After Downing Street - Day 34 of M$M Censorship

The M$M is intentionally spiking the Downing Street Memo story. What is interesting is how universal the decision to censor all news about the Downing Street Memo has been. We are talking about a near total blackout on television and in the press.

From Cursor, The Downing Street Memo has been mostly ignored by the media:

Fox News reports that the Downing Street Memo has been 'Mostly Ignored in the U.S.,' and quotes a member of the group Military Families Speak Out as saying that "TV news ... really just dropped the ball on this." Plus: Why "a real probing ... would not be uncomfortable only for Republicans."

More in Extended Entry

Fox News has covered the Downing Street Memo more than any other outlet, with one or two mentions:

The memo, which received sporadic reporting in major newspapers in the United States throughout May, has sparked an outcry from more than 88 Democratic members of Congress who have signed two letters to President Bush demanding a response.

Led by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the signatories are mostly representatives who opposed the war in Iraq and make up the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Conyers says the mainstream media have ignored the story and let President Bush off the hook. He noted that liberal blogs and alternative media have been keeping the story alive. "But these voices are too few and too diffuse to overcome the blatant biases of our cable channels and the negligence and neglect of our major newspapers," Conyers said in a recent statement.

After Downing Street is one of the primary blogs organizing the campaign to compel the M$M to cover this story.

A coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups announced a campaign today to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

KEY DOCUMENTS
Downing Street Minutes
Bonifaz Memo to Conyers
RawStory Article
Bio of John Bonifaz

The Big Brass Alliance was formed specifically for the purpose of organizing netroots action to compel the M$M to cover the story. The Big Brass Alliance has an impressive coalition and a daily action memo:

June 3

Smintheus on Daily Kos has today's diary up:
Awaken the MSM: Downing Street Memo Alert (6/3)

Please email or call all three on that day requesting politely that they report on DSM. The contacts for today are:

(A) ABC, Nightline. email: nightline@abcnews.com

(B) NBC News. email: nightly@nbc.com phone: 212-664-4971 fax: 212-664-4426

(C) Wall St. Journal. email: wsjcontact@dowjones.com phone: 212-416-2000 fax: 212-416-2658

A pleasant fact intruded itself yesterday upon ukiyo1's email (he's the spokesman for the downingstreetmemo.com gang). C-Span, one of the trio from the first day, has decided to schedule a Washington Journal program on DSM and the internets. Was that our doing? You decide: it could be mere coincidence that this announcement arrived the day after we deluged them with emails.

Anyhow, by chance C-Span has invited one of our gang to appear on the program. Ukiyo1 thinks he'll be able to do it. The hour (?) long segment will air on Saturday; don't know the time yet. Please call in with thoughts and facts about DSM. But puhleeze don't let them tempt you to talk about the internets--that's not the story that needs to get out! If they think we have mysterious organizational powers, well then maybe we do...what's it to ya? I think our secret is just we have a lot of committed, well-informed (ok, angry) activists.

If you happen to call in, and your rhetorical tastes run to adjectives, here's what is sitting on my shelves at the moment. First a group with real zip to them: stupefying (ok, I watched The Big Lebowski last night); perverse; duplicitous; bumbling; deceitful; pernicious; shabby. Next, some delicately flavored adjectives: peculiar; counterfactual; obscure; unsatisfactory; slippery; odd; unsuccessful. I'd recommend seasoning lightly when on the air, but to each his own.

We're getting the word out via radio as well.  Mike Malloy (Air America) has agreed to give our media campaign a plug. He has had a lot to say about DSM, usually right at the top of the program. The link on his website is already in place.

Then there's this coup which guyermo diaried: the text of DSM printed in full by the Minneapolis Star Tribune today. That is a first in the US, as guyermo notes, and it follows a blistering editorial they published on Memorial Day accusing Bush of lying and causing untold misery in Iraq. I'm starting to see some rays of light piercing that blackout.

Meanwhile the number of bloggers who've joined the DSM coalition Big Brass Alliance is at 282, according to PaminDurham. And highacidity  says that there have been about 40,000 visitors at downingstreetmemo.com in the last few days. They're all clamoring for bumperstickers with the "Awaken" logo (featuring, I'm told, the sun actually spinning).

This is bigger than Sinclair Broadcasting. This is about the whole damned M$M Empire ignoring a critical story that affects the national security of the United States and the illegitimacy of Bush's War against the Iraqi people.

