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The Shame of US Journalism Is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories


The Shame of US Journalism Is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories

The news that NBC’s Brian Williams was not, in fact, on a helicopter in 2003 that came under fire from an Iraqi Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) should come as a surprise to noone.


This is really unfortunate. The very fact that the United States (pretty much singlehandedly) just absolutely laid waste to, destabilized a country (i. e. Iraq), and sickened, killed and maimed untold numbers of innocent Iraqi civilians and soldiers alike is horrific in itself, but the fact that it was all white-washed by many of our leading journalists is equally sickening, imho.


Yes. It is rather terrible, isn’t it? And the fact that leading ‘journalists’ would play any part in this horrid thing is absolutely awful, too. IMHO.

Here we have the United States of America absolutely laying waste, killing, maiming and destabilizing a country. Meanwhile leading journalists white-wash it all. And it’s all just so…I don’t know the best word, but I’ll try…UNFORTUNATE.

[Man. What HAVE you done to the comments, CD?]


Destruction of Iraq and Bad Media…not a good place at all…


Only “equally”?


For some of us, the realization came as early as Sept 14th and the iconic Bush bullhorn speech at ground zero, as people like Paula Zahn of CNN asked a guest, and I quote, “How bad do you feel about what happened”. There it is, how bad do you ‘feel’, and phrases like, ‘what do you think’, were almost never uttered.

It was clear there was a drum beat for war, and people like myself who simply asked that we examine the evidence more carefully, in regards to Iraq, were ridiculed, ostracized, called a terrorist sympathizer and directed to leave ‘Murica’. As I watched one of the lone voices in Congress, Senator Byrd of West Virgina ask the same question only to be made a pariah and mocked.

The stunning realization that the old adage of “Liberal media” was a constructed falsehood in regards to prime time television and cable. Paid for generals advocating on the most liberal of all the stations, with flag waving logo’s of “America at War!”, and I asked myself, isn’t there just one news outlet that would offer a counter opinion, but there was none. The Fourth Estate had become the Fifth Column and was little more than the marketing wing of our government.

Years later when the question began to arise of the medias role in taking America to our greatest foreign policy disaster in our nations history, they quietly on page 17 acknowledged they should have did better, and in the same week, only to see Rachel Maddow then begin to beat the drum on Libya and reference the existential threat of Iran.

I will leave the parting words of Justice Black, and merely add, that you will no longer find journalism on television, merely sycophants willing to sell their soul for money at the expense of their profession and their country, just to get a seat one row closer to the Press Secretary at White House talking points meetings.

“In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the
free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our
democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The
Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would
remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that
it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and
unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And
paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any
part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant
lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”

Justice Black
NYT v. US 403 US 713


it’s always enlightening when the dogs of war inject their tunnel-visioned humor into the conversation. as has been noted on previous occasions, maybe you could do a search, popl, on deformed iraqi babies. there you will see why your so-called “troops out now” crowd does indeed froth “at the mouth about bush.”


I can’t see why we can’t make fighting catastrophic climate change even more profitable to our Military Industrial Complex and also buy the fossil fuel displaced by replacing it with renewable energy at a beyond fair–generous–price and make most of our too big to fail international corporations affected by the deal at least as well off as they would be with business as usual. It would be a high price to pay for our working class, but still a lesser evil than throwing the children and grandchildren of today’s children under the bus. Most humans hope to pass their genes on to future generations. And most of those who hope to pass on genes also want to leave our commons to future generations in at least usable condition.


First of all, I would like to say CONGRATS!!! to the Commondreams folks for getting the conversation started again!

It was almost like we were all at a great party and the party got shut down and we all had to go to other parties! Ha!

It has been interesting seeing others here and there and having a dialogue (Truthdig and Informationclearinghouse) about what happened here with the comments. I was happy to see the community thriving on FB as well.

Anyhow, to my comment.

Regarding journalism and the 2000 photos from Abu Ghraib that show U.S. soldiers involved in torture. The Obama administration does not want them to be released because he claims it will foment terrorism against Americans in the world. Ya think? Maybe somebody should have considered that as the torture was on-going? But then again, perhaps at the time the well-being/safety of the American people was not really the “goal” at all? ($$)

Apparently Seymour Hersh is talking about a video of American soldiers raping young Iraqi boys while their sisters and mothers are forced to watch. Obviously I do not know if this is true but speaking of “journalists” I certainly hope either Mr. Hersh or Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept or somebody!!! will find out if this is true.

Everything that is ugly and abhorrent to the American people is now “secret” and kept away from us. This is not how a democracy functions. The people must know the truth of what their government is doing in order to participate actively as citizens.

