Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Might Think We Would Know...But We Don't

I'll try to keep this brief. This morning Ari Shapiro reports on the case against our Constitution, our liberties, and the rule of law Ali al-Marri. This piece really disturbed me and it took me awhile to figure out why. After all, Shapiro includes various viewpoints of the "enemy combatant" designation and its concurrent endless detention.

But as I listened to the report though I was struck by how it was framed and the utter lack of context regarding the case (e.g. the barbarous treatment meted out to al-Marri and what the loss of Habeas Corpus can mean for a democratic society). You might have thought Shapiro was reporting on the fees for a driver's license not on the gutting of the Constitution.

Here's how Shapiro opens his piece:
"You might think this long after 9/11 we would know whether the President can legally hold someone like Ali al-Marri indefinitely without charging him - but we don't. "
Well guess what Shapiro? I do know. I know it's blatantly illegal and always will be, because if someone is held indefinitely (i.e. forever) without charges it means there is NO FRICKING rule of law left - and the courts are then a travesty. See Ari, that's how police states work; they keep it all very "legal."

Notice how he could have said something like:
"You'd think more than four years after a legal resident of the United States was placed incommunicado under brutal confinement, the courts could decide on whether the 4th Amendment guarantee against unreasonable seizure will be upheld and the Writ of Habeas Corpus enshrined in Article 1, sec. 9 of the Constitution will be respected."
I have to scratch my head and wonder how far the arbitrary-imprisonment-and-torture advocates in the federal government would have to go, before an NPR report would offer a peep of informative dissent.

BTW, I notice that NPR has not given a lick of coverage to the horrid conditions of al-Marri's imprisonment.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tom Bowman Surprises Me

All right I was really amazed at the quality of the report from Tom Bowman in Iraq. Instead of a simple embedded report, he seems to have visited the site of an American offensive operation and interviews Iraqi eyewitnesses.

It's not a one-sided piece by any stretch. It gives voice to many descriptions of what may have happened on Oct. 4th when the US attacked the Iraqi village of Jaisani. Various Iraqis and US officers and spokespeople contribute to the report.

NPR deserves credit for not just reporting the US version of this awful event. I remember when it occured that it was reported in many news outlets as resulting in the deaths of "terrorists" and "criminals." This report features the US military again using this language, but the report makes it very clear that this version of events is not born out by many of the witnesses on the ground.

NPR should do more of this kind of on the ground reporting - and when unable to because of security problems, should emphasize that it is relying solely on US military or government sourcing which has proved to be frequently unreliable.

Lethally Non-lethal

Last time NPR covered the Pentagon's heat ray it was David Kestenbam yucking it up about this latest crowd controller (Ah yes, pepper spray, tear gas, tasers, German shepherd dogs, water cannons, and good ole batons are jsut so funny).

Tonight on ATC we hear about it again. This time Guy Raz gets hit with the heat ray (I wonder if it makes your brain go soft - or if it just makes you uber-loyal to the military?) Anyway it's a rather clinical piece with the important information being that it could soon be ready for Iraq. Ugh...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We Have Consensus!

Yes, all those tens of thousands of protesters yesterday were calling for an end - oops, I mean for a strong US presence in Iraq. Those protesters and, all the Iraqis, and all the US soldiers (and National Guard troops), and every US person you could possible poll now agree with the Decider that we will stand down as the Iraqi Army and police stand up. Pretty ridiculous,absurd, stupid - maybe even just a bald-faced lie - except in NPR-world. Here's Lianne Hansen reading the script this morning on Weekend Edition Sunday:
"The question is how long we'll continue to send soldiers and money to Iraq. There's little agreement on the answer, but there is consensus on one aspect of the debate: the US has to maintain a strong presence in Iraq until it's army and police can take charge of its own security...."
Consensus? I swear to God she wasn't kidding!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Anne "Kurtz" Garrels Reporting

Someone needs to send a boat up the Tigris and bring Anne Garrels back for a little journalism refresher course. Garrels, investigating the forces of Muqtada al-Sadr, tells us that "his militia leaders say Iran is their chief source of weapons. But now these same leaders are saying Iran is creating big problems by supporting renegade and competing militias with very effective weapons." And what do you know, but NPR got an invitation (I wonder if it was on parchment paper with a deckled edge?) from "the head of Sadr's militia in the western side of an interrogation session of three of these renegade Sadr militiamen." The rest of this report is truly shocking.

