Read this - and Get Lost!
Newsweek audience "small-minded, ignorant and wants to stay that way"
Now read the rest:
Cowardice in Journalism Award for Newsweek
Goebbels Award for Condi
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
by Greg Palast
"It's appalling that this story got out there," Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said on her way back from Iraq.
What's not appalling to Condi is that the US is holding prisoners at
Guantanamo under conditions termed "torture" by the Red Cross. What's
not appalling to Condi is that prisoners of the Afghan war are held in
violation of international law after that conflict has supposedly
ended. What is not appalling to Condi is that prisoner witnesses have
reported several instances of the Koran's desecration.
What is appalling to her is that these things were reported. So to
Condi goes to the Joseph Goebbels Ministry of Propaganda Iron Cross.
But I don't want to leave out our President. His aides report that
George Bush is "angry" about the report -- not the desecration of the
Koran, but the reporting of it.
And so long as George is angry and Condi appalled, Newsweek knows what
to do: swiftly grab its corporate ankles and ask the White House for
But there was no mercy. Donald Rumsfeld pointed the finger at Newsweek
and said, "People lost their lives. People are dead." Maybe Rumsfeld
was upset that Newsweek was taking away his job. After all, it's hard
to beat Rummy when it comes to making people dead.
And just for the record: Newsweek, unlike Rumsfeld, did not kill anyone
-- nor did its report cause killings. Afghans protested when they heard
the Koran desecration story (as Christians have protested crucifix
desecrations). The Muslim demonstrators were gunned down by the Afghan
military police -- who operate under Rumsfeld's command.
Our Secretary of Defense, in his darkest Big Brother voice, added a
warning for journalists and citizens alike, "People need to be very
careful about what they say."
And Newsweek has now promised to be very, very good, and very, very
careful not to offend Rumsfeld, appall Condi or anger George.
For their good behavior, I'm giving Newsweek and its owner, the
Washington Post, this week's Yellow Streak Award for Craven Cowardice
As always, the competition is fierce, but Newsweek takes the honors by
backing down on Mike Isikoff's exposé of cruelity, racism and just
plain bone-headed incompetence by the US military at the Guantanamo
Isikoff cited a reliable source that among the neat little
"interrogation" techniques used to break down Muslim prisoners was
putting a copy of the Koran into a toilet.
In the old days, Isikoff's discovery would have led to Congressional
investigations of the perpetrators of such official offence. The
Koran-flushers would have been flushed from the military, panels would
have been impaneled and Isikoff would have collected his Pulitzer.
No more. Instead of nailing the wrong-doers, the Bush Administration
went after the guy who reported the crime, Isikoff.
Was there a problem with the story? Certainly. If you want to split
hairs, the inside-government source of the Koran desecration story now
says he can't confirm which military report it appeared in. But he saw
it in one report and a witness has confirmed that the Koran was
Of course, there's an easy way to get at the truth. RELEASE THE REPORTS
NOW. Hand them over, Mr. Rumsfeld, and let's see for ourselves what's
But Newsweek and the Post are too polite to ask Rumsfeld to make the
investigative reports public. Rather, the corporate babysitter for
Newsweek, editor Mark Whitaker, said, "Top administration officials
have promised to continue looking into the charges and so will we." In
other words, we'll take the Bush Administration's word that there is no
evidence of Koran-dunking in the draft reports on Guantanamo.
It used to be that the Washington Post permitted journalism in its
newsrooms. No more. But, frankly, that's an old story.
Every time I say investigative reporting is dead or barely breathing in
the USA, some little smartass will challenge me, "What about Watergate?
Huh?" Hey, buddy, the Watergate investigation was 32 years ago -- that
means it's been nearly a third of a century since the Washington Post
has printed a big investigative scoop.
The Post today would never run the Watergate story: a hidden source
versus official denial. Let's face it, Bob Woodward, now managing
editor at the Post, has gone from "All the President's Men" to becoming
the President's Man -- "Bush at War." Ugh!
And now the Post company is considering further restrictions on the use
of confidential sources -- no more "Deep Throats."
Despite its supposed new concern for hidden sources, let's note that
Newsweek and the Post have no trouble providing, even in the midst of
this story, cover for secret Administration sources that are FAVORABLE
to Bush. Editor Whitaker's retraction relies on "Administration
officials" whose names he kindly withholds.
In other words, unnamed sources are OK if they defend Bush,
unacceptable if they expose the Administration's mendacity or evil.
A lot of my readers don't like the Koran-story reporter Mike Isikoff
because of his goofy fixation with Monica Lewinsky and Mr. Clinton's
cigar. Have some sympathy for Isikoff: Mike's one darn good reporter,
but as an inmate at the Post/Newsweek facilities, his ability to send
out serious communications to the rest of the world are limited.
A few years ago, while I was tracking the influence of the power
industry on Washington, Isikoff gave me some hard, hot stuff on Bill
Clinton -- not the cheap intern-under-the-desk gossip -- but an FBI
report for me to publish in The Guardian in England.
I asked Isikoff why he didn't put it in Newsweek or in the Post.
He said, when it comes to issues of substance, "No one gives a sh--" --
not the readers, and especially not the editors who assume that their
US target audience is small-minded, ignorant and wants to stay that
That doesn't leave a lot of time, money or courage for real reporting.
And woe to those who practice real journalism. As with CBS's retraction
of Dan Rather's report on Bush's draft-dodging, Newsweek's diving to
the mat on Guantanamo acts as a warning to all journalists who step out
Newsweek has now publicly committed to having its reports vetted by
Rumsfeld's Defense Department before publication. Why not just print
Rumsfeld's press releases and eliminate the middleman, the reporter?
However, not all of us poor scribblers will adhere to this New News
Order. In the meantime, however, for my future security and comfort,
I'm having myself measured for a custom-made orange suit.
Greg Palast was awarded the 2005 George Orwell Prize for Courage in
Journalism at the Sundance Film Festival for his investigative reports
produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation. See those reports for
BBC, Harper's, The Nation and others at www.GregPalast.com"
You are going to have to to try MUCH harder than that Bush Boy.
Bill Hicks The Second
A Real Bill Hicks qoute (The Bush he mentions is Snr..cos Bills been
dead 10 years now)
That's another good thing about Bush being gone, man, cos for the last
12 years with Reagan and Bush, we have had fundamentalist Christians in
the White House. Fundamentalist Christians who believe the Bible is the
exact word of God, including that wacky fire and brimstone Revelations
ending, have had their finger on the fucking button for 12 years.
[Eyes roll back in head] "Tell me when Lord, tell me when. Let me be
your servant Lord." Fundamentalist Christianity - fascinating. These
people actually believe that the bi.., er, the world is 12 thousand
years old. Swear to God. What the..? Based on what?
I asked them. "Well we looked at all the people in the Bible and we
added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages - 12 thousand
Well how fucking scientific, okay. I didn't know that you'd gone to so
much trouble. That's good. You believe the world's 12 thousand years
Okay I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?
You know the world's 12 thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, they
existed in that time, you'd think it would have been mentioned in the
fucking Bible at some point.
"And lo Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was
blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in his paw. And O
the disciples did run a shriekin': 'What a big fucking lizard, Lord!'
But Jesus was unafraid and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus's
paw and the big lizard became his friend. And Jesus sent him to
Scotland where he lived in a loch for O so many years inviting
thousands of American tourists to bring their fat fucking families and
their fat dollar bills. And oh Scotland did praise the Lord. Thank you
Lord, thank you Lord. Thank you.... Lord."