Sunday, May 31, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that NPR has not even mentioned the
Telegraph story about prisoner rape at Abu Ghraib
or the
White House denialIt is as if the whole thing never happened: neither the story nor the denial.

This is NPR's forte: non-coverage of the issues they wish to de-emphasize and/or cover up.

Propaganda extraordinaire.

The telegraph claim is actually nothing new. Seymour Hersch has said basically the same thing:

He said as much at a recent speech before ACLU"Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."
//end Hersch quote

So has General Taguba (who should know), though he is now parsing words/splitting hairs: essentially claiming that his previous statement ("These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency) does not apply to the specific photos that Obama banned from release.

This is just a word game these people are playing.

The response from the White House is classic word parsing denial: attack the credibility of the source (in this case "British newpapers". not just the telegraph but ALL british papers)

If Obama thinks he can deny this stuff he is just dumb.

As hersch indicates the photos/videos will come out and when they do, Obama will look like very bad.

Obama apparently never read about Watergate and learned the Nixon lesson: it's the not the crime but the coverup that gets you.

geoff said...

Look, Anon, don't you know that NPR hosts like Scott (flushable wipe) Simon have deeply held convictions and that these facts you and Hersch propose are simply beyond belief and have no place in programming that women and children can access on their car radios? Geez - please show some decency, at long last. Do you parade your genital warts on Main St? I think not. Neither should these truths exist in the marketplace of public awareness. What would become of war-mongering and Quaker Simon's self image if these dissonant positions were allowed to occupy the the same brain at the same time.

Whatever you do, don't hit these gentle hosts with the liar's paradox . We wouldn't want to short-circuit in brains live on the air, would we?

geoff said...

liar's paradox

Anonymous said...

Obama seems to think that the public will be able to make the distinction between the photos he specifically banned from release and all the photos that have not been released.

I suspect that he is making a major political mistake in doing so.

Most people have no understanding and no interest in legal technicalities.

When the photos of rape surface (and Seymour hersch expects they will), most Americans will NOT care to check whether a photo was on Obama's "censorship" list or not.

They will simply remember that Obama had prevented the release of photos and that banned photos had come to light DESPITE his ban.

The fact that the photos depict rape will not go over well with the religious crowd in this country.

And the perception will be that Obama had attempted to prevent people from knowing that these rapes had occurred.

That may not be "fair" to Obama but that is the reality.

I think this has a real potential to destroy his Presidency.

Taguba Saw "Video of Male Soldier Sodomizing Female Detainee"

Friday 29 May 2009

by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

"In 2007, shortly after he was forced into retirement, Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba made a startling admission. During the course of his investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Taguba said he saw "a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee."

Taguba told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh that he saw other graphic photos and videos as well, including one depicting the "sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees."

larry, dfh said...

And this talk about 'protecting' the invaders from the outrage is a bunch of hooey. Everyone in the M.E. knows what happened, and is happening. The govt. (typically) wants to keep US in the dark, lest the general outrage ruins their party.

Anonymous said...

Obama is looking more like Bush even than Bush did.

If you can't legally SUPRESS/REPRESS a Freedom of Information request (brought by ACLU to have the torture photos released), what to do?

What to do?

Obama: just change the law.

This is the guy who's mantra was "transparency."

Transparent? Like a black hole that even light can not escape from? like Guantanamo?

Obama's Support for the New Graham-Lieberman Secrecy Lawby Glenn Greenwald

"The White House is actively supporting a new bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman -- called The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 -- that literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." As long as the Defense Secretary certifies -- with no review possible -- that disclosure would "endanger" American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week." -- end greenwald quote

biggerbox said...

So, NPR gets a sit-down interview with President Obama at the White House, and who do they send? The tag team of Steve Inskeep and MEchelle Norris. No, that's not a joke. It's sad truth. (reconsidering my annual memberships to NPR stations....)

Porter Melmoth said...

There's a great tradition of His 'n Her teams 'challenging' Democrat presidents at NPR. Who can ever forget the institutionalized smugfest Blob Siegel and Maw-ra Liarsson brought to bad boy Bill Clinton? If you ask me, Inskreep 'n MeeShill have a tough act to follow.

I did not listen to their interview.

Porter Melmoth said...

PS: And why SHOULD I listen to such predictable rubbish? I'm sure MeeShill got to blow super-cool smoke at Mr Uppity Prez, while Inskreep could do his whacked-out Jerry Lewis-ing, an attempt to 'ground' the prez, and perhaps corner him!

