The Media can't handle the Truth: Media sheep facing Truth-hungry Internet Wolves

By Gene Lyons

Aug. 27, 2009 | So yet another Bush administration Cabinet-level official has petitioned to get his conscience and reputation back. This time, it's Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security. The one-time Pennsylvania governor admits in a new book that he felt political pressure from the White House to issue bogus terror alerts before the 2004 presidential election.

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Big surprise, right? By 2004, anybody who didn't grasp that crying wolf was the Bush/Cheney administration's basic game plan was probably also astonished last January when the "Texas cowboy" who's never been seen on a horse chose a Dallas mansion over his beloved ranch. Golly, who's doing all that brush-cutting?

Indeed, the most fascinating aspect of the Ridge revelations has been a flame war that's broken out between establishment Washington pundits and less-reverent bloggers. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder started it by observing in smug inside-the-Beltway fashion that he and like-minded colleagues were actually right to be wrong about fake terror warnings.

People who smelled a rat, see, "based their assumption on gut hatred for President Bush, and not on any evaluation of the raw intelligence." Whereas, sober-sided thinkers like him credited the Bush administration's good intentions.

Confronted with ample contemporaneous evidence of Bush administration flimflams by Salon's Glenn Greenwald and the scholarly Marcy Wheeler of, Ambinder apologized for the "gut hatred" part. But he alibied: "Information asymmetry is always going to exist, and, living as we do in a democratic system, most journalists are going to give the government the benefit of some doubt, even having learned lessons about giving the government that benefit."

Yeah, sure. Purely with regard to terrorism and national security, by 2004, Bush/Cheney had already gotten caught deceiving the public about having "no warning" before the 9/11 attacks, not to mention about Saddam Hussein's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. If skepticism was still inappropriate, would it ever be warranted?

Yet people who found the timing of terror alerts suspect, such as then-Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, were dismissed as crackpots.

It was much the same after former Secretary of State Colin Powell confessed misgivings about his 2003 U.N. speech that stampeded the United States into an ill-advised war in Iraq. How could any serious American journalist possibly have seen that coming? Or, as your humble, obedient servant here wrote at the time, "War fever, catch it."

This column summarized "mainstream" opinion on Feb. 12, 2003: "The allegedly 'liberal' Washington Post responded editorially with a one-word headline, 'Irrefutable.' Columnist Mary McGrory announced that despite being almost a pacifist ... 'I'm Persuaded,' mostly by what she described as Powell's unimpeachable integrity. Joining the stampede was New York Times columnist Bill Keller, who noted that 'The I-Can't-Believe-I'm-a-Hawk Club includes op-ed regulars at this newspaper and the Washington Post, the editors of the New Yorker, the New Republic and Slate, columnists in Time and Newsweek."

And yet it was all rubbish, exactly as some of us raised on intelligence hoaxes suspected. Evidence of what I called "chicanery and fraud" in the U.S. case against Iraq was obvious to anybody unafraid to see it.

But here's the big thing about "mainstream" journalism and what Ambinder calls "information asymmetry." Upton Sinclair said it best: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

Furthermore, the safest place during a stampede is the middle of the herd. Establishment journalists with mortgages, car payments and children in private schools saw what happened to the Dixie Chicks. Why couldn't it happen to them? (The job I got fired from that month wasn't paying my bills.) The United States had been attacked. Feelings ran high, especially in New York and Washington.

What did it matter if we killed the wrong Arabs, so long as Arabs were being killed? In Thomas Friedman's immortal words, "We hit Iraq because we could. That's the real truth."

Under oath to a Senate committee, Condi Rice told a barefaced whopper about the Aug. 6, 2001, CIA terrorism briefing that Bush blew off. Media insiders pretended not to notice. Bush made a slapstick skit of searching under his Oval Office desk for Iraqi WMDs. The press laughed on cue. He claimed that Saddam Hussein forced him to invade Iraq by expelling U.N. arms inspectors. (In reality, Bush made them leave.) Pundits praised his charm.

Long under siege for "liberal bias," media careerists now find themselves confronted with people they see as passionate amateurs. True, fearless scrappers like my friend Joe Conason have always been around, and somebody like Paul Krugman -- a world-class economist who doesn't care what, say, MSNBC's Chris Matthews thinks of him -- can be very annoying.

But what's really driving these jokers up the wall is economic and intellectual competition from the Internet: people with first-class minds and a passion for truth that some of them can barely remember.

© 2009 Gene Lyons. Distributed by Newspaper Enterprise Association

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Bravo, Gene Lyons.

Thom Hartman

devoted time to questions about 9/11 on his show today.

