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November 20, 2008

God Damn The God Damn Liberal Media

This is from Scott Horton's new article in Harper's on creating some kind of accountability for the torture conducted by the Bush administration (subscription required):

[I]n a 2006 radio interview, Dick Cheney said simply that the use of waterboarding to obtain intelligence was a “no-brainer.”

Cheney at the time declined to refer to this practice as torture, preferring instead to describe it as “robust interrogation,” and that reluctance has been echoed in the press. I myself was twice warned by PBS producers, in advance of appearances on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, that I could use the word “torture” in the abstract but that I was to refrain from applying it to the administration’s policies. And after an interview with CNN in which I spoke of the administration’s torture policy, I was told by the producer, “That’s okay for CNN International, but we can’t use it on the domestic feed.”

As always, the question remains: why is the major US media so incredibly left-wing?

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 20, 2008 07:38 PM

The US media have always been fiercely dedicated to speaking half-truths from power.

Cheney was right about one thing: it took people with no brains to conclude that torture was acceptable. In fact "no-brainer" is a good description of the Bush administration's policies in general.

Posted by: John Caruso at November 20, 2008 08:11 PM

could someone please check the BBC? it's possible bush and cheney have already been impeached and the news was blacked out.

Posted by: hapa at November 20, 2008 08:11 PM

Another question would be "Why didn't Mr. Horton talk about the administrations torture policy despite the warning?". Why not talk about it sooner? Not saying that it would change a whole lot, but.....

He recounts the episode in a footnote, and goes on to say that now (2008) everyone--Obama, Biden,...-- is referring to it as torture.

I came across an article in Swans on the CIA -

that took me further away from what passes for casual conversation with my friends--could be that I need some new people to hang out with.

So I thought I'd leave the link in a blog comment.

Posted by: Bruce F at November 20, 2008 09:47 PM

Is there anything more cynical than the disparity in coverage of the news between CNN and CNN International?

Why yes, yes there is. Richard Parsons, former CEO of CNN's parent company Time Warner (he resigned at the end of 2007), has a seat on the Obama transition team.

Yet more hope we can change for.

Posted by: jm at November 21, 2008 09:30 AM

could someone please check the BBC


Don't get your hopes up too much - they're really not much better:

Posted by: Daniel Simpson at November 23, 2008 01:48 PM

Daniel Simpson:
I did not mean to give the impression that BBC is the best and always right. I was comparing CNN ( domestic) and BBC. If foreign viewers have to choose between what is seen in USA, they would reject it so CNN has to have a different ( CNN Int ) slant on the news.

I can not speak for other countries but I know for a fact that in India, there are mutiple sources of news and information ( TV channels and newspapers and magazines with wide spectum of political views ) so the population is not dependent on only one or two sources. And in commonwealth countries, even today, rightly or wrongly, BBC enjoys trust in terms of providing high quality news, though of course, it can make erors or toe govt line. However, local audiences ( in those countries ) will have other sources of news which may contradict what BBC says if it is not true. It may surprise some but India has a more open and freer press than in the USA.

ps I read your entry on your website and I agree with you. Everyone who was reading nonMSM and blogs, knew exactly what had happened in South Ossetia and who was the aggressor. Also, we know, MSM tend to insult the intelligence of their audience and underestimate how much the audience knows.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at November 23, 2008 03:35 PM

If foreign viewers have to choose between what is seen in USA, they would reject it so CNN

It should read..
If foreign viewers have to choose between what is seen in USA and BBC, they would reject CNN, so CNN has to have a different ( CNN Int ) slant on the news.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at November 23, 2008 03:48 PM