Wednesday, November 21, 2007

FANTASY LAND: US Media

Sunday's story about the coming "crisis" in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (All Things Considered: 5:00 - 6:00 pm on November 18) was little more than a misleading polemic.

NPR blithely accepted the premiss that Social Security would be bankrupt in a few years, and that all three programs were unsustainable. But many economists (like Paul Krugman of the New York Times) have called this assumption a "big lie" promoted by Wall Street and conservative think tanks, eager to take apart the last vestiges of the New Deal.

Shame on NPR for not mentioning that a very small increase in Social Security taxes paid by those earning more than $100,000 per year would make the program solvent for generations. And how about the trillion dollars earmarked for the wars in the Middle East? And the billions in corporate tax breaks? All things considered? Hardly. This story was almost pure propaganda, another stain on NPR reporting.

---------

In an exclusive interview with CNA earlier this week, Bishop Thomas Wenski (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) took time to explain why the Bishop’s Conference supports a two state solution to bring peace to the Holy Land. The USCCB Chairman of the Committee on International Policy made his comments in light of the upcoming Annapolis peace conference, due to begin on November 27.

Bishop Wenski lamented the fact many factors are contributing to “the continuing stalemate in the region.” Among the causes he cited were the building of the security wall by the Israelis, and the continuing expansion of Jewish settlements in the Western bank.

In addition, “Israel seems to be reducing the Palestinian territories into a series of cantons…and cutting them off from each other,” the bishop said.

Another obstacle to peace is “the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where most of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, threatens the sustainability of any political settlement and thus the security of Israel,” the leaders wrote.

This pronouncement by the Catholic Bishops didn't make it through the main Israeli lobby filter for US news, that is the New York Times.



---------

US military officials are putting huge pressure on interrogators who question Iraqi insurgents to find incriminating evidence pointing to Iran, it was claimed last night.

Micah Brose, a privately contracted interrogator working for American forces in Iraq, near the Iranian border, told The Observer that information on Iran is 'gold'. The claim comes after Washington imposed sanctions on Iran last month, citing both its nuclear ambitions and its Revolutionary Guards' alleged support of Shia insurgents in Iraq.

'My impression is they're just trying to get every little bit of ammunition possible. If we get something here it fits the overall picture. The engine needs impetus and they're looking for us to find the fuel - a particular type of fuel."

US trying to build a case for war against Iran? Newsworthy for American citizens to read? Not to the NY Times.
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2208997,00.html

----------

In what has become the nation’s largest annual gathering for peace and human rights, over twenty thousand people protested outside the gates of Fort Benning, GA on November 18, 2007. Fort Benning is the site of the internationally notorious U.S. Army training school for Latin American military and security personnel.

The eleven people who crossed onto the grounds were arrested by military police. The eleven, ranging in age from 25 to 76, are scheduled for federal criminal trial January 28, 2008 for trespass - punishable up to six months in federal prison. Over two hundred people have served federal prison time for civil disobedience at prior protests - dozens of others arrested have served years of supervised federal probation.

And the NY Times report on these protests? Never happened: it just wasn't fit to print...

No comments: