Scary Isn't a Kid in a Halloween Costume

Kids in costumes can be scary -- but the greatest fear is what adults in suits have done to the nation.

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Toothless: The Watchdog Press That Became the Government's Lapdog (Part 2: Lapdogs Get Some Teeth)

In Part 1, award-winning journalist Walter Brasch looked at the press that had abdicated their role as watchdogs upon the government during the Bush-Cheney Administration. In Part 2, he looks at some of the media that tried to restore the dignity and the role of the mass media to question authority.

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947 Gazans, 13 Israelis Dead; War PR & The Israelis

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"My father went to paradise."

Targeting a cup of tea in Gaza
Rami Almeghari
12 January 2009

"It was 10pm on Monday, 4 January when my father and four brothers were sitting in the yard of this house," said Ali, 27, son of Jihad Abu Jbarah who was killed along with two other sons. "They were burning a wood fire to warm up and make tea. This is the cup my father was drinking tea from."

Last Monday, Israeli warplanes hit the Abu Jbarah family home, killing three family members and wounding two others including one severely. . . .

"My brother Khaled was carrying his daughter towards her bed as the weather was getting cold and as soon as he turned his back the rockets hit the house," Ali recalled. "His daughter was about to sleep as he fell down to the ground after he sustained two shrapnel into his back." . . .

Basel, 30, Usama, 21 and their 53-year-old paralyzed father, Jihad, were all killed as the missiles dismembered them, scattering body parts in different directions.

"My father went to paradise," says Jihad, Basel's young son, as he stands near the wood stove that his father, uncle and grandfather had been sitting around when they were killed.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur: The Palestinian death toll of Israel's Gaza offensive has reached at least 947, two thirds of whom are civilians, an official in the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the strip said Tuesday.

Mo'aweya Hassanein [Health Ministry chief of emergency services] said that of the 947 killed, 635 were civilian men, women and children. Another 165 were Hamas policemen while the remaining 147 were gunmen in Hamas' armed wing and other militant factions.

The numbers could not be independently verified. Israel puts the number of militants killed at at least 400. . . .

Reuters: The Palestinian death toll in the offensive since December 27 reached 937, Palestinian medics say. The Health Minister of the Hamas-run government says close to 400 of those are women and children.

Israel's death toll since the offensive began is 10 soldiers, while three civilians were killed in rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip.

War PR & The Israelis

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The Media Auto Know Better: Fueling Anti-Union Fires

Many in the mass media, in an attenpt to try to explain the "why" of America's economic problems have looked in the wrong area. In this insightful column, award-winning journalist Walter Brasch explains why the workers and their unions are not the problem.

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Chris Matthews: 'Tim was Mr. America of Iraq War Dupes'

As the Daily Howler wrote on Friday, it was a week for peering inside the dead souls of the U.S. media elite. And the most revealing two paragraphs came from the corporate media's least self-aware disinfotainer, Chris Matthews. Jealousy probably underlay the MSNBC Hardballer stating, immediately after hearing of boss Tim Russert's death, that Russert was the targeted dupe for the 'scary nukes' issue that Bush/Cheney used to get us into Iraq. Here's Matthews on Thursday, June 13 (emphasis added):

One other thing, and may be tricky to say this and I'll say it. When we went to war with Iraq, he and I had a little discussion about that and this is where he is every man. This is where Tim is Mr. or Miss America or Mrs. America. He is us as a country. I said, why--how can you believe this war is justified?  And he said, "The nuclear thing. If they have a bomb that they can use, we've got to deal with. We can't walk away from that."

And that to me was the essence of what was wrong with the whole case of the war. They knew the argument that would sell with Mr. America, with the regular guy, with the true American patriot. They used the argument that would sell, that would get us into that war. Tim was right on the nail. He was us, the American people. And that to me is something that has been coming in my head the last couple of hours when Tim and I had that conversation, that that was the thing that sold America. And the guys who wanted the war used that one thing that would sell the patriot in Tim Russert.

In sum, Cheney felt that Russert was the key guy he had to dupe, and it couldn't have been easier: 'TRUST ME TIM, SADDAM'S GOT NUKES!' That's all: no push back, no inquiry, End of F-cking Story. The Howler quotes Matthews and adds (emphasis by fairleft):

Matthews, of course, is describing a private discussion. There's no proof that this discussion occurred . . . But did Russert really get played, as embellishments led us to war in Iraq? You don't have to rely on Matthews. Who can forget the embarrassing exchange Russert had with Bill Moyers, just last year? Had Russert been duped by the war machine? Fairly plainly, Moyers was asking--and as he answered, Russert made one of the most embarrassing statements a big journalist ever has made:

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