If there was anyone with true comedic talent at NPR, such an event might have an ironic purpose, but hell, this is NPR - what's the point?

Maine Owl said...

Update on the Adam Davidson drive-by of Elizabeth Warren: "NPR's ombudsman reprimands Davidson for incivility to Warren, when the real issue is lousy reporting and sexism"

Anonymous said...

WHYY in Philly recently laid off 17 employees. Meanwhile, it's CEO made $441K.

And the station increased how much it spent on fundraising in 2008 by half a million dollars! (from $6.7 million to $7.2 million).

It's a very, very sorry state of affairs here. The television part of 'HYY is in pledge mode now - where do they dig up these charlatans who presume to tell you the "secrets" to a happy, healthy - oh, and let's not forget wealthy! - life?

Porter Melmoth said...

Ben Franklin's vomiting in his grave.

bigg!pinkk!fuzy!buny! said...

WHYY in Philly recently laid off 17 employees.When Terra del Grosso becomes one of them, I'll then declare that the proverbial worm has veritably turned.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Terri Gross usta be a damn good interviewer.

Prob'ly she still is, but her show is mostly focused anymore on trivially hip folk of the 40-something group.

Otoh, i heard her interviewing Iggy Popp the other day, and he's a couple grams shy of an oz, too...

Anonymous said...

Davidson conveyed that he didn't think Warren was doing her job properly."

The irony is that Elizabeth Warren is the ONLY one in the Obama administration (or Congress) who is actually DOING the job of bringing minimal oversight to the Geithner Giveaway" of hundreds of billions to banks. She is the only one in our government who is actually asking questions that need to be asked about the Geithner/Summers economic plan -- and the bank bailout in particular.

Davidson and Planet Money are a joke -- and Alicia Shepard sure as hell is not doing HER job.

Davidson's aggression toward Warren was certainly not merely about "lack of civility" and it was not even merely about sexism.

The reason he has such a problem with Warren is the same reason that geihtner and Summers have such a problem with her: that she is actually demanding "transparency", something that Obama promised and has yet to deliver -- on the Geithner bank bailouts or anything else.

You gotta just love people like Davidson, Geithner and Summers who get indignant when anyone questions ANY of their decisions or actions. They obviously think they are smarter than everyone else and that oversight is not only unnecessary but a personal affront.

Some topnotch economists (among them Krugman and Stiglitz, two Nobel laureates) have asked many of the same questions and made many of the same points that Warren has made.

But Obama has very conveniently either ignored or simply dismissed what they have said out of hand.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, what kind of person merely dismisses the economic advice of a Nobel economics laureate?

A quack.

That's Obama. he has NO background in economics whatsoever bu apparently thinks he knows it all.

Anonymous said...

Planet Money is one of Obama's cheerleaders on the economy.

Everything will be just fine if we all just talk "happy talk".

It is telling that the media in America will not even print criticism of the Obama economic "plan".

you have to read that criticism in foreign newspapers, like guardian, UK

According to economist Dean Baker (who was among a very few economists who recognized the housing bubble long before it burst):

"The media [Baker singles out NPR in particular] have obviously abandoned economic reporting and instead have adopted the role of cheerleader, touting whatever good news it can find and inventing good news when none can be found. This leaves the responsibility of reporting on the economy to others.

Any serious examination of the data shows that recovery is nowhere in sight."

//end baker quote'

Planet Money's Davidson despises Elizabeth Warren (and presumably Baker as well) because they won't tell the public what Obama wants them to hear: that the Obama/geithner plan is working and the economy has turned the corner on the recession.

Obama can tell that to the millions of people who are out of work.

I suspect he will have a LOT of explaining to do when he runs for re-election since without a massive government stimulus for the people who actually need it, this economy is going to be in the toilet for YEARS.

Obama is destined to be another Herbert Hoover.

dguzman said...

My god, do I hate Juan Williams. The guy is a complete idiot.

And boy howdy, did you enjoy that oh-so-informative Google Earth tour of North Korea yesterday afternoon, with the geniuses from Planet Money? Holy crap, I wanted to throw up. This shit is news?

Porter Melmoth said...

I listened to the bits of Planet Money concerning Elizabeth Warren (thanks for the links). First time I've been near that program.