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Comments

10 Comments

For real
I made my call, and let the WSJ know that they better publish it.
by janfrel 2005-06-03 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: For real
With the additional news in Chris Bowers' diary, somebody in the M$M is going to decide this is news. We just have to keep the same pressure up that we did with Sinclair.

This is a much bigger story and it is journalistic malpractice of the highest order not to cover it.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-03 05:31PM | 0 recs
Day 34 of M$M Censorship
Instead of updating the diary itself, I'm going to add updates to the comments so the additional comments alert people that something new has been added.

More info from Pam's Houseblend:

Things over at Big Brass Alliance continue to pick up steam. I'm still getting my inbox filled with bloggers signing up for our Alliance page and listserv -- we should top 300 members today. I'm also working on some additional back-end features for the effort, which we'll announce if I can figure out whether I can handle all of the workload.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 09:10AM | 0 recs
The Backbone Campaign
A Downing Street Update From Shakespear's Sister:

* If you post on the topic today, make sure you contact Joe at The Heretik and Charles at Freiheit und Wissen, who are doing Big Brass Blogswaming aggregation.

* The Big Brass Alliance made Wikipedia, which is pretty cool.

 Check out The Backbone Campaign:

Please join us in sending Spine postcards to your Senators and members of Congress to let them know they should join the Inquiry into the Downing Steet Minutes/Memo. You can click here to download a pdf file that can be printed on cardstock or other paper and sent to you members of congress. This version of the pdf file refers directly to the Downing Street Minutes/Memo issue.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 09:17AM | 0 recs
After Downing Street blogswarm
Freiheit und Wissen is aggregating the blogswarm and keeping track of the few Downing Street Memo media mentions:

(click through to Freiheit udn Wissen for links to these articles)

Press Report and Op/Ed List

Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Secrets No More: Downing Street Memo" June 03

WikiNews, "John Kerry Criticizes News Media, Joins Call for Inquiry On Downing Street Memo" June 02

Fox News, "Downing Street Memo Mostly Ignored in U.S." June 01

The Nation, "The Other Bomb Drops" June 01

San Francisco Bay Guardian, "Can Bush Be Impeached?" June 01
Boston Globe, "The 'I' Word" May 31

NBC11, San Francisco, "Downing Street Memo Web Campaign for Coverage" May 23

Christian Science Monitor, "Why has Downing Street memo story been a 'dud' in US?" May 17

Kudos to John Kerry. FWIW, I sent an email that I was adding my two cents here at MyDD and making it very clear that I was merely member of the community.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 09:49AM | 0 recs
Sen. Kerry steps up to the plate
From the WIKI news article, Kerry said of the memo:

"When I go back (to Washington) on Monday, I am going to raise the issue. I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home.

And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."

He questioned Americans' understanding of the war and the idea that criticism equals disloyalty, saying,

"Do you think that Americans if they really understood it would feel that way knowing that on Election Day, 77 percent of Americans who voted for Bush believed that weapons of mass destruction had been found and 77 percent believe Saddam did 9/11? Is there a way for this to break through, ever?"

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 09:56AM | 0 recs
Ray McGovern Teach In yesterday
After Downing Street is going to be a daily must read until the M$M starts covering this story.

Former C.I.A. Analyst Ray McGovern and Attorney John Bonifaz Will Headline Progressive Democrats' Panel Discussion In Washington, D.C. on Friday, June 3:

Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America, announced today that former C.I.A. Analyst Ray McGovern and author and attorney John Bonifaz will headline the organization's Teach-In this Friday, June 3.

McGovern and Bonifaz will detail the misdeeds by the U.S. President and a possible movement by members of Congress to move to a Resolution of Inquiry as a result of what has been revealed in the Downing Street Minutes. Details of topics, speakers and the event location follow.

TOPICS

The PDA Teach-In is part of ongoing efforts to bring organized pressure to elected officials at the city, state and federal level to end the war and occupation of Iraq. In addition to the Downing Street Memo, speakers will discuss:

· Status of House Concurrent Resolution 35 authored by Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) which recently won the support of 128 House members including 5 Republicans and expresses the will of Congress that the President immediate present an exit strategy for U.S. armed forces in Iraq

· Tour of Iraq labor officials supported by PDA during their upcoming visit to the U.S.

