Saturday, December 30, 2006

Crimes, Death and the News

I found an interesting juxaposition on the home pages of the major dailies this evening.
  • Washington Post leads with a huge headline and feature on Pres. Ford as the national period of mourning begins. They have eight links to stories and images abotu Hussein, all below the fold.
  • LA Times leads with a small photo of Ford's casket lying in state next to an article about mixed reactions in Iraq to Hussein's execution.
  • New York Times has nothing about Ford, 11 links into stories about Hussein, and a single link to a story about Betty Ford, below the fold.
Two very different deaths. Three very different treatments. One great, unspoken thread of continuity.

Ford became president because of the persistence of the news media in uncovering a story about corruption and criminality in the White House. Without the work of Woodward and Bernstein, without publication of the Pentagon Papers, Nixon would probably have ridden out his second term.

Hussein became the scapegoat of a corrupt and criminal White House, a far more filthy operation than Nixon's, with the full collusion and support of the same media outlets that brought down Nixon.

Bringing Nixon's criminal operation to an abrupt halt was one of the great moments of our nation, an example of our democracy working in the right way to make the law of the land, not the whim of a dictator, the final arbiter of our fate. Allowing the Bush crime family to bully their way into the White House and then crudely exploit the murder of thousands upon our soil, a murder committed on their watch and enabled by their negligence, to prosecute a wholly unjust war against another sovereign nation has gutted whatever claim American media could once have made to being an organ of democracy.

Ford's death and Hussein's are bookends to the greatest political story of my generation - how a free and open press willingly castrated itself and made itself into the eager whore of the biggest bully in town.

Your true and absolutely representative agent is Jeff Gannon, the male prostitute turned "reporter" who sat with you in the White House press corps.


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