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:

MOYERS (4/25/07): Critics point to September 8, 2002 and to your show in particular, as the classic case of how the press and the government became inseparable. Someone in the Administration plants a dramatic story in the New York Times [fairleft: the aluminum tubes were for nukes b.s.]. And then the Vice President comes on your show and points to the New York Times. It's a circular, self-confirming leak.

RUSSERT: I don't know how Judith Miller and Michael Gordon reported that story, who their sources were. It was a front-page story of the New York Times. When Secretary Rice and Vice President Cheney and others came up that Sunday morning on all the Sunday shows, they did exactly that. My concern was, is that there were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them.

MOYERS (voice-over): Bob Simon didn't wait for the phone to ring.

Has any journalist on this level ever embarrassed himself so badly? Russert complained that no one called him with the actual skinny. As he continued, Moyers compared Russert's passive conduct to the work of CBS's Bob Simon, who somehow managed to air a report casting doubt on the nuclear claims. Simon hadn't been sitting around hoping the phone would ring:

MOYERS (continuing directly): You said a moment ago when we started talking to people who knew about aluminum tubes. What people--who were you talking to?

SIMON: We were talking to people--to scientists--to scientists and to researchers, and to people who had been investigating Iraq from the start.

MOYERS: Would these people have been available to any reporter who called or were they exclusive sources for 60 Minutes?

SIMON: No, I think that many of them would have been available to any reporter who called.

MOYERS: And you just picked up the phone?

SIMON: Just picked up the phone.

MOYERS: Talked to them?

SIMON: Talked to them and then went down with the cameras.

Moyer's voice-over concludes:

Few journalists followed suit. And throughout the fall of 2002 high officials were repeating apocalyptic warnings with virtually no demand from the establishment press for evidence.

Iraq is just the most glaring example of how debased our political mass communications are now. And it's Russert and similar -- hell, it's practically Russert himself -- who have established and dominated our national political debate over the past 16 or so years. Unfortunately the new national conversation he and his have created -- of Gennifer Flowers, of blow-jobs and travel-gates, of Al Gore's untrustworthy clothing, of straight-talking Republicans, of 'tell me your favorite bible verse', of Hillary's got cooties -- has been a long national nightmare.

Tags: Chris Matthews, Iraq, mass media, Tim Russert (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Of course, the media will never talk bad

of any Clinton basher. It makes me wanna chuck a hammer at my TV. When a fair reporter like Dan Rather dies, of course, we'll only hear negative things about him.

by Lakrosse 2008-06-21 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course, the media will never talk bad

btw quick question---Dan rather died? when...I had no clue.  

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-21 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course, the media will never talk bad

I meant when he does.

by Lakrosse 2008-06-22 12:15AM | 0 recs
You got that right.....

sadly a whole lot of so called progressives were willing and able to defend Russert, Matthews and the rest as long as they kept spinning Hillary Hate.  Even their use of sexism did not bother some on the left.
The media, including many of the so called liberal press, were silent about what they knew to be sexist, what they knew to be personal vendettas.  The silence of the left was deafening.

And the amount of lefties on the blogs jumping on the "Russert was the greatest....a hero"after his untimely and sad death, stunned me.
Russert may very well have been a great dad, a great son, and a great spouse.  But a great reporter, a stellar media mogul....not in my book.  
He was every bit as bad as Matthews when it came to injecting his own biases into reporting.

And Matthews is a freaking hypocrite.  He is basically trashing his colleague about the Iraq war while he claims to be "always against the war." The freak voted for BUSH and adored the man and drooled over him.  As Bush, the phony, stood on the deck of the carrier dressed as if he was a flyer, Matthews, the phony, was going on and on about how "W" (who already had illegally invaded Iraq) had a "sunny nobility."  Seriously how can anyone still believe Chris Matthews is anything but a liar and hypocrite is beyond comprehension.

And yet he is still defended on lefty blogs.....
WHY?  Oh he hates Hillary Clinton which for a certain group of supposed progressives makes him a hero.

by Jjc2008 2008-06-22 08:10AM | 0 recs
Russert handed Matt Drudge a megaphone

to spew his 'second intern' lie during NBC's obsessive Lewinsky coverage. 'Nuff said on the 'great journalist' front.

And a BIG yeah, it's sickening to see a whole huge chunk of the 'liberal' blogosphere capitulate or sign on to the Russert Journalistic Giant b.s. Just because his network ran Hillary out of town.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 08:20AM | 0 recs
Really damning quote from Matthews.

Seriously, that's the most direct repudiation of Russert's legacy issued since he died.

by Geekesque 2008-06-21 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Really damning quote from Matthews.

The most important person in our mass media was a push-over dupe. Damning to Russert but also to the whole debased rabble he sat on top of and 'inspired'.

by fairleft 2008-06-21 10:35PM | 0 recs
Why some of us made anti Russert Comments

Personally, I tried to be quiet after Russert's death. He was not some evil diabolical guy. He was your average hard working guy. No need to cause pain to his family or friends or admirers. But then , I got to see over the top reporting and praise of Russert by the mainstream media and even some on mYDD. So when some people would put up diaries or comments bashing Russert's career, and would get attacked  by others for their timing, I felt I had to step up in defense of some of these Russert Critics because we needed some balance after all that over the top ridiculous overpraise of what Russert's reporting was like. It was an insult to the ordinary reporters who did far superior work on Iraq. And the memories of reporters who died overseas doing the real tough assignments.

by Pravin 2008-06-22 12:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why some of us made anti Russert Comments

There were also the many reporters whose careers were damaged or held back because they wouldn't join in the Democrat-bashing, yellow-journalism trivialization, or toadying to power that has gone since roughly 1991, when Russert took over Meet the Press. He was a sweet-faced, self-righteous mud-slinger or more often gave a respectful megaphone to the mud-slingers. Starting with Gennifer Flowers in '91, hitting the big time with Monica Lewinsky, then the anti-Gore year and a half, through the Gary Condit, then the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, up to full attack mode to take down the Democrats' front runner.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Matthews: 'Tim was Mr. America of Iraq W

Well now that Russert is 6 feet under.  Only now does Chris Matthews have the stature to take on his legacy.

MSNBC is full of midgets of character now.

Tim Russert for all his flaws is twice the man of anyone left at
MSNBC

by dtaylor2 2008-06-22 12:56AM | 0 recs
Russert was his superior

Russert ran NBC's Washington bureau, so Matthews could only say so much without losing his job.

by catfish2 2008-06-22 02:24AM | 0 recs
So every country with a nuke

We have to invade? What a dork. Russert was bright but had so many HUGE blind spots.

by catfish2 2008-06-22 03:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Matthews: 'Tim was

Russert was to a large extent a creature of the Washington establishment. To be realistic about this you have to be to some extent. Politics is like any business, it depends on networking, compromises and "getting along." Once the administration started playing the patriotic card after 9/11 and even more so over the Iraq war what was the media going to do but "go along." The alternative was to alienate their viewers and advertisers and lose a lot of money. No prizes for guessing which route they went. Yes Russert was duped but so was most of the media because they wanted to be and there was money in it. Russert for all is "gotcha" questions was completely a member of the in beltway crowd.      

by ottovbvs 2008-06-22 03:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Matthews: 'Tim was

Yes, it's probably not true to say that Russert was truly 'duped'. In a sense he was just giving war marketing advice to Cheney: 'Respectfully, sir, bad Saddam is not enough; but if you give me scary nukes we can get the public behind unprovoked war.'

by fairleft 2008-06-22 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Matthews: 'Tim was

Oh please.  The public link of Sadam with WMDs occured long before Cheney.  It was a major talking point of the Clinton admin:

by greenboy 2008-06-22 06:36AM | 0 recs
Oh please don't change the subject

Russert was asking Cheney not for WMD in general, but for imminent nuclear mushroom clouds. Cheney delivered and Russert rolled over and didn't pick up a phone to 'lie' check.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh please don't change the subject

Bill Clinton talking about Sadam developing nuclear weapons and the method to deliver them is just as bad as anything said on Meet the Press, and actually a hundred times worse because it came from a Democratic president, who unlike Russert had access to classified intelligence.  The Iraq Liberation Act during the Clinton admin is what planted the seed for the Iraq war.

And maybe people wouldn't have been so scared of WMDs if Hillary (the most famous person in congress) hadn't asserted on the senate floor that Sadam had links to Al Queda, and obviously felt he was enough of a danger to justify authorizing Bush the use of force.  So check out the record of your heroes, the Clintons, before pointing fingers at a man who just died.  

by greenboy 2008-06-22 06:55AM | 0 recs
Cheney (Bush) invaded Iraq,

not Clinton, and his scare tactic was imminent nuclear threat, a mushroom cloud. Russert was there as a supportive 'screw fact checking' megaphone for that fake 'imminent' threat.

