Meet Matt

November 5, 2006

Say hello to Matt Taibbi, the new addition to my blogroll. He isn’t too impressed with the new skepticism media figures are finally showing toward the Bush administration:

What’s dangerous about what’s going on right now is that an electoral defeat of the Republicans next week, and perhaps a similar defeat in a presidential race two years from now, might fool some people into thinking that the responsibility for the Iraq war can be sunk forever with George Bush and the Republican politicians who went down with his ship. But in fact the real responsibility for the Iraq war lay not with Bush but with the Lettermans, the Wolf Blitzers, the CNNs, The New York Timeses of the world — the malleable middle of the American political establishment who three years ago made a conscious moral choice to support a military action that even a three-year-old could have seen made no fucking sense at all.

It doesn’t take much courage to book the Dixie Chicks when George Bush is sitting at thirty-nine percent in the polls and carrying 3,000 American bodies on his back every time he goes outside. It doesn’t take much courage for MSNBC’s Countdown to do a segment ripping the “Swift-Boating of Al Gore” in May 2006, or much gumption from Newsweek‘s Eleanor Clift to say that many people in the media “regret” the way Gore was attacked and ridiculed in 2000. We needed those people to act in the moment, not years later, when it’s politically expedient. We needed TV news to reject “swift-boating” during the actual Swift Boat controversy, not two years later; we needed ABC and NBC to stand up to Clear Channel when that whole idiotic Dixie Chicks thing was happening, not years later; we needed the networks and the major dailies to actually cover the half-million-strong protests in Washington and New York before the war, instead of burying them in inside pages or describing the numbers as “thousands” or “at least 30,000,” as many news outlets did at the time; and we needed David Letterman to have his war epiphany back when taking on Bill O’Reilly might actually have cost him real market share.

No argument from me. The mass-market media, with a few honorable exceptions, bears a huge share of the responsibility for allowing Bush to run amok. That means it must also bear a huge share of the responsiblity for the continuing horrors this sleazy war will generate in the coming decades.

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Not just any hack job

September 8, 2006

While hack TV critics like Ken Tucker and Alessandra Stanley push the line that The Path to 9/11, ABC’s upcoming crockudrama, is an honest piece of work that lays out blame without fear or favor, bloggers have been doing the heavy lifting and finding of some juicy facts.

The latest tidbit comes from Max Blumenthal, who finds that the film’s director is part of a little-known Hollywood evangelical group called Youth With A Mission, and has benefitted from a PR blitz choreographed by David Horowitz, who is trying to foster a clandestine ideological network within Hollywood when he isn’t trying to smear academics as traitors and terrorist-appeasers.

Meanwhile, a growing list of noted historians have signed an open letter asking ABC to send The Path to 9/11 down the plumbing — the only appropriate distribution for this crock of right-wing shit.