version. There was a bomb blast. But it was too far away to pose any danger to the Blackwater guards, and their State Department charges. We have found no Iraqi present at the scene who saw or heard sniper fire."
Last Sunday morning Hansen, opted to go with the lowest casualty count: "at least 8 Iraqis were killed." At this time estimates ranged from 8 to 28 killed. Hansen also interviewed Garrels and basically spun the story as a "they said" "we said" event.

Consider also McClatchy's informative and disturbing coverage of Blackwater given this week as compared to NPR's "balanced" coverage.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News driving you nuts? Got comments? Park 'em here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekly Roundup

I'm trying a new format. I'll still post about once a week, but will split the report up into individual posts so that the single post is not so long and it will be possible to link to the specific sections. I'd be happy to get any reactions and feedback.

The Louisiana Shuffle

NPR News finally gets around to covering the "Jena Six" story and protest on Friday morning - oh wait, no, they were on it the day before that (so cutting edge)! Well those of us with the sense to listen to Democracy Now! heard a news story about the case way back on July 10th -two months ago! And readers of Common Dreams would have heard about it a week before that! So what's NPR's excuse for the slow shuffle on down to Louisiana? Audie Cornish states that after the conviction of Mychal Bell (on June 28, 2007) "the story was picked up by the Black media, especially radio, blogs and social networking sites..." And just in case you didn't get the message Renee Montagne concludes Cornish's piece with "For months the story of the "Jena Six" unfolded largely out of sight of the mainstream media. You can read about how African American bloggers helped generate...." And to think I wasn't even aware of the fact that Democracy Now! and Common Dreams were "Black media"! And all along I thought the problem was that NPR News was complacent, misleading, smug and lazy. My bad!

Happy Birthday to...

On Thursday morning NPR celebrated the 6oth "birthday" of the CIA - no kidding. The report opens with the supposed problems of the CIA: "In more recent years the agency has suffered through the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the flawed intelligence on Iraq..." Two problems there - not a peep about the recent years of secret prisions and torture, and the fact that the "flawed" intelligence waas cherry-picked and "fixed" by the administration.
Mary Louise Kelly tells us, "The state of the CIA this week is pretty festive. Tonight there's a big birthday bash at Langley headquarters..." She goes on to sing the praises of the A-12 spy plane. We hear about "the good mood prevailing at Langley" and how "agency staff are focused on the core missions: fighting terrorism, tracking nuclear
threats, stealing secrets--that and maybe scoring a piece of birthday cake tonight..." I can't wait to hear NPR celebrate little CIA's first steps, and baby's first coup - so darling.

Rather Disgusting

It just kills me how ATC on Wed can cover the Dan Rather suit against CBS without mentioning the real irony of CBS' botched story on the Decider's weasely military record: the fact that the substance of the story remains completely accurate - despite the apparently phony document used in the story. No mention is made that the record shows George W. Bush never should have been admitted to the Air Guard, had spotty attendance, and consistently turned in a subpar performance. Even timid Slate describes him as a draft dodger. He clearly got the gig due to wealth and connections. A good timeline on the current commander-in-chief's military record is worth looking at.

Genocide Lite

On Wednesday's ATC Robert Siegel introduces Westervelt's report on Israel's plans for speeding up its genocide against the 1.2 million Gazans by saying, "Angered by Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, Israel today turned up the pressure on the militant Islamist group Hamas...cutting off fuel and other vital supplies." So now depriving 1.2 million ghettoized civilians of the basic necessities of life is "turning up the pressure."

Killing Health Care Again

On Tuesday's ATC Melissa Block hammers away at Hillary Clinton over Health Care and Petraeus. Block critiques Clinton's Health Care plan because it will cost businesses more. What she never does is critique it for being what Clinton's 1993 plan also was - a massive gift to the Health Insurance Industry. (NPR continues selling the revisionist view of Clinton's 1993 plan as an attack on the insurance industry (listen to the Sunday piece with Mr. Insurance, Laszewski. ) What is stunning is that Clinton's current plan is not critiqued from the position of those who want a nationalized single-payer plan. Nothing, nada, zilch! Amazing. After her whining about cost, Block then tries to trap Clinton into saying that Petraeus is the craven liar for the Bush administration that he is - this is pure Fox News tactics. Block even tries to get Clinton to denounce the MoveOn.orgs "Petraeus - Betray Us" ad. How about Block spending half the effort just reporting on all the B.S. that Petraeus tried to spin for Bush, and let the evidence speak for itself?