Maj. General Garrels states, "In the Sadr safe house the three detainees had clearly been tortured and the story they told was that they were trained in roadside bombs and car bombings in Iran. They say they worked for money and that their orders were to attack Americans and sow suspicion and violence between Shiites and Sunni."

Inskeep, interviewing Garrels, chimes in at this point to ask, "How were they tortured?"

To which Garrels responds, "There was blood all over their clothes. They were in such bad shape they couldn't walk; they had to be dragged onto the chairs, and one of them was just sobbing."

If you are a humane, compassionate person, you might think that at this point there is NOT ONE SHRED of validity to any of the confessions that these three torture victims give. But in fact Garrels reports at length about the testimony that these men give. She tells us "they said they went into a contested area of Baghdad, pretended they were Sunnis, raped a Shiite girl....also said they killed local Sadr militia leaders...also say they use American troops to further their ends....they said they're doing this for money on orders of Iranian agents working out of Badrwadjasan [sp?] on the Iraq-Iran border. They said their mission was to create an unstable Iraq."

I sometimes think that I'm pretty jaded, but then I hear a piece like this and am aghast. Garrels, Inskeep and NPR is normalizing torture, and treating testimony extracted under torture as valid and informative.

A secondary point worth noting is Garrels sloppy, misleading statements at the beginning of the piece. Of Muqtada al-Sadr she says, "Now Sadr has...been spending months in Iran apparently seeking safe haven there and his militia leaders say Iran is their chief source of weapons." Juan Cole has commented on the brazen US military propaganda nature of this unsubstantiated and unlikely scenario on February 14, 2007 and then on August 21, 2007 when he cited this interview in The Independent.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our Day is Coming

On ATC Michele Norris opens NPR's report on Cuba, "'Your day is coming,' that was the message from President Bush to Cuban dissidents was an attempt to rally the world to help Cuban dissidents seize this moment." It's fascinating how hard it is to tell where Bush leaves off and Norris begins.

After this fine introduction, Michele Kelemen takes the baton and is off like Marion Jones. But poor Kelemen; she just can't get it straight on Cuba. Like a good little parrot, she chirps Bush verbatim, "He said of Cuba, the socialist paradise is a tropical gulag and he said there are horrors still unknown that once revealed will shock the conscience of humanity and shame the regime's defenders." That is some fine irony given the little US gulag that's been humming along down in Cuba for over five years, and yes there will be more "horrors still unknown" from Gitmo that will be revealed in the future (Is there a journalist in the house?)

So do we get any dissenting views on US policy toward Cuba? Sure, from Phil Peters of the far right Lexington Institute! Kelemen introduces Peters by commenting on Bush's speech: "...and though he won lots of applause from Cuba-watchers inside the room; those outside have serious doubts." What a brazen distortion of language. She implies that the range of Cuba-watchers extends from the rightwingers inside the US government to the rightwingers in rightwing think tanks! I'd say that fulfill's NPR's committment to "present all important views on a subject." Notice, too, how positive the misnomer "Cuba-watchers" sounds.

Well, Michele Norris, the Decider has declared that "your day is coming." But if you want to know what that glorious day looks like you might want to see it in action at our own little corner of "Cuba Libre." Just put on your X-ray glasses; you can't miss it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Open Thread (and the WSJ)

NPR News related comments welcomed. For any interested there was an article in the WSJ celebrating NPR's stunning listenership growth.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bullock's Gold Standard

John Pilger was on Alternative Radio recently. The substance of the talk is printed on Znet. In this talk he castigates British media (the BBC in this case) regarding the war in Iraq:
"BBC news routinely describes the invasion as a miscalculation. Not Illegal, not unprovoked, not based on lies, but a miscalculation.

The words "mistake" and "blunder" are common BBC news currency, along with "failure"—which at least suggests that if the deliberate, calculated, unprovoked, illegal assault on defenseless Iraq had succeeded, that would have been just fine."