I can't imagine a more sickening radio experience. Those mutual jack-offs, AAAAdam (the First Man of Money) and that other too-precise speaking gentleman (Alex?)are, well, reprehensible just by their very presentation. Their superiority-complex projection is the most blatant to be found on NPR (now that's a routine thing to say...), and the mutual porn-making they indulge in is a symptom of their own out of control narcissism (a rampant condition at NPR, naturally).

Sick-making. Puke-making. I shall not burdened with listening to those people again.

Porter Melmoth said...

PS: Of COURSE I can imagine a more sickening radio experience than Planet Fungi, but I was struck by the ego-strutting and cringe-making self-love.

bg!pnk!fzzy!bnny! said...

^ Yah, Port. They do be good at that, to their (dis)credit.

Ever so glad that my self-imposed tune-out/turn-off ensued at a fortuitous time than to have had to endure those self-aggrandizing baboon-buffoons to compound the suffocation & aggravation (SharketPlace already having laid the framework in repulsion/revulsion to public radio's snooty, smarmy, hip-shakin' skanky take on the economic shell game).

geoff said...

Has anybody tracked when the frequency of stock market report on public radio began their crescendo and what is with the fortissimo of DOW and NASDAQ reporting?

I tried to find the answer to this by googling and just came up with this site where a guy asks the obvious question (that goes unanswered, as far as I can tell):

Just like NPR and the NYT, WNYC continually interviews pundits from the Right and from Right leaning non-partisan organizations like American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, et. al. Most of your listeners know these folks arguments even before they go on the air — and can hear them ad infitium on Fox, ABC radio, WOR radio and on and on and on. Fox, ABC, and WOR hardly ever have competent pundits from the Left — or even the Center — to provide balance. Why do you do so?

Also, WNYC provides over an hour of business, primarily stock market, reporting everyday. How about providing a full half-hour of labor reporting — produced and written by people in labor unions, not by corporate front organizations opposed to unions — twice a month? Why do you provide balance with pundits from the Right, but not balance with pundits supportive of labor unions?

What was the marketing principle that says broadcasters consider their advertisers as their main audience?

miranda said...

So true, gopol. I think we will hear "Labor Reports" about the same time they hire a "Peace Reporter" to balance the steady stream of death prop from the Pentagon.

Anonymous said...

over an hour of business, primarily stock market, reporting everyday. How about providing a full half-hour of labor reporting"

This basically says it all.

The focus on the stock market is completely misplaced.

It tells you next to nothing about the health of the economy.

The folks (eg, on Planet Money and in the Obama white House) who tout the "recovery" of the stock market from its low point as an indicator of economic performance are basically playing 3 card Monte with the American public as dupe.

These are the same people (Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben bernanke, etc) who got us into the current mess.

dean baker is right. There is no sign of recovery.

That Obama and company are using recent stock market performance to claim "success" is not only idiotic, but it is dishonest as well.

larry, dfh said...

Of empires and hubris. The little public radio listening this Wed. afternoon was chuck full of it. First a big story on atc about how we are building a democracy in Afghanistan, at the point of a bayonette, This ironically from a country rife with stolen elections, gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement beyond belief, and a repub governor who will not admit a duely elected senator to represent the the people of Minnesota. But irony isn't npr's strong suite. Then on 'the world' (yeah I know, it's pri) we hear all about 'radical islam'. I guess 'islamofascism' was too complicated to be a proper cliche, so now it's 'radical islam' as the buzz-word of concern. Not much talk about a gentleman being gunned down in his church by 'radical x-tians', no, that shit can't exist in the pinnacle of freedom.
And Woody, terry gross has had some good interviews, but she was unabashedly pro-war in her line-up before the debacle, and she's always been a ghoulish freak.

Anonymous said...

terry gross has had some good interviews, but she was unabashedly pro-war in her line-up before the debacle"

..and she still works for NPR.

No self-respecting (ie, real) journalist would continue to do so, after all the propaganda they have aired over the past decade or so.

NPR has become the worst kind of propaganda machine -- publicly funded masquerading as "liberal" and unapologetic.

Terry Gross is part of that, as is everyone else who works for NPR. They should be treated accordingly: shunned (and their lies corrected, of course).

It really IS a matter of putting your money where your mouth is -- or perhaps your mouth where your money is in the case of Gross and others who work for NPR.

miranda said...

When it comes to pro-war shills, my NPR bete noir is Neil (Neo)Conan.

The other day, he could hardly conceal his disdain when a caller spoke out against the ever-widening Middle East wars.