Clinton placed sanctions on Iraq, and inspectors inside Iraq: wouldn't it be great if we were still just doing those two things and there hadn't been a pointless invasion! What's the point of confusing yourself about who was responsible for a pointless, unprovoked war against Iraq? Cheney/Bush were directly responsible, but they couldn't have done it without a media that was a gullible, enthusiastic, super-patriotic, no-questions-asked megaphone. Check out the transcript of the Bill Moyers Report if you don't believe me. I linked to it in the diary.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Cheney (Bush) invaded Iraq,

"his scare tactic was imminent nuclear threat, a mushroom cloud."

Scare tactics like Bill Clinton asserting that Sadam has beeb building nuclear weapons and the delivery system.  Of course lots of countries have WMDs, but when you have Hillary going on the senate floor claiming Sadam had links to Al Queda, it suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

"Clinton placed sanctions on Iraq, and inspectors inside Iraq: wouldn't it be great if we were still just doing those two things and there hadn't been a pointless invasion!"

Well maybe there could have been had Hillary not voted against the Levin Ammendment, which required Bush listen to the UN.

"Cheney/Bush were directly responsible, but they couldn't have done it without a media that was a gullible, enthusiastic, super-patriotic, no-questions-asked megaphone."

Actually they couldn't have done it without congress AUTHORIZING it in the first place, and striking down the Levin Ammendment to AUTHORIZE Bush to even ignore the U.N.  The media does not make public policy. Congress does.  Sure the media may have allowed propaganda to go unchallenged, but the responsibility rests on those who actually spoke the propaganda such as the Clintons talk of WMDs, and Hillary's assertion that Sadam had links to Al Queda.  Nothing did more to sell the war to the public than seeing that it had bipartisan legitimacy, and the Clintons were the most influential Democrats of all.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 07:17AM | 0 recs
_imminent_ and _nuclear_,

that's what Tim Russert more or less told Cheney he needed in order to sell Cheney's criminal invasion to the American people. (Bill Clinton obviously hadn't pushed either those two words in reference to Saddam while he was President.) And when Russert got that he proceeded to do exactly that sales job, barring any countervailing voices (i.e., the truth) from his network. Russert was an exceptionally powerful force enabling Cheney's tragically bloody invasion of Iraq: that's what the diary is about.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: _imminent_ and _nuclear_,

So when Bill Clinton said Sadam spent the better part of the decade developing nuclear weapons and the delivery system, that doesn't imply imminence to you?  And the Clintons were a far more powerful force than Russert because Bill used his power to sign the Iraq liberation act and Hillary used her power to authorize the use of force and to strike down the levin ammendment (actual policy!)  Also as the most beloved democrats in America, they were crucial in convincing the public and the media that Sadam was a threat, especially when Hillary links him to Al Queda, which btw was the only reason most Americans cared whether he had WMDs: because they feared he shared the goals of the terrorists.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: _imminent_ and _nuclear_,

No, it doesn't. Plenty of blame to go around, but it was Cheney who used the imminent and nuclear threat lie, with the assist of Russert's huge megaphone, to scare us into the Iraq war. Clinton didn't use those terms and did not invade Iraq.

The point of this diary is that Russert was a terrible, duped anti-journalist in the run-up to the Iraq war. Otherwise (write your own diary), yes there's plenty of blame to go around for the invasion and over five-year-long occupation.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: _imminent_ and _nuclear_,

Again, Bill Clinton was the one who spoke of nuclear weapons.  Bill went further, not just talking about weapons but about delivery systems which makes the threat far more real.  Hillary claimed Sadam had links to Al Queda which made the WMDs relevant.

And you want to blame a dead guy who never had access to intelligence, rather than a president and a senator, a senator who not only sold the war to the public, other senators, and the media, but officially AUTHORIZED it, and even went so far as to vote against United Nations diplomany (the Levin Ammendment).

You want a blame a man who just died?  Was Russert the one who said Sadam had built nuclear weapons and delivery systems? No that was Bill Clinton. Was Russert the one who said Sadam had links to Al Queda? No that was Hillary.  Was Russert part of the congress that actually authorized war? Nope, that was Hillary. Did Russert actually sign the Iraq Liberation Act? No that was Bill. Did Russert vote down United Nations diplomacy (the Levin Ammendment)? No, that was Hillary.

So rather than wasting our time attacking people who just died, you just question the type of politicians you put in office.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: _imminent_ and _nuclear_,

You want a blame a man who just died?  