Blackwater, Blackshirts

Monday afternoon finds Anne Garrels swimming in Blackwater. Of this nascent praetorian guard all Garrels can say is "…they have a reputation for being really tough. When they’re on the streets people back off" (she forgot to mention or get shot). I love the matter of fact way she describes the supposed government of Iraq's authority over the US legion of blackshirts; "It’s not clear that the Iraqi government has any authority over Blackwater or that Blackwater has had to have a license…” I guess embed Garrels is the "liberal" perspective on Blackwater because to analyze the situation NPR does a hard right over to Mark Hemingway of National Review Online. As you can guess, not a peep about the Christian militarist leanings and history of Blackwater. Is is NPR or National Review? Hard to tell...

Health Care Analysis to Die For

Sunday's (9/16) ATC had Bob Laszewski on as an "expert" to talk about health care and the candidates. I was struck by how Laszewski kept repeating that the government can NOT afford to pay for health care! So just what is Laszewski's history? Well, well, he just crawled out from under the insurance industry rock itself! What a surprise. His own biography states "Before forming HPSA in 1992, Mr. Laszewski was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Group Markets, for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. He has had twenty years of health insurance industry management experience - nine of those years as a chief operating officer." Did NPR mention that Laszewski is a stooge for the insurance industry? Not a chance. Adams introduces him as "president of a consulting firm." To his credit Laszewski himself mentions during the interview that "much of my past has been in the insurance industry." NPR just reports, and you decide. Get the bag, I think I'm getting sick...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments are welcomed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Knees, Teeth, Vistas and Distractions

Entertaining the Masses

I had one of those "I'm living in the Roman Empire" moments Friday morning. Morning Edition dedicated more than four minutes to the intricacies of the knee problems that have ended Greg Oden's upcoming NBA rookie season. Every damn detail about his knee and imminent surgery was covered. If only NPR News had been around 2000 years ago to do such masterly coverage of the superstars of the Colosseum.

Dental Metaphors

The Good Ol' CIA with Mary Louise Kelly. The CIA has a new director of clandestine intelligence, Mike Sulick. "Michael Sulick is an old school spy's spy...he cut his teeth in Asia and Latin America." Around the CIA Kelly tells us, "delight is the word I keep hearing." Fair enough that Sulick is not a complete know-nothing partisan appointment like Porter Goss was, but this shiny gloss on the disgusting CIA is more than I can stomach. Kelly likes that phrase "cut his teeth" but I think when talking of the CIA in Latin America "sharpened his fangs" would be more accurate.

That Vast Expanse between Right and Far Right

By Friday afternoon, NPR turns to some experts. Melissa Block tells us, "for some analysis...we turn to our political observers: E. J. Dionne is a columnist with the Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review." Ah yes, the range of opinion from center right to goosestep. For an antidote to this blather Glen Greenwald has some strong medicine.

Scott Simon for the Defense

On Saturday Simon talked to Democratic Senator Dodd. Dodd's father was a lawyer who assisted in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, and Sen. Dodd has published a book of his father's letters from Nuremberg. About why he published the book, Dodd said an amazing thing: " motivation on this came with the decision by Congress to support the Military Commissions Act which stripped Habeus Corpus, basically restored the idea of torture in interrogations...." This is stunning; a senior Senator and presidential candidate has published the Nuremberg Trial letters of his father because the actions of the Congress and President are such a fundamental assault on humanity and the rule of law that they bear comparison to the crimes of the Nazis. Wow! And guess what Simon's reaction is? Does he mention Bush's violation of Nuremberg's supreme crime - aggressive war? Not a chance. He completely ignores Dodd's statement and focuses in on Dodd's father's troubling statements about the trial becoming a "Jewish Trial" and then oozes over the sentimental aspect of the letters (which were written to Dodd's mother). Saturday morning's prince of schmaltz and distraction strikes again.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surging News

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.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Chimp Intellectual and Reagan Revenant

(apologies to the real chimps)


As of Tuesday the silence was still deafening on the denunciations by two top British Generals, Maj Gen Tim Cross and Gen Sir Mike Jackson, of the US Iraq War plans. Jackson called the policy "intellectually bankrupt" which might explain why NPR News doesn't want to touch this one! There were plenty of natural opportunities to discuss this story, not least the British withdrawal from Basra which was reported on by Corey Flintoff.


Ah, the sweet smell of success! That was the tone and substance of Don Gonyea's homage to Bush's visit to Al-Anbar. All the NPR News talkers have accepted the Anbar success story without qualification - but thank God, Juan Cole offers a needed counter assessment of the "calm" that the US has brought to this restless little corner of the empire.