NPR's Tom Bullock offers a perfect example of this rationalization/glorification of the underlying premises of the US project in Iraq. Commenting on his first weeks in Iraq "just after the invasion" of 2003 Bullock states, "It was just after the invasion, and this was the golden era — or at least that's how it seems now. We worked our butts off. But looking back now, what I remember most is how we spent our down time." He then goes on to talk about strolling about Baghdad, buying pizza, getting a hair cut, listening to music, etc. He tells us "That world was brilliant, brief, and, is no more."

Well, it may have been for some. But to describe the aftermath of a country pummeled by ten years of airstrikes and inhumane sanctions and a terribly lethal invasion in which huge numbers of cluster bombs were used as "a golden era" and a world that was "brilliant" and "brief" is telling to say the least.

Snorting Venezuela

Juan Forero is back in action. He's on the Venezuela beat; talking about how cocaine trafficking is becoming a scourge in Venezuela. May be true as far as I can tell, but here's the kicker. He makes the Chavez government seem like the bad guys for not wanting help from Uncle Sam!

"Washington has pumped billions of dollars into Colombia's battle against narcotics trafficking, but the country hasn't won such cooperation from Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez....He stopped American anti-drug flights over Venezuelan air space long ago. He also ended cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, accusing its agents of spying."

A little historical context would have been helpful. Justin, a blogger at Americana has an excellent write up on the history of the US "drug war" in Latin America. Further history is available from the National Security Archives and from Z Magazine.

Reading the history, one can only conclude that Chavez would be a fool to accept "help" from the US.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Line on Lebanon

On the dangerous situation in Lebanon NPR turns this morning to "expert" David Schenker. Schenker is from WINEP (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), a right-wing, pro-Zionist think tank. (At least NPR mentioned that Schenker has honed his expertise in the Pentagon from 2002-2006.) Schenker is a complete tool of Neocon-Israeli policy as this gem of an interview reveals.

It's pretty sad, that when the US public should be getting information about the complexities of the Lebanese crisis, NPR turns to someone who churns out the standard bunk about a "pro-Western" government threatened by the Syrian hegemon. Nothing about Washington helping Israel to bomb away the "Cedar Revolution" during the summer of 2006. Nothing about the occupation and crimes of Israel during its years in southern Lebanon that gave rise to Hezbollah in the first place. Instead it's just the flattened narrative of good guys vs. bad guys.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Lie that Won't Die

David Green's report today on President Bush's Press Conference was largely an exercise in stenography (which seems like hard work when you start trying to spell the stuff that comes out of Bush's mouth), but one heinous highlight was Bush's utterance of a falsehood that really has legs in the mainstream media, including NPR, which Green let pass without comment.

After Green said that Vladimir Putin was "not so sure that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb"(neither is the IAEA), Bush said, "We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel, so I've told people that if yer instristed in avoiding World War III, it seems like you oughta be interstid in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nucular weapon." Bush's line, which has been widely disseminated as "Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Irael off the map", has been shown by Farsi scholars to be a mistranslation, as well as to have been taken out of context. This is indisputable, and should have been mentioned by Green.

But more importantly, the President of Iran has NO power over Iranian foreign policy, so it doesn't really matter what he thinks - at least not enough for Bush to start "World War III."

These are incontrovertible facts that I have never heard mentioned on NPR.
Hmmm, I wonder why that could be...?

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Let's Look in the Hoover...Again

So Putin is visiting Iran. I wonder where NPR might turn for a little insight on this...I know, how about another far right think tank - how novel!

How stupid does Mike Shuster and NPR think you are? Well, consider this little nugget of expert analysis about Russia and Iran from Michael McFaul of the rightwing Hoover Institution (see this entry from PFAW):

"Both countries have very rather difficult relationships with the West right now because of the way that they organize their regimes, neither are considered by western standards to be democracies."

See, it has nothing to do with all of our oil and natural gas that Iran and Russia happen to be sitting on. No it's that they are not democracies - and we all know how the US deals with authoritarian dictatorships.

Rogue Nations, Rogue Reporters

This from a reader was in my inbox today:
This morning at about 8:10, one of the NPR regulars interviewed a NYTimes reporter about how the illegal US nuclear deal might not pass muster in the Indian parliament.