Yes I do, because he didn't do his job.

Was Russert the one who said Sadam had built nuclear weapons and delivery systems? No that was Bill Clinton.

Regardless what Bill Clinton was saying in 2003, people were listening to Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and most importantly Powell. Russert's job was to put onto his show the other side, which was available, in order to balance the Bush administration lies with truth. He didn't do that: bad on Tim.

Was Russert the one who said Sadam had links to Al Queda? No that was Hillary.  

Regardless what Hillary Clinton was saying in 2003, people were listening to Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and most importantly Powell. Russert's job was to put onto his show the other side, which was available, in order to balance the Bush administration lies with truth. He didn't do that: bad on Tim.

Was Russert part of the congress that actually authorized war? Nope, that was Hillary.

The complete capitulation by Russert's shows and the rest of the corporate press (NYTimes, WaPost, CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS) to Bush scare tactic lies bull-rushed Congress into approving the Iraq invasion. But yes, the following Democrats share blame for voting for the authorization to use military force: Baucus (D-MT], Bayh (D-IN], Biden (D-DE], Breaux (D-LA], Cantwell (D-WA], Carnahan (D-MO], Carper (D-DE], Cleland (D-GA], Clinton (D-NY], Daschle (D-SD], Dodd (D-CT], Dorgan (D-ND], Edwards (D-NC], Feinstein (D-CA], Harkin (D-IA], Hollings (D-SC], Johnson (D-SD], Kerry (D-MA], Kohl (D-WI], Landrieu (D-LA], Lieberman (D-CT], Lincoln (D-AR], Miller (D-GA], Nelson (D-FL], Nelson (D-NE], Reid (D-NV], Rockefeller (D-WV], Schumer (D-NY], and Torricelli (D-NJ] also share blame

Did Russert actually sign the Iraq Liberation Act? No that was Bill.

Did that cause the invasion of Iraq: no. What was needed was the pushing of two falsehoods: that Iraq had nukes, and that those nukes were an imminent threat to the U.S. Both of those were pushed by Bush admin heavyweights who were given free mikes at NBC by Russert while anyone opposing their b.s. had their mikes shut off.

Did Russert vote down United Nations diplomacy (the Levin Ammendment)? No, that was Hillary.

The Levin Amendment was much less than it appeared to be. For example, look at this loophole Bush could've driven an invasion through: the bill "affirms that, under international law and the United Nations Charter, the United States has at all times the inherent right to use military force in self-defense."

by fairleft 2008-06-22 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: _imminent_ and _nuclear_,

"Regardless what Bill Clinton was saying in 2003, people were listening to Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and most importantly Powell."

No they were listening to Clinton too. He made media appearances during the run up to war and as a former president of the opposite party, he was essential to selling the war to the American and British public, and giving it the bipartisan legitimacy Bush cited.  Clinton was far more tusted by Americans than Cheney and Rumsfeld COMBINED, especially since he wasn't a republican or part of the Bush admin. David Gregory cited Clinton's belief in WMDs as a key reason why the media believed it too.

"Regardless what Hillary Clinton was saying in 2003, people were listening to Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and most importantly Powell."

Actually people were listening to Hillary when she made those comments in 2002.  She was the most famous person in congress, she was widely expected to be the first woman president, she just spent 8 years in the white house, she was the defacto leader of the democratic party, she was the senator from the state where 9/11 took place.  All eyes were on Hillary as America, the media, and the other members of congress decided what side to take. Hillary gave Dems permission to support Bush.

"The complete capitulation by Russert's shows and the rest of the corporate press (NYTimes, WaPost, CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS) to Bush scare tactic lies bull-rushed Congress into approving the Iraq invasion."

Actually congress itself set the tone for the media coverage by being extremely deferential to Bush during that period.  The job of the media is to treat democrats and republicans fairly, but when it came to Bush, both the republicans and democrats agreed that they were to give their commander and chief unconditional support, so the media went along.  And those in the media who did challenge Bush were faced with boycotts and withdrawl of sponsors, so they didn't have the power to challenge Bush if they wanted.

Senators like Hillary on the other hand were guaranteed their jobs until the next election years away, so unlike the media, she actually did have the power to dissent, and more importantly, congress had the authority to stop Bush in his tracks but chose not to.

"What was needed was the pushing of two falsehoods: that Iraq had nukes, and that those nukes were an imminent threat to the U.S."

