Sunday, December 19, 2010

Editorial: It's not always a conspiracy

On Thursday a protest was held outside the White House (see "I Hate The War") and it didn't get a great deal of coverage from the MSM which has led to rumbles from the usual brain dead that there was a conspiracy on the part of the MSM to silence the protest and the conspiracy talk generally mixes in a little Tea Party envy as well.

First, it was covered by the MSM, the Thursday snapshot made clear:

Cameron Joseph (National Journal) reports that Daniel Ellsberg was at the White House today "chained to its snowy gates as part of a protest organized by Veterans for Peace [. . .] Ellsberg was one of dozens arrested, the Associated Press reported." David Jackson (USA Today) explains, "It's cold and snowy in Washington, D.C., but that didn't stop protestors from showing up at the White House today to demonstrate against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Police appeared to arrest an unknown number of protestors as they sought to chain themselves to the White House fence." UPI offers a photo essay of the protest by Kevin Dietsch. David Swanson's War Is A Crime offers video of the protest. Paul Courson (CNN) states 131 is the number of activists arrested and cites US Park Police spokesperson David Schlosser as the source for that number. At Stop These Wars (umbrella group for the various groups and individuals organizing the action) it's noted, "131 veterans and others were arrested December 16 in front of the White House. Preliminary gallery of photos here. More to come."

So that's CNN, National Journal, USA Today, AP ad UPI. NPR would include it in hourly headlines. However, two days later, Crackpot Dave Lindorff would declare, "And yet, the protest event was completely blacked out by the corporate news media." Facts never matter with these types. They just lie and invent. And then they get bent out of shape when called on it.

Lindorff, for the record, was let go/'walked' away from In These Times over factual questions about his reporting. And, though he made brave noises at the time, his refusal to return to the topic in question has led some at In These Times to argue they were right to let him go because, clearly, when ITT would face the legal bills, Lindorff was comfortable with the topic but when he would face the legal bills, he had other things to write about.

Declaring that the MSM "completely blacked out" an event that they did cover really doesn't do a lot to restore Dave Lindorff's reputation. Nor does co-writing with a snitch who ratted out a guy to the feds and got him thrown in prison for attempting to get a list of the names of the prisoners held in Guantanamo to the Center for Constitutional Rights. The snitch went on to get a cushy post at Stanford, while Lt. Matthew Diaz spent six moths in prison. It's funny how Lindorff's not weighed in on that topic. Even WikiLeaks has weighed in on it. From the June 7th snapshot which quotes the Tweets from WikiLeaks:

And: "Did Wired break journalism's sacred oath? Lamo&Poulson call themselves journalists.Echoes of Olshansky shopping Diaz?" And: "@6/@kpoulson There's a special place in hell reserved for "journalists" like you and "lawyers" like Barbara Olshansky"

Golly, Dave Lindorff, seems like that would have been the perfect time for you to call out your writing buddy Barbara Olshansky.

But then, maybe he missed it. As his claim regarding the MSM demonstrates, he doesn't read.

Libbyliberal bleeds and sometimes she bleeds something important and sometimes she just bleeds and you want to shake her and say, "You do not have the right to self-harm!" That's the case with her latest at Corrente. She quotes Dave Lindorff which rarely helps up the number of facts in a piece.

Here's reality, the press really wasn't at the protest. The White House did an end run around the protest (intentionally). They scheduled a "Barack Talks" to get around the start of the rally (10:00 am) and, while the activsts took to the fence and when they would be arrested, a press briefing by Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense), Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State) and plus-size White House spokesmodel Robert Gibbs.

And that's before you note how cold it was outside or that it was snowing.

If you scream "Conspiracy!" every five second at everything, no one ends up believing you when there is actually is a conspiracy. And they do exist. If they didn't, the US wouldn't have laws about them and the Supreme Court would have never ruled on the issue.

While the organizers couldn't control the White House trotting out Barack and then serving up cabinet members, they could control other things.

A rally against the wars had some interest.

But then, as is so often the case on the left, it had to be about something else. The wars just aren't enough!!!!!!

So it became "Support WikiLeaks." And some noted that Julian Assange, the public face of WikiLeaks, was in legal trouble over allegations of rape. And if you might have wondered if you were seeing something that wasn't there, quickly it also became "Support Julian Assange."

That cut off a lot of enthusiasm though the weather probably had more to do with the low turnout than anything else.

Low turnout. Yes. It had that too.

And yet, in the comments to Libbyliberal's post, someone wants to bring up the Tea Partiers. Tea Party envy is a really ugly thing. People need to stop whining and get over it.

There's much to praise about the protests. You had people show up in bad weather, during the week and a large number of them were willing to face arrest.

That's no small thing. And you can cover that and do it in such a way that you don't need to shout "conspiracy! conspiracy!" And if you want to interest others who may not have heard of it?

The Honey Pot

Don't open with Ray McGovern. Though a number of kooks seem to think he's buttered bread, the reality is he means little to most Americans -- in the media or outside of it. Daniel Ellsberg is a national figure, that's who you open with if your point is to name drop.

Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Honey Pot."
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