Friday, August 01, 2008

Fantasyland Media

"JERUSALEM - Taking the protest against the Gaza blockade to a new level, two boats packed with foreign left-wing activists will attempt to sail from Cyprus to the sealed Gaza harbor in two weeks’ time.0726 03 1

The operation is being directed by members of the International Solidarity Movement and the Israeli Commission against House Demolitions. A Web site, FreeGaza, has been set up to collect donations and update the public.

The group - which numbers some 40 activists - has purchased two boats, one called SS Free Gaza and the other SS Liberty, named after the USS Liberty that was mistakenly bombed by the Israel Air Force during the Six Day War. Thirty-four American sailors were killed in the bombing."

-->The US media, including the NY Times, has completely avoided this story. We must go to an Israeli paper, the Jerusalem Post, for an accurate reporting on this dramatic attempt by international activist to break the Gaza blockade.


The headline atop Saturday’s op-ed page was a hallowed standby for the New York Times: “Americans Move to the Middle.” Assembled by Times “visual columnist” Charles Blow, the text of the column was dwarfed by 15 graphs tracking recent movement in American public opinion, based on Gallup polls. There was one problem: the headline totally distorted the data.

An accurate headline would have been “American Opinion Moves Leftward” — but accuracy was apparently trumped by centrist ideology....


– “The Iraq war has made the U.S. less safe from terrorism.” 37% in 2003 and 49% four years later.

– “The government is spending too much for national defense and military purposes.” 19% in Feb. 2001 and 44% in Feb. 2008.

– “Organized religion should have less influence in this nation.” 22% in Jan. 2001 and 34% in Jan. 2008.

"The reality is that longterm trends in American opinion are generally leftward on issues, as documented in well-researched studies.

It’s a reality that troubles those Beltway pundits who constantly goad Barack Obama toward “the center” on issues like Iraq and NAFTA — when they mean, move away from the center of mass opinion and upwards toward the center of elite opinion."

-->Article by Jeff Cohen, director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. He founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.


"The United States security coordinator for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, retired general James Jones, is preparing an extremely critical report of Israel’s policies in the territories and its attitude toward the Palestinian Authority’s security services.

A few copies of the report’s executive summary (or, according to some sources, a draft of it) have been given to senior Bush Administration officials, and it is reportedly arousing considerable discomfort. In recent weeks, the administration has been debating whether to allow Jones to publish his full report, or whether to tell him to shelve it and make do with the summary, given the approaching end of President George Bush’s term...

According to both Israeli and American sources, the envoy’s conclusions about Israel are scathing. Israelis who met with Jones on his most recent visit here a few weeks ago, including Israel Defense Forces officers, said their impression was that the report would be “very harsh, and make Israel look very bad.”

-->This story about US Israeli relations is similarly missing from our mainstream media, including the NY Times. This story, printed in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, fills us in on what our own government is doing. The NY Times cares more about protecting Israel's reputation than most news media in Israel itself. Or maybe Israel values freedom of the press more than this country does.


"The dramatic hearing on presidential crimes and abuses of power held on Friday by the House Judiciary Committee was both a staged farce, and at the same time, a powerful demonstration of the power of a grassroots movement in defense of the Constitution. It was at once both testimony to the cowardice and self-inflicted impotence of Congress and of the Democratic Party that technically controls that body, and to the enormity of the damage that has been wrought to the nation’s democracy by two aspiring tyrants in the White House.

As Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the committee, made clear more than once during the six-hour session, this was “not an impeachment hearing, however much many in the audience might wish it to be.” He might well have added that he himself was not the fierce defender of the Constitution and of the authority of Congress that he once was before gaining control of the Judiciary Committee, however much his constituents, his wife, and Americans across the country might wish him to be...."
by Dave Lindorff

-->True to form, the NY Times refuses to print anything about impeachment. Like the rest of the US media, impeachment is "off the table." And this assessment of impeachment's importance trumps US citizens' right to know.

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