Actually the Iraq liberation act layed the ground work for the war because it was a policy of regime change.  And the two falsehoods that were pushed were that Sadam had nukes AND that he had links to Al Queda.  Both Clintons pushed such rhetoric, Bill asserted that Sadam had been building nukes and delivery systems to justify the Iraq liberation act, Hillary also spoke of WMDs and accused Sadam of having links to Al Queda. This propaganda campaign was so successful that many Americans blamed Sadam for Sept 11.  But regardless of the falsehoods, once Bush had approval from congress, he had all he needed to go to war. Public support was nice, but not needed. Look how unpopular the war is now, and yet it continues.

"The Levin Amendment was much less than it appeared to be. For example, look at this loophole Bush could've driven an invasion through: the bill "affirms that, under international law and the United Nations Charter, the United States has at all times the inherent right to use military force in self-defense."

Except invading Iraq was not an act of self-defense but an act of preemptive war and was described as such at the time.  During this unprecidented situation, congress should have been on high alert to make sure the president wasn't abusing his war powers, instead they were expanding them.  Did the media do a bad job informing the public? Maybe so, but the media didn't have access to classified intelligence. Further the public doesn't send us to wars, congress and the president do, so ultimately those are the only people to blame.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: _imminent_ and _nuclear_,

If he were able to wave the red flag of 'imminent nuclear threat', the President could've called an invasion self-defense and he would not have heard a whimper from the Russert's NBC and the rest of the corporate press.

Otherwise, you're downplaying the role of the corporate press in setting the tone and required assumptions that 'forced' politicians lacking courage to practically go along with the invasion. You're apparently also downplaying the greater importance of administration spokespeople dominating the airwaves and TV (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Bush, 'Wolfy' and so on) in order to disparage Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Besides that everyone not an insider (i.e., everyone outside the executive branch) may (or may not) have been victimized by the misleading if not false intelligence that floating around Washington power corridors in the run up to the invasion, and that was the responsibility of various executive branch and CIA sleaze merchants. We don't know much about that at all.

Anyway, as I've said we can blame Hillary and even Bill some for the invasion. That's your separate diary you should do some day. Mine is about Russert's dereliction of duty, and the enormous tragedy he helped very much to cause. That's all right on the table: I'm talking about the 'wished somebody had called me' 'journalist' Russert.

by fairleft 2008-06-23 08:00AM | 0 recs
Oh please

your pathetic personal hatred of the Clintons and your hero worship of anyone anti Clinton speak volumes about your beliefs.  Learn your history.  The Reagan administration befriended and armed Saddam in the 80s and encouraged their war against Iran.  Only when Saddam used his recently gained power, gained with the help of the Reagan admin, against Kuwait, did we take notice of his bully tactics.

By the time Clinton was in power, Saddam was a dangerous character in the middle east.....the anger he created in the region because of his actions against the Iranians, the Kuwaitis and the Kurds made him someone to be wary of.....and that is why inspectors were sent in.  But FACT are FACTS: Bill Clinton did not bomb Iraq or invade Iraq.  George W did and he was cheered and admired by the press of MSNBC, which is owned by GE, the largest defense contractor in the world.

You, like Russert and Matthews want to blame the Clintons for everythting.  Well too bad. True liberals know the truth no matter how hard you try to spin.

by Jjc2008 2008-06-22 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh please

"But FACT are FACTS: Bill Clinton did not bomb Iraq"

CNN might diagree with you:

http://www.cnn.com/US/9812/16/clinton.ir aq.speech/

"George W did and he was cheered and admired by the press of MSNBC, which is owned by GE, the largest defense contractor in the world."

Actually he was cheered and admired by the Clintons.  It was Hillary who actually AUTHORIZED the use of force, it was Hillary who by voting against the Levin Ammendment, authorized Bush to ignore the UN, it was Bill Clinton who created the foundation for war with the Iraq Liberation Act, it was Bill who made the case for war by talking about nuclear weapons and delivery systems, it was Hillary who made the case for war by talking about WMDs and asserting that Sadam had links to Al Queda.

You're just mad at Russert and Mathews because they pointed these things out all the time and it helped cost Hillary the nomination.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 08:35AM | 0 recs
Let's talk about character

Despite his faults, Russert had the good of the nation in his mind.  He was a good man, but only that, a man.  Well, more than that, I suppose, he was human.

Tim Russert is beyond your petty revenge quest now.  I feel sorry for the lives of those who dwell on percieved insults.  You must feel your life is a failure to concentrate on tearing other people down so much.  It's okay.  Things will get better.