Nowhere did either reporter discuss that the Bush Admin's deal is illegal under the US constitution (as it violates the NPT, which is the Law Of The Land). Indeed, they very carefully skirted around the NPT issue, at one point saying that the deal angers 'some' non-proliferationists. No, it angers MOST NPT supporters and is seen as a way for Bush to undermine the Rule of Law and encourage more illegal nuclear technology transactions outside of the NPT and IAEA framework.

The most dishonest report on this issue outside of Faux Noose.
Indeed, if you can stand hearing it the report is here. My favorite moment comes when Somini Sengupta, South Asia Bureau Chief for The New York Times, says that if India scraps the deal, it "would certainly rob the Bush administration of a significant foreign policy legacy." So now demolishing nonproliferation international law is "a significant foreign policy legacy"! Amazing.

For information on the story you might skip this nonsense from NPR and look at this recent piece by Noam Chomsky or this Arms Control Association site.

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

How I am dealing with the Pledge Drive

I called my local NPR station today and asked the friendly volunteer who took my call what percentage of the station's budget was spent on NPR news. After some time on hold while she researched this question, she said it was about 23%. I then told her that I would be deducting that percentage from my pledge as a way of registering my unhappiness with NPR, which as the good readers of this blog know, seems to have turned more and more into a propaganda machine. The station is affiliated with a university and is generally a great station, and I want to support it, but I can no longer conscience giving money for NPR's apparent mission of indoctrinating the upper classes.

I then pledged to the local community station, which plays no NPR programming, but does play such invaluable shows as Democracy Now!, Radio Nation, Alternative Radio, and Counter Spin, and added the amount deducted from my NPR pledge to my gift to them.

I know this will probably have little to no effect on NPR's behavior, as I and people like me are always beaten in contests of "voting with dollars",but it did kind of feel good to support my stations while making a statement critical of NPR.

I would like to thank Mytwords for letting me contribute to his valuable blog, and I will be listening carefully and posting as regularly as I can with my thoughts and observations on NPR's "reporting", Including, I hope, praise for them when they do a good job.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Up Yours ACLU and Fourth Amendment, Too

A reader pointed out to me that I really needed to give a close listen to Dina Temple-Raston on Sunday's ATC. She's reporting on the ACLU's unmasking of the Department of Defense and FBI colluding to dismantle more of our dear old, 4th Amendment. The basic story is that the FBI can "legally" issue National Security Letters (NSLs) pretty fast and loose and this allows them to snoop on lots (and lots) of people without the bother of going through the courts. The Department of Defense (DOD) on the other hand doesn't have such easy access to our privacy...unless the FBI plays the lackey for DOD requests. It seems the ACLU has caught them doing just that. I know that given the overtly fascist nature of the current Bush administration behavior, the FBI can look pretty good (as in its agents reaction to Gitmo). But, Jeez, the FBI does have a not-so-pretty history of its own.

In this case Temple-Raston discredits herself as a reporter, and comes out fully in the corner of the FBI. Here's what she says:
"[the ACLU claims] that the Department of Defense actually used the FBI as a foil to actually get information that it shouldn't have been getting - personal information- on its employees. And we're checking into this, but it looks like what has actually happened is that - and certainly, this is what the FBI says happened - was that the FBI and the DOD were working together on joint investigations, and in connection to those joint investigations that is where the NSLs were actually issued. So it's unclear whether or not there really was an end run that DOD actually tried to get around the law or whether or not this was done on the up and up. It looks right now like it was all done on the up and up."

It's "up and and up" all right.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Condi's Mouth

Two extremely important events involving the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice - her trip to Russia to push for US military expansion into Poland and the Czech Republic and her maneuvers in Jerusalem with Abbas and Olmert to supposedly push for "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Guess what expert we get from NPR to provide background and analysis? The dutiful Michele Kelemen who has repeatedly shown herself to be a mouthpiece for Rice (e.g. January 2007 and July 2006). Kelemen has NO expertise on the Middle East and offers no significant information on why Rice is a completely discredited agent for such efforts. Listening to Kelemen, you'd never know that the consistent thrust of the Bush administration has been to undermine any and all efforts at finding a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

On the bogus "need" for missile defense in Eastern Europe and Russia's understandable suspicions of this US policy, we get nothing from Kelemen. Would have been a good opportunity to interview to some experts who dissent from the pro-administration line - Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Stephen Cohen, or Anatol Lieven. Anything with substance, instead of the empty parroting of Kelemen.