On Tuesday's ATC Robert Draper provides a pathetic suck up to W. He's got a new book called Dead Certain (all its title lacks is a comma!) We are supposed to believe that Bush is a deep reader (80+ books! this year according to Draper) only trumped by the intellectual Rove (of "brotherly relationship"). Draper describes Bush as like an "umpire." Nothing about his arrogance, smug attitude, complete ineptitude, etc. Here's a few gems of Draper's assessment:

  • "...he's a great deal more mature and more disciplined..."
  • "...he didn't have much a sense of history back he's a real voracious reader of history..."
  • "...he can be expansive and reflexive..."
  • "That clarity of purpose, that steadfastness can be seen as a virtue; it can also be seen as stubbornness, and as a vice."
  • "as far as I can tell, is not a greedy man..."
  • "...Bush is very interested in promulgating this notion of freedom and how it plays across in other countries."


Also on Tuesday, another "slop-sided" report on unmanned drones used to attack people from the air. Not one peep about all the women and kids missiled from bed to grave by the already trigger happy US Air Force. The irony of the drone operator leaving his wife and baby asleep to go to his predator training was too much for words. Typical NPR necrophilia for any military tool that kills people.


How perfect that ATC is seeking fawning doggerel to go with its theme music - pure corporatized banality, who could argue with that? Oops I meant ATC™.

Getting Killed for Greed and Lies is so Noble

Instead of outrage for lives thrown away in the crime called the Iraq War we get 7-plus minutes of patriotic schlock. Montagne tells us, "the rising casualties have caused many to question their support for the war, but not in Pontotoc, Mississippi, a tiny town that's lost four of its own." Reporter Kathy Lohr notes,"flags fly on main street every day, people talk about love for their country and about the willingness of young men to serve and to sacrifice." "People here honor the soldiers every day like the time the family took Lucas to dinner just after he got out of boot camp." A pastor of one of the dead soldiers said, "John was raised in a church, on the Bible. That's where he got his character...his convictions....that's different from most of the world...we believe that's why we love our country..." Lohr wraps the piece with, "families continue to show their willingness to serve and to sacrifice if necessary..."


Thursday's ATC offers a perfect example of NPR's painfully narrow range of opinion on an issue. If we get any criticism of the Iraq War on NPR, it is sure to come from some government or military official or organization that will never question the basic premises of the US actions. So it is that coverage is given to a congressionally mandated report by a retired Marine general, James Jones. The report gives a bleak assessment of the Iraqi police and a modestly more positive review of the Iraq army. So, to analyze this inside the establishment report where does NPR turn? To NPR regular, Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales! Put that in your jingle!

Thompson Lives!

Fred Thompson, creepy reincarnation of Reagan, enters the race and NPR's ATC has the gall to talk about elected officials having paper trails (have they ever investigated one?), but instead of researching Thompson's Senate paper trail, gives us a superficial send up of Thompson's "presidential" acting roles (Bob Mondello should have refused this assignment). I did have to laugh when I realized how much Thompson sounded like a drugged Dr. Phil (possible running mate?)

Osama Who?

Bin Laden reappears and on Saturday's weekend edition Goneyea says, "The reappearance of Bin Laden can cut several ways for the Bush White House: it does serve as a reminder that the al-Qaeda leader is still at large despite intensive efforts by the US to track him down; it also shows that even in hiding Bin Laden has the ability to get a message out to the world. But the White House also sees the tape as reinforcing the argument that the war in Iraq is a key part of the fight against terrorism..." Is there anyone but a rabid Bush loyalist (and Gonyea) who views Bin Laden's tape as reinforcing the argument for war in Iraq? Notice how pro-Bush Gonyea is: the most obvious way it cuts is that Bin Laden would be either captured or an insignificant pariah if the US under Bush had not moved into uber-militarism and aggression mode after 9/11, but had capitalized on the global revulsion against al-Qaeda by using diplomacy and incentives to work on vexing Middle East problems.

Iraq Mirage

If you could stomach Weak-kneed Edition Saturday you have more fortitude than I. The coverage of Iraq is so far slanted toward US imperial ambitions that it defies the imagination. The general framework of discussion about Iraq is that the US has provided better security, but the hapless Iraqi government has failed to produce results. Today, Ann Garrels is brought on as an expert though she has provided more than her share of misinformation on Iraq, and NPR steps outside its usual military and goverment circles by talking to George Packer of the New Yorker who is on to scold those who want US troops out (what a surprise) - but has nothing to say about the criminals who launched and ran this war from day one.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Leisure, Perfect Storms, Terrorist Centers, and Rovers

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).