After the recent reporting on Rupert Murdoch's concentrated campaign to smear Russert, I think that we have a strong new candidate on the source of the trolls on this board.  McCain only started his disinformation blogging campaign in May; the ones that started before that now seem to be on the News Corp payroll.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-22 05:21AM | 0 recs
Nice yer censorious, pro-Republican

nonsense only clears the field at Daily Kos. Here we have freedom of speech to talk about the real Tim Russert, despite the small talking point that he did bias NBC-MSNBC's coverage to favor Obama. That's not the issue here: as I said to another poster, he was at the center of sleazy Dem-bashing, Repub-inflating, and unprovoked war cheerleading since 1991. Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Matt Drudge, Travel-gate, trashing Hillary's 1993 health plan, Gore-bashing, Gary Condit chasing, Great Leader Bush promotion, Iraq invasion on WMD pretense, ignoring Abu Ghraib, Social Security 'crisis' mongering, and last and not the most important his network's successful destruction of Hillary 2008.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 05:48AM | 0 recs
Maybe you should take your

"conspiracy against the poor men of MSNBC" to another site, where they are hailed as heroes.  To open minded liberals, some of them were ignorantly silent and did not do their jobs. Others aided and abetted a power hungry administration to dupe everyone.  We don't need that kind of silence any more.

by Jjc2008 2008-06-22 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe you should take your

It wasn't just the power hungry admin that duped everyone.  It was also the Clintons.  It was Hillary who asserted that Sadam had links to Al Queda.  You want to blame a dead man like Tim Russert, but Russert did not have access to classified intelligence.  Hillary was a member of congress and just spent 8 years in the white house.  Maybe you just take a look at her record instead of blaming the dead man she helped dupe when she of all people was in a position to know better.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 08:40AM | 0 recs
Can we blame both of them?

Russert failed as a journalist because, if you read the diary you'd know this, there were available sources who could have discredited or at least put up an opposing viewpoint to Cheney's lies. We don't have to trade off his failure to be a skeptical journalist, which was pretty spectacular and egregious (see Bill Moyers Journal again, it's in the diary) for Clinton's failures on Iraq.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Can we blame both of them?

Russert failed to get the public the truth, but at least he did not speak the propaganda that Hillary spoke on the senate floor.  But far more dangerous than propaganda is policy, and that's really where Hillary failed, and I don't appreciate her supporters trying to blame a dead guy for her mistakes. Russert did not have access to intelligence, but Hillary spent 8 years in the white house and was a member of congress who should have known better.  Hillary had the power to make and vote on public policy with regard to war, Russert didn't.

And who the hell is Bill Moyers to slime a man who is now dead?  Where was Moyers during the run up to war?  And more importantly, after the role Moyers played in the Vietnam war (a war of much larger scale than even Iraq) he has no credibility whatsoever on matters of war.  

by greenboy 2008-06-22 10:05AM | 0 recs
I'm blaming Russert for his mistakes and

Hillary for her mistakes. I haven't noticed anything different here from other posters. As I've said, I think the corporate-run mass media is far more powerful than you seem to think it is. Live and learn.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Matthews: 'Tim was Mr. America of Iraq W

Yes, it's probably not true to say that Russert was truly 'duped'. In a sense he was just giving war marketing advice to Cheney: 'Respectfully, sir, bad Saddam is not enough; but if you give me scary nukes we can get the public behind unprovoked war.'

by fairleft 2008-06-22 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re:

I would like to make one more point that is never discussed by the press and is central to the iraq bullshit.  Bush and his crowd didnt just say Iraq had WMD but they said "massive stockpiles of WMD".  Any media type who really looked at those statements would have known that was not possible.

Weapons have to be stored somewhere and after two months and not one piece of evidence of any weapons by the international inspectors in Jan and Feb of 2003 should have suggested to the media that something was up.  But NOTHING was said about the inspectors not finding ANYTHING.

As i recall Bush said if the inspectors didnt find weapons than that meant WMD were in iraq and being hiden and that justified the invasion. On of the other hand bush said if the inspectors found weapons that would justify the invasion.  

That the press rolled over for this nonsense is a new low and frankly Russert was one of the worst.

david

by giusd 2008-06-22 05:44AM | 0 recs
Sigh, another Hillary fans trashes Russert

I find it ironic that Hillary fans blame Russert for propogandizing for war, when no one did more to support the war than the Clintons.