The caller pointed out, accurately, that there is now only one party in the U.S. -- the War Party. Conan shot back something like: "Well, to be fair, Caller, President Obama did promise to reach across the aisle and be bipartisan." When the caller went on to mention Pakistan, Conan could barely contain his rage.

They do love them some war on NPR.

w!b!8!b! said...

^Told ya. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Neil Conan: Well, to be fair, Caller, President Obama did promise to reach across the aisle and be bipartisan.

Yes, indeed. Terrorizing civilians with drone attacks does seem to be a bipartisan (and wildly popular) policy in this Congress.

Obviously, Neil is not the only "Con(m)an" in Washington.

Porter Melmoth said...

The thing is, with the exception of Neo Conman, AAAAdam Dimbulbson and other passionate actors on NPR, much of the approach is soft sell. The king of these cool ones is of course Blob Siegel, who approaches current events in the guise of some eminent (sounding) professor, who finds this and that absolutely fascinating - and you, the listener should, too. After all, NPR doesn't want to alienate their 'thinking' audience...

miranda said...

As if "bipartisanship" were really an important principle, to anyone except David Broder and the NPR war shills. Point is, the Democrats are worse than the Republicans, in that they pretend to stand for the people. In the same way that NPR is worse than Fox, in that they pretend to be "unbiased" and even (shudder) "liberal."

Porter Melmoth said...

Something you won't find on NPR:

* Professor Juan Cole and Cairo-Based Analyst Issandr El Amrani on Obama's Historic Address *

We get analysis of Obama's speech from Cairo-based independent analyst Issandr El Amrani and Professor Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World.


geoff said...

Porter, Surely you must know that Juan Cole is just an armchair ignoramus. To get truly informed 411 on the situation over there you need someone with gravitas, say Juan Williams, or Mara Liasson - you know, a scholar.

broken window: said...

NPR did have some AEI flack (who was a PNAC signatory and used to work for the racist Jesse Helms) on today's Talk of the Nation to tell us how much Obama's speech sucked.

Porter Melmoth said...

Gopol, you're right. I have been naughty. I have rebelled. I am sorry. I will return. I will turn on the radio. The dial will be welded into NPR position. It will be on all day and night. I will listen. I will absorb. I will obey. I will ask for forgiveness.

Porter Melmoth said...

Gopol, thanks for the AEI link! I found GOLD: Richard Perle's email!!! And Paul Wolfowitz's ASSISTANT'S phone number!!!!

Porter Melmoth said...

And - and - Freddie the Freeloader Kagan's email!!! You know, he was one of the 'architects' of the Surge! You know, the one that worked? And Irv Kristol's there, too!! Bill's dad. Hell, there's more of a family feeling at AEI compared to NPR's cold fishiness.

The burlesque rolls on...

geoff said...


Frederick W. Kagan, {snip}

Basic: Son of Yale Prof/Spook/Skull&Bones goes to Yale [just happens Yale only excepts top notch scholars like Frederick and his father just happens to be a prof/spook/etc there] and "wrote" a book "with" his dad, While America Sleeps published Sept/2000 and arguing for a New Pearl Harbor, essentially, because otherwise infidel and mixed-race Americans will want to mothball their nukes in favor of a peace dividend.

Side note: I speculate he and his dad are both Skull&Bones butt buddies and at least the younger is forever overcompensating for being fat and effete (to weak to be called effeminate) by arguing for bigger rockets and more ruthless killing.

The only school that would take him on staff was West Point where he lasted 6 years until 911 punched his ticket into the big time at AEI - where he is a "scholar". It must be hell, in a way, to be born into this thing and fingered for the FOXNPRPBS gig whoring all these crappy ideas for more killing and mayhem. He has to actually read some of the stuff he supposedly writes, but he can't quite keep it straight most of the time.

Amazing thing is, he may as well be writing the script of Obama in AfPak now. Wonders never cease.

John said...

Its not the end of the world, but some irritatingly incompetent 'reporting' from Liane Hansen this morning,where she interviews a Vermont representative who is pushing a bill to stop big pharma from bribing doctors, by making doctors reveal what benefits they've accepted, and he then notes that Sen Grassley's bill has an exception for third party benefits that's so big that you could drive a truck through it. All the drug companies have to do is set up third party entities to do the bribery, and the bill is meaningless. When Hansen gets Grassley on the phone, she mentions the loophole to him, and then fails to ask him a question about it! What did these people go into journalism for? Its like having a plumber come over your house to fix a leaky faucet and he takes it into his head to install a new toilet instead. It was almost funny.