Pass the Salt

Why is it that if you are singing the praises of the US government or military (and any of its current or past projects) you get a pass. Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard a reporter on NPR say, "Given the track record should we take what (Rice, Cheney, Bush, Petraeus, Gates, etc.) says with a grain of salt?" You'll be searching your memory for a long time.

But when someone steps out of line and calls into question the US imperial project, then the whole tone is one of doubt and skepticism. Consider Retired Gen. Sanchez and his latest scathing remarks about the Iraq project.

Andrea Seabrook talks to David Cloud of the NYT who heard Sanchez' remarks. Cloud notes that Sanchez lambasted the current administration in no uncertain terms for the catastrophic failure in Iraq. He made clear that Sanchez' comments were withering.

Seabrook's response is utterly predicable. She asks, "David Cloud, how much credibility does General Sanchez have at this point? He was in command himself in Iraq, as we mentioned. He was in charge during the Abu Ghraib scandal and afterwards failed to win a fourth star. Should we be taking what he says with a grain of salt?" Credibility? Grain of salt?

Yes, this is a legitimate reaction to ANY prominent powerholder (or former powerholder) when they make claims about events they've been involved in, and I'm no big fan of Sanchez. BUT I've noticed that the standard only applies when that person is diverging from the standard narrative of the nobility of the US government/military mission in the world.

Of course, another journalistic reaction would be to not even bother with what kind of credibility someone has, but to compare their statements with what factually can be determined and let the evidence speak for itself (i.e. investigative journalism).

It was also telling that Seabrook asked no follow-up question of Cloud when he said that Sanchez had given a "fairly bruising critique of the press' performance in Iraq." Hmmm...that would have been an interesting line of questioning.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Bal(l)ad of Raz

Air Strikes? What Air Strikes?

A series of three otherworldly, bizarre pieces came from Guy Raz this week on NPR news. He was reporting from the Balad Air Base, which as he put it on Friday afternoon is a "16 square mile fortress that's right in the heart of Iraq." If Raz hadn't already shown that he can be a blatant liar in his reporting, has a quasi-erotic hankering for high-tech lethal weaponry, and has got more spin in him than Dana Perino - then I might think that Raz' report from Balad was a sophisticated operation where he plays stupid in order to let the details of the permanent Balad megabase speak for themselves, but...

On Wednesday morning it was a painfully ironic piece about how in spite of the massive base and activity there, the role of air power in Iraq is actually minimal! Raz tells us that "Lt. General Gary north says [the war in Iraq] doesn't lend itself to the use of heavy air power...limits what the Air Force can do from the sky..." Of the F-16s in Iraq, Raz notes that according to one of the pilots "F-16s do sometimes drop bombs, but they're mainly used now to harass suspected insurgents or unruly crowds on the ground..." Of course the terrible irony of the piece was brought home the next day when the US "harassed" an "unruly crowd" of 15 civilians into their graves. (Of course this is nothing new.)

The New World Order

Wednesday afternoon was interesting for the report on the use of dirt cheap labor inside Balad. The piece was presented as rather matter-of-fact about how many foreign workers are used in US bases and work for substandard wages. Kind of gives you a sense of what the template for US hegemony in the world really means.

Harleys and the Long Haul

Friday afternoon fills out the picture of Balad as a permanent base with Guy giving us the nonsense about the US being in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government: "Pentagon officials insist that the U.S. military is in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government, and will depart when asked to do so." (Does anyone buy this line anymore?)

Ras begins this report begins with a really offensive set up: "16 square mile fortress that's right in the heart of Iraq. And all of it with an eye toward the next few decades. And as the President has said the US is establishing a long term relationship with the government in Baghdad (Bush voice comes in) 'We have done this kind of work before in Europe; we have done this kind of work before in Japan; we have done this kind of work before and it can be done again.' " This is presented in all seriousness...holy cow!