Hour Three: “Everything You Know is Wrong…about 9/11?” Thom talks with David Aaronovitchis about his new National Geographic Channel documentary “9/11 Science and Conspiracy”

Plus…David Ray Griffin on the other side.

I am waiting to hear the delayed show on XM today so I don't yet have any details, but it would be good if some of the eloquent, informed folks who post here jump in and log into: .... and add comments. It sounds like the National Geo doc will be a hit piece.

Thom Hartman is coming to Dallas next month...

North Texans for 9/11 Truth plan to be there with a load of info and DVDs.
Cindy Sheehan will also be there. I am under the impression Thom H still sticks to the "official" story.

What was said on his show?

The AM1360 Rational Radio Progress Forum is an opportunity to gather and discuss issues and learn about exciting developments in energy innovations as well as issues of peace, justice and health care policy. Nationally-syndicat ed Radio Talk Show Host Thom Hartmann is Master of Ceremonies for a unique event featuring Activist Cindy Sheehan, Film Makers Nicole Torre and Melissa Roddy, afterdowningstreet. com's David Swanson, and "The Most Important Man in the World". Musical guests Code Red with Tunde Obazee and Singer/Songwriter David Rovics join the entire Rational Radio family for a day of empowerment, education, and enlightenment at the Lakewood Theater.
Saturday, September 19th at 2pm.

www.RationalRadio. org

"It sounds like the National Geo doc will be a hit piece."

Well since National Geographic is owned by Rupert Murdoch (NEWS Corp) it is a safe bet that it will be a big fat disgusting hit piece filled with every imaginable deception and distortion they can invent. I hope everyone in the 9/11 truth movement starts getting the important fact that FOX and National Geographic both are controlled by the same lying scum Rupert Murdoch. No need to wonder "if" it is going to be a hit piece, I can double damn guarantee you that it is going to be. Start letting people know now Murdoch owns National Geographic so they too can expect massive deception and tell their friends and so on. Get the word out.


You cut David off and changed the subject when he was in the middle of telling your audience that in their final report, NIST admitted that WTC 7 fell at free fall acceleration for over 2 seconds [105 feet]. This is the proof the NIST did NOT explain the collapse of WTC 7.

Shyam Sunder had stated in a briefing on 8-26-08 that: “a free fall time would be an object that has no structural components below it and that is not is not all unusual because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case.” In other words, in the NIST scenario of progressive collapse there are always structural components providing resistance and preventing free fall acceleration from occurring. The NIST scenario and computer model do NOT fall at free fall acceleration.
For free fall acceleration to occur, all the structural supports on 7-8 floors were removed within 2 seconds. The only explanation is they were removed with explosives.

BTW: “OBL and 19 hijackers did it.” is a conspiracy theory.
Any crime committed by two or more people is a conspiracy.
WTC 7 was a controlled demolition/progressive collapse are alternate building destruction theories.

A Comment synopsis by someone at Thom Hartman"s site:

A Comment synopsis by someone at Thom Hartman"s site:

"I listen to you daily, I have learned quite a bit from your show. However, I am disappointed in your segments with the 9/11 myth maker David Aaronovitchis. First of all your demeanor with him was one of respect, while your demeanor with David R Griffen was dismissive. Mr. Griffen’s time was shorter, and you clearly wanted Mr. Aaronovitchis to give his prepared stock answers.

His experiment was bogus because he looked at only one small beam, to assume the entire building or even the entire floor was seeing the same heat loading is not supported by the photographic evidence or the firemen’s audio accounts that have been released. THIS IS OBVIOUS. But you were silent.

Tom I sincerely hope you are not a tool of the Mighty Wurlitzer, called on to be friendly to govt. propaganda when the timing is right."


Awesome headline.

Sheep, mockingbirds, PR flacks, corporate stooges -- call them what you will -- the "mainstream media" is no longer mainstream and most certainly does not represent the interests of the public. They know it, we know it, and they're starting to freak out. To borrow another metaphor: they're the lumbering dinosaurs on the verge of extinction, we're the quick-witted mammals ready to take their place.

Viva l'internets!

Some rich quotes here

Try wrapping your head around this mass of Orwellian lunacy, courtesy of the Atlantic's Ambinder:

"living as we do in a democratic system, most journalists are going to give the government the benefit of some doubt, even having learned lessons about giving the government that benefit."

That's right: An indicator of how 'democratic' a system is is not how skeptical and vigilant the news media are with regards to the government; but rather how deferential they are towards it!

'Journalists' like this are some of the foremost exemplars of the kind of 'nationalist faith' David Ray Griffin has spoken about--enabling the U.S. government to get away with lying, torture and...other stuff....Again we see illustrated how this American 'exceptionalist' ideology, which such journalists are so proud to wear on their sleeves is ultimately fascist and undemocratic in nature.