1) Hillary actually VOTED to authorize the war.  That not only is the ultimate in propoganda, but it gave Bush authority, and as not only the senator from New York but the most famous person in the senate, she set the tone for her colleagues in congress.

2) Hillary voted against the Levin Ammendment (by doing so gave Bush the authority to ignore the UN)

3) Hillary talked about WMDs on the senate floor.  That's pretty powerful propoganda coming from the senator from new york, a woman who just spent 8 years in the white house, and the most famous senator in America.  Not to mention she's a democrat so she gave the war bipartisan legitimacy.

4) Hillary went so far as to assert Sadam had links to Al Queda. Even Lieberman didn't go that far.  

5) Bill Clinton made public comments about Sadam being a threat. Pretty powerful coming from such a popular former president from the opposite party.

6) The Iraq Liberation Act which planted the seed for the Iraq war passed during the Clinton administration.

Hillary supporters are just mad that Tim Russert's tough question about her Iraq war votes helped cost her the nomination so they are shamelessly attacking a man who just died.  Sure Tim wasn't perfect and let a lot of bad info go unchallenged, but Hillary actually spoke the propoganda out of her own mouth, but far worse than words are actions: She was part of the congress that actually AUTHORIZED the war.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Sigh, another Hillary fans trashes Russert

Especially in 2001-2003 all politicians had to live with a super-patriot, yellow journalism, pro-war mass media. The Clintons, any sentient politician, knew how hard it would've been to buck the rabidly pro-war media (well, except for politicians in leftie college towns, where it would be dangerous to buck the overwhelming anti-war sentiment). The point is that the major media are a huge part of the resistance to progressive politics in our country, and Russert was the media leader and a boss, and this is something that has been going on for nearly two decades, since the mud-slinging at the Clintons in the 1992 election campaign.

The Hill-Bama conflict is just a minor sideshow in the media power game that progressives are all mixed up on right now. It is just the latest instance when the right-wing media has demonstrated its power. Just because Obama supporters are happy about the latest media bias phenomenon (since it helped out Obama) doesn't justify pretending the media's preceding 16 years of sleazy pro-Republican, pro-imperialist, anti-Constitution lies and distortions haven't happened.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Sigh, another Hillary fans trashes Russert

Actually it was the media who had to live with the pro-war Bush admin and pro-war congress, to the point where anyone in media who questioned their government was considered unAmerican and was taken off the air as viewers and sponsors revolted.  Hillary did not have to worry about losing her job as she was not up for re-election for years.  She should have used her clout as the most famous person in the senate, most visible senator in the media, and the head of the Democratic party to convince her collegues to not vote for the Iraq war and to not vote against the Levin Ammendment.  Instead she gave Bush all the authorization and bipartisan legitimacy he ever needed. No wonder the media believed Bush.  If Hillary Clinton (the woman who sees right-wing conspiracies at every turn) was supporting Bush, a woman who just spent 8 years in the white house, then why on earth would the media question it.  

by greenboy 2008-06-22 07:04AM | 0 recs
Obama's 2004 Convention Speech should've said

'Out Now'! Fine, they both were and are war&occupation enablers, I assume we can agree.

My diary being about the media and its power, however, I'll just point out that I think you've got the power lines completely reversed. Corporate money owns the media, and to some extent owns the politicians. It's basically the owners and handers out of money who make their politicians/talkingheads dance; it takes great political insight/genius or a profound political crisis to reverse that power relationship.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 07:22AM | 0 recs
Power

The media only has power during election time. Sure you can blame the media for allowing war authorizers like Hillary to get in the senate in the first place, but once she was there, she had real power to vote and make policy.  In fact congress is more powerful than even the president because congress can impeach the president at any time if they feel he is trying to abuse his war powers.

The only influence the media has is over public opinion, but Hillary had that power too because her senate speeches were covered by the media and she could hold a press conference or get on any show any time she wanted.  So Hillary had both REAL GOVERNMENT POWER and also enormous media visibility, not to mention access to intelligence and a former president.  Further unlike Russert who would have been taken off the air by patriotic sponsors had he dared say anything controversial, Hillary was not up for re-election for years, and thus had the freedom to say anything she wanted, vote anyway she wanted, and no one could have removed her from her position.  That's real power.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 07:32AM | 0 recs
Media sets boundaries of acceptable politics

It completely disappears anything outside those boundaries, which are set by the media's owners, who are very wealthy and usually military-connected corporations. Unfortunately questioning 'Dear Leader Bush' in the run up to the Iraq invasion was outside acceptable boundaries.