A new book has been published in Germany by a journalist who claims to have been given many articles by the CIA for publishing under his name. He is Udo Ulfkotte and I believe his book is thus far only in German but it is a bestseller there. The title is: “Gekaufte Journalisten” meaning, “Purchased Journalists”. You can go to YouTube to see interviews with him on RT and elsewhere. Of course Rachel Maddow isn’t interviewing him…

Isn’t it time the American people discovered which journalists currently working in major news media outlets in the United States are truly “independent” journalists or are actually working for the U.S. government as propaganda tools?


Wise comment.


Good stuff, DJ Wolf. Far too many posters speak in an idiom that locks U.S. citizens into a linear frame with all “team members” presumed to hold the same positions, priorities and predilections. Furthermore, this frame pushes the team sport version of events otherwise depicted as “with us or against us,” “this or that,” or another locked-down construct that makes sure to leave out dissent, nuance, and alternatives to the same kind of status quo thinking that got “us” here.


Considering the cost of the Iraqi invasion and the subsequent quest to turn the Middle East to rubble, currently edging on six trillion dollars when veteran medical costs are included, would it not have been simpler just to purchase oil from those countries?
There were other options to deal with the perpetrators and backers of 9/11, but they were never considered in the wind-up to war. I cannot blame the citizens of Middle Eastern countries for despising us after what we have done to them. Yet we continue the same behavior, expecting a different outcome.
It’s been personally devastating to watch my son do a tour in Iraq as a Blackhawk pilot, then my grandson join the National Guard, become a Crew Chief on the same, and be sent off to Afghanistan. Avid FOX News watchers, they still claim that Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center. And we rarely speak anymore.


Well it does not matter if one watches Fox or MSNBC, as while the manner in which stories are presented appear to be from two opposing views, the truth is far less distinct. While Fox news is clearly overt in its John McCain “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” themes, we find little opposition from liberal mainstream outlets. Often our military interventions are sold in two typical fashions. If a Republican is in the White House then it is under the premise of national security and the existential threat of radical Islam. When a Democrat sits in the White House, then the story takes on a more personal and humanitarian bent, of intervention to help X oppressed peoples from a tyrant we likely supported at some point in the past. eg… Two likely Presidential candidates at the moment are Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Bush opposes gay marriage but wants to bomb Iran. Hillary supports gay marriage but wants to bomb Iran.

America has two generally friendly neighbors north and south and two vast oceans east and west, thus we are quite isolated from the trappings of the rest of the world. Our information comes primarily from what we are told in our press. We all clearly see the bias of the likes of Russia Today (RT) yet most still think their source of news from the US has no bias, be it left or right and nothing could be further from the truth.

Another example might be Greece’s new Syriza coalition government that is characterized as ‘radical’, it got this term from a news article in a conservative British news publication and it is repeated over and over again. The connotation is that it is radical thus bad because it is leftist, and while the bulk of the coalition is certainly leftist, it also has right wing elements from the previous government in order to establish the new government. It is radical only because it is divergent from the western status quo and the establishment does not like it.

The American press has merely become a tool to guide public opinion in a preset direction approved by Washington.


Please see Charles Lewis’ new book, 935 Lies. This is the number he and his cohorts at the Center for public Integrity and American University could identify as lies told by the Bush Administration prior to invasion. But in 935 Lies, Lewis details some (most, I hope) of the major lies we, the people have been told in the post WWII era and promotes a modern form of investigative journalism in hopes of reversing a very scary ever-growing trend. (the Obama Administration is worse than Bush in several areas, like for example, labeling documents Top Secret and investigating crusading journalists.)

While mainstream media has failed us, a LARGE part of the reason is that we, the people, have forgotten than an informed, caring public is the key to a successful democracy. We, the people, care about “deflategate” and Justin Beiver and whether a male track start is going to end up being a female and if a football team should change its name and what some woman wore, or didn’t, to some awards show and who had a boob job and…

We ask for trivia and we get trivia. That’s the nature of any consumer society. Yes, media in providing it ensures that we continually care more about trivia but we can’t ignore our responsibility to our own democracy. We have got to again learn to care about significant issues or our media will continue providing us with the cheaper, easier, trivial crap that they presently provide us with.

Our media will continue to go along with governmental and commercial power UNLESS we, the people realize that the world is complex and demand discussions of that complexity.


The shame of US journalism is that like Brian Williams, they are all MSM whores; otherwise, they would not be allowed access!


The ‘people’ are going to have to make that discussion. It is quite clear that controlled ‘forums’ avoiding inconvenient truths are the normal method for ‘intellectual’ ‘analysis’ - and is it ever anal.
Harding American Studies Institute
Constitutional Government, Capitalism and Christian-Judeo Ethics
“The American Studies Institute at Harding University is truly unique, bringing national opinion leaders in business and politics to local constituents. Harding was a pioneer, and continues to be a leader, in the promotion of free enterprise education, preparing students to build a better nation. The expanded services of the American Studies Institute assure that these goals will continue to be achieved.”
Achieved - and bragged about as of they were a significant positive achievement for world dialogue rather than navel gazing in an echo chamber, establishing a vacuum rather than insight.