· Petition drive to challenge DNC Chairman Howard Dean on Iraq war policy

· Counter-recruitment of American youth

· Campaign to bring home the National Guard

· Continued efforts to pass anti-war resolutions by State Democratic Parties following successes in California, New Mexico and Massachusetts

SPEAKERS

The Teach-In will be presented as a panel discussion moderated by PDA Political Advisor Steve Cobble. The format allows each speaker to make 10-minute opening statements. A moderated audience Q &A will follow for the balance of the event. Speakers include:

· RAY MCGOVERN, spent 27 years as a C.I.A. analyst under every presidential administration from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush. In 2003, McGovern joined several intelligence community alumni to form Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity to address what they consider serious lapses in judgment and ethics by U.S. Intelligence. He is currently the co-director of Servant Leadership School, part of the Jubiliee Ministries of the not-for-profit Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. The School deals with the biblical injunction to "speak truth to power".

· JOHN BONIFAZ, co-authored with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) the new book "Warrior King: the Case For Impeaching George W. Bush". He is the staff attorney for the Center for Responsive Politics, a leading research authority on the influence of private money in federal elections.

(The Center for Responsive Politics runs the Open Secrets website)

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 10:10AM | 0 recs
War Is Not A Game
From The Hertetik, among other things:

Website Getting 1 Million Hits Per Day

The After Downing Street website has become extremely popular, and now receives a little over 1 million hits per day.  Alfredo Lopez, whose www.people-link.org hosts the AfterDowningStreet.org site said, "I'm elated. This is what we're on Earth to do, but we've never had a site get a million hits in a day before."

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 10:37AM | 0 recs
Balls To The Left
From King of Zembla, Balls to the Left: We mentioned last weekend that Rep. John Conyers was hoping to collect 100,000 signatures on his letter to the President regarding the Downing Street Memo. After less than a week, Conyers is only 14,000 signatures shy of his original goal; he now hopes to deliver a quarter of a million names to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From today's Conyers update:

The most serious matter for the Congress and the President is the decision to go to war. It is the sole constitutional responsibility of Congress to decide whether to declare war. The President has a constitutional responsibility to be straightforward and candid with the Congress in providing it with the information it needs to evaluate the case for war. If that decision is skewed or corrupted by false or misleading information, it raises the most serious Constitutional questions and substantial issues about abuse of power....

If, as the Downing Street Minutes appear to clearly indicate, the falsehoods that led us into war were deliberate manipulations of the public and Congress, we deserve to know and we deserve answers. More importantly, we need to hold this President accountable for a very grave abuse of power.

(click through to King of Zembla for links)

Another five members of Congress have recently co-signed Conyers's letter, bringing the total to 89. If you would like to add your own signature, we urge you to do so by clicking here.

By now you have probably noticed, in our blogroll at left, a graphic linking to the Big Brass Alliance, a coalition of bloggers organized by our esteemed colleague Melissa of Shakespeare's Sister to aid and support AfterDowningStreet.org in publicizing this crucial (and disgracefully) underreported story. The alliance is currently 282 members strong, and any blogger who wishes to join may do so here. To subscribe to the BBA action-alert mailing list, send an e-mail to bigbrassalliance-request@bigbrassblog.com with the word "subscribe" in the subject line.


by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 10:49AM | 0 recs
Side story - Ryder's Reward
From GrannyInsannity, a story of an Energy Department official who got a highly unusual $20,000 bonus for nine months of work because he rubber stamped bogus intelligence on Iraq's nuke program:

"The debate over whether Baghdad was trying to acquire nuclear weapons pretty much came down to the tubes," said one Energy official. "Yet even though DOE voted against the tubes, Ryder still argued that the program was being reconstituted."
[...]
Bonuses that big are rare, and Energy insiders say they cannot recall previous intelligence chiefs receiving as much bonus money as Ryder, who is said to be close to Abraham.
[...]
Yet despite Ryder's alleged outstanding performance, Abraham didn't keep him in the top position. In February, he was replaced by CIA official John Russak. By July, Ryder had been relocated to another department of energy assurance.

The original story was at World Net Daily in August 2003, $20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim: Energy Dept. honcho ordered dissenters at Iraq pre-briefing to 'shut up, sit down'

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-04 11:26AM | 0 recs

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