Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Paul Krugman has a brilliant op-ed piece, This Isn't America on the New York Times site today. He discusses BushCo's abuse of power and smear tactics, and how much of the media still seems content to allow the Administration to use them as puppets. He also points out just how slimey BushCo really is: "This administration's reliance on smear tactics is unprecedented in modern U.S. politics — even compared with Nixon's. Even more disturbing is its readiness to abuse power — to use its control of the government to intimidate potential critics." (bold mine) Worse than Nixon? I'd say that's accurate!

Via Blah3.com, the White House is now going to allow Condi to testify under oath--with stipulations. Seems like everything comes with stipulations in this Administration! In a related story, this Alternet article discusses "Condi's Credibility Gap," contrasting actual claims made by Ms. Rice (including dates claims were made) with *documented* facts that refute her statements. Spin THAT Condi!

This Alternet article discusses the media's mishandling of the whole Clarke/Condi situation--how the media as a whole has been soft on the Administration, not pointing out discrepancies in their statements or asking tough questions, while they haven't extended Clarke the same courtesy. Not only have they not hesitated to ask Clarke the tough questions, they've provided a platform for the Administration to question Clarke's credibility relentlessly. Dan Rather's statement from his BBC Newsnight appearance in May 2002 is quoted in the article, and seems to shed some light on much of the media's hesitancy to go after the Administration: "Invoking the memory of black South Africans "necklacing" informers with burning tires, he explained: 'In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. It's that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore-in on the tough questions so often. Again, I'm humbled to say I do not except myself from this criticism.'" Enlightening, but not surprising--the media has been cowed by the same tactics the Administration has used to intimidate critics of all kinds.