Single-payer health care is also outside the boundaries of acceptable political conversation. A quick withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan cannot even be discussed. Ending our unquestioning loyalty to Israel's imperial and apartheid policies is unacceptable.

Anyway, we just disagree, but especially this year I think it's obvious that the corporate-owned media is much more powerful than the politicians. Hillary tried to run, a little bit (criticizing the media is also generally unacceptable and regularly disappeared (or if it can't be disappeared it gets the corporate media even more out to get you): latest example is the military-vetted commentators embedded in the TV news media), against the biased media and failed.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 08:33AM | 0 recs
Hillary was part of media

Hillary was part of the media.  She got more media coverage than just about anyone, and had all the access to media she wanted.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 08:42AM | 0 recs
No, she wasn't. n/t

by fairleft 2008-06-22 08:55AM | 0 recs
Give it a rest

Your demonization of the Clintons is at best laughable when for the last year you have defended the likes of Matthews and others who openly lied and trashed Gore to get the dolt W elected; when they openly showed their admiration and support for Bush's war and the men who waged it.

Maybe you love them because their hatred of the Clintons makes you feel good about yourself; maybe you love them because you are a right wing troll.
I don't know.

But you have been spewing hatred of Hillary for a long time and you have shown you have no empathy or concern for blatant sexism from the press.

by Jjc2008 2008-06-22 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Give it a rest

Your demonization of Russert who just died is at best reprehensible, especially when you show no compassion for his family at this time, you just want to slime anyone who dared treat Hillary like a regular candidate and asked her tough questions.  

by greenboy 2008-06-22 11:21AM | 0 recs
Power

The media only has power during election time. Sure you can blame the media for allowing war authorizers like Hillary to get in the senate in the first place, but once she was there, she had real power to vote and make policy.  In fact congress is more powerful than even the president because congress can impeach the president at any time if they feel he is trying to abuse his war powers.

The only influence the media has is over public opinion, but Hillary had that power too because her senate speeches were covered by the media and she could hold a press conference or get on any show any time she wanted.  So Hillary had both REAL GOVERNMENT POWER and also enormous media visibility, not to mention access to intelligence and a former president.  Further unlike Russert who would have been taken off the air by patriotic sponsors had he dared say anything controversial, Hillary was not up for re-election for years, and thus had the freedom to say anything she wanted, vote anyway she wanted, and no one could have removed her from her position.  That's real power.

by greenboy 2008-06-22 07:31AM | 0 recs
Give it up greenboy
Your personal bias against the Clintons and your hero worship of Matthews and Russert and the other boys of MSNBC who have spent years trashing the Clintons, doing the bidding of right wing billionaire republican lover Jack Welch, speaks volumes.
We all get whose team you are on......take it to redstate.
by Jjc2008 2008-06-22 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Give it up greenboy

Maybe you should take it to redstate.  Your hero worship of Hillary would fit in well with all the Anne Coulter groupies:

by greenboy 2008-06-22 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Give it up greenboy

Who is hero-worshipping Hillary? What I see is you, unprovoked, attacking her in a diary about Tim Russert.

by fairleft 2008-06-22 08:58AM | 0 recs
Hey I am a liberal

and unlike you I don't trash other liberal, progressives just to make my candidate look better.  Dare you to find one post of mine trashing Obama or Edwards or any of the candidates.

I don't hero worship anyone and for you to compare me to Coulter is offensive and sick.  And frankly I am done with an ignorant person like yourself.  Take your hate wherever you want......you are not someone I care to have any more discourse with...

by Jjc2008 2008-06-22 11:03AM | 0 recs
Hey I'm a decent human being

and unlike you I don't trash people who just died just to excuse my candidate of her responsibilities as a member of congress.  It must be sad to worship someone so much that you're willing to drag a dead man's name through the mud, just because he dared to ask your candidate tough questions.

James Carville is the biggest Hillary supporter I know, but he actually had the decency to publicly sob over Russert's death.  

by greenboy 2008-06-22 11:28AM | 0 recs
This diary is an attack on the 'journalism' that

sez 'wish my phone had rung' on the most critical issue of 2002, whether Saddam was an imminent nuclear threat to the U.S.

As I've said repeatedly, so often that only a troll would not have noticed, this diary has nothing to do with excusing Hillary.

by fairleft 2008-06-23 08:17AM | 0 recs

Diaries

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