Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Conspiracy of PR

Gotta go on record about this ridiculous Guantanamo Bay story about the Quran desecration.

The Newsweek retraction of this story, under immense pressure from all sides, smacks of the same cover-up when Kennedy was in office, and it was still possible to inhibit the press into suppressing the news, as evidenced by the delay on reporting the Cuban missile business. Now Newsweek is made to look foolish for publishing a story that was nodded and winked at by those of authority, who might also be trying to create a scapegoat.

In a virtuoso example of editorial gumption and hard-core research and synthesis, Keith Olberman of MSNBC sets out the sinister underpinnings of the Bush Administration's dealings in this fiasco:

Last Thursday, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Donald Rumsfeld’s go-to guy whenever the situation calls for the kind of gravitas the Secretary himself can’t supply, told reporters at the Pentagon that rioting in Afghanistan was related more to the on-going political reconciliation process there, than it was to a controversial note buried in the pages of Newsweek claiming that the government was investigating whether or not some nitwit interrogator at Gitmo really had desecrated a Muslim holy book.

But Monday afternoon, while offering himself up to the networks for a series of rare, almost unprecedented sit-down interviews on the White House lawn, Press Secretary McClellan said, in effect, that General Myers, and the head of the after-action report following the disturbances in Jalalabad, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, were dead wrong. The Newsweek story, McClellan said, “has done damage to our image abroad and it has done damage to the credibility of the media and Newsweek in particular. People have lost lives. This report has had serious consequences.”

Whenever I hear Scott McClellan talking about ‘media credibility,’ I strain to remember who it was who admitted Jeff Gannon to the White House press room and called on him all those times.

Whenever I hear this White House talking about ‘doing damage to our image abroad’ and how ‘people have lost lives,’ I strain to remember who it was who went traipsing into Iraq looking for WMD that will apparently turn up just after the Holy Grail will - and at what human cost.
--Keith Olberman's Blog at MSNBC.com

Newsweek needs the same PR pros that the White House uses to diffuse potential backlash traumas like this one. Obviously there are planted stories, just like there are planted drugs on suspected hoodlums. The Pentagon got what they wanted, probably way more than they could hope for, in an embarrassment of a major media institute. It’s time for the rest of us to maintain cool heads and remember the lying liars for who they are—greedy warmongers who sniff out oil like bloodhounds.

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