Then we hear about how Balad is like a little piece of America with Subways and even Harley motorcycles for sale (where the hell does one ride a motorcycle in Iraq? I was picturing a kind of Motorcycle Diaries from Hell movie in the making.)

For pieces on the air war in Iraq take a look at Tomgram, Mother Jones, or Project Censored.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Skipping the Dirty Details

Some weird stuff on NPR lately. Friday on ATC Siegel talks to Mark Mazzetti, of the The New York Times, about Colonel Klink General Hayden of the CIA pulling a little coup on his "independent" Inspector General, who apparently has been probing a little to hard at the old CIA. Mazzetti broke the story about this unprecedented usurpation of CIA power by a director. All right, so far so good. But the bizarre aspect of this piece is that Siegel gives no weight to the CRIMES of TORTURE and KIDNAPPING that the spooks have been committing and that
CIA Inspector General John Helgerson seems to believe may be illegal. Instead Siegel refers only to "interrogation" and "rendition" and focuses on how many inside the CIA think that Helgerson is leading a "witch-hunt" and how agents involved in dirty op's resent some Washington based softy who just doesn't understand how dangerous and necessary these crimes are.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Open Thread

NPR News related comments welcomed.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Inskeep and Bull

Hitchens continuing his role as John Bull, gets an admiring (envious?) interview from Steve Inskeep on Monday morning. (Not the first homage to Hitchens that NPR has done). The grain of this story is that a young American who was "inspired" by Hitchens' hawking of the Iraq War was recently killed in Iraq.

If you want evidence of the colonial math of the Iraq War this is an illustrative interview. The total focus of NPR's story is how Hitchens feels about possibly being a part of the death of this one young American. That's reasonable enough, but there was not one question asking how Hitchens feels about fronting for the Bush-Blair unprovoked invasion of a country that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, over 4 million internal and external refugees and tens of thousands of military casualties.

Not only is Hitchens not held to account, Inskeep uses the interview to put a little Pentagon propaganda out there. Quoting the Internet postings of the soldier who was killed, Inskeep relates how a Kurdish man told the soldier "the difference between insurgents and American soldiers is that they get paid to take life, to murder - and you, the American soldiers, get paid to save lives." Inskeep is quite moved by this nonsense (I guess all those US airstrikes are delivering food and medicine!) He notes, "Quite elegant letter, quite elegant description." And Hitchens chimes in " ...I was very stirred by that."

Not satisfied with this Centcom commercial, Inskeep adds, "Would you hope there might be another young American who might read your words and listen to them here on NPR and be inspired to enlist and go to Iraq?"

Open Thread

NPR News related comments are welcomed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Grinding Down - Opening Up

Hello all. I've found that I've been listening less and less to NPR news these days. I can't say I miss it. I don't want to shut this blog down completely, but I definitely want to extend an invite to others to contribute. If you are interested in writing for this blog please send me an email at mytwords AT ya hoo dot com. If you are one of the frequent reader/posters, then I'll send you a response that will allow you to post directly to the blog. If you are new or unfamiliar to me, I'd like to know a bit about why you'd like to contribute.

If there's no interest, I'll just post occasionally and be sure to add an "Open Thread" Section each week.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sleazy Thomas

I figured I might as well post this while it's prominent in the news. Hopefully it will be a dead story by next weekend.

The Clarence Thomas story continues. I've heard at least two full reports Saturday morning and afternoon) on Thomas' book from Nina Totenberg and then this shorter segment on Monday (10/1)' Morning Edition. Notably missing from any has been the mention of David Brock. Remember him? He was the author of a character assassination book against Anita Hill and then he later admitted that the book was created from lies and distortions. Also missing was the fact that Hill first made her accusations to the FBI and that the accusations were pretty detailed and disturbing. I've heard Thomas' description of Hill as a "mediocre" employee, but I've noticed also that there has been no discussion of Thomas' pathetic and mediocre record both at EEOC and on the court.

Totenberg, who is pretty thorough, does note that the self-promoting Thomas freak show is being organized by the following extreme right groups The Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, but we get no information about these groups and she doesn't mention the third organization behind the Thomas tour, the National Center for Policy Analysis.