Monday, June 13, 2005

USA Today and the Downing Street Memo

I’ve just read an opinion piece entitled “USA Today and the Downing Street Memo” by Cynthia Bogard which is published on the COMMON DREAMS News Center.


The article gives an account of USA Today’s lame excuse for not taking The Downing Street Memo seriously.

Maybe we can help Ms Bogard help America.

First, we should find out how one goes about contacting USA Today. We need to try to get the telephone number that gets one as close to speaking to the editor as possible. I realize that we’ll never be put in touch with the editor himself, but we can insist on speaking to a staff member and not just a receptionist.

Secondly, we should determine what kind of coverage our local newspapers are giving the memo and, if it isn’t satisfactory, i.e., front page news, we should contact their editors. We should then write letters to the editor about the memo and/or about the coverage (or lack thereof).

As long as newspapers ignore or marginalize this issue, the average “Joe” or “Jane” out in mid America will give it the attention and opinion which an article marginalized by placement or context deserves.

I spent much of yesterday at a site called onlinenewspapers.com. This site has an extensive list of newspapers world wide, many which people in small town America subscribe to and look at on a daily basis. I only looked at forty papers and, out of the forty, only four for which I did a search had any information about The Downing Street Memo. In two of those papers, the reference came in the form of a letter to the editor.

We mustn’t give up on this just as we mustn’t give up on Professor David Ray Griffin’s very believable theory on what happened on 9/11. I think that the American people have to know about both of these issues so that they can have all the facts in front of them.

Notice that I didn’t write “most Americans deserve” to know about these issues. I think that if they were open minded enough to look at alternate news sources and not believe the junk that they hear on the TV news, then they’d deserve to know. We have to get these issues to them at any rate. I really don’t know how we do that when so many of them make up their minds based on a fraction of the facts.

I’m both disappointed and shocked that neither interview mentioned by Ms Bogard addressed what President Clinton had to go through, though nothing was documented or, if it was, it was documented or taped by “third” parties. The other point is, how does the media justify spending so many hours covering the “Clinton scandal”, which, basically, hurt absolutely no one, while not covering The Downing Street Memo? Wasn’t the point not that Clinton had affairs, but that he lied to the American people?

One of the people from USA Today which Ms Bogard mentions gives extremely lame reasons for this story being “old news”. He says that "we and other newspapers as well, and other media, had written a lot in early 2002 about how the Bush Administration was beginning the drumbeat, was moving toward the decision to go to war, to take military action in Iraq. It wouldn't happen until a year later. But there were lots of stories.”

The fact that some newspapers were predicting that we would go to war doesn’t make what Bush was saying to congress and the American people at the time any more true. He was assuring us that he was exhausting all diplomatic avenues when, in fact, the memo proves that he was not.

Is a lie about one’s personal problems worthy of more media coverage than a lie about taking the country to war? I think not!

To friendship,
Michael

“The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated.” – William Ellery Channing

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