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Here come the 2008 DNC and RNC so I get to thinking about different things that surround them both…

Why do I always read stories that the police have to prepare for riots and unruly citizens when it comes to the political conventions? Recent case in point is this story from Denver where a large warehouse has been turned into a secured holding facility. This was done because the city feels there could be mass arrests arising from the Democratic National Convention. Review videos and pictures available on the web (check YouTube and use search words like dnc, cops) and see why “could be” will become fact.

From past stories most of the problems arise with the police not the attendees at the conventions. Case in point is the 2004 RNC in which police doctored video of those being arrested and more than 90% of those cases ended up being thrown out of court. Tsk-tsk, don’t the police understand that tampering with evidence is a crime? What have our police become…?

With the Democratic National Convention scheduled for August 25-28 in Denver, CO and the Republican National Convention scheduled for September 1-4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN I wonder what videos and pictures we will see of police harassment and abuse coming out of those gatherings? If you attend either of these conventions keep your eyes open and your camera lens clean. The cops will, inevitably, be out in their military-style gear looking for problems – to stir them up or create them.

And if this doesn’t stir you up at all you should read the article Obama Doesn’t Sweat. He should. by Greg Palast. For years now Greg Palast has been saying that the Republicans will win the 2008 election year – no matter who is riding the ticket. He has written about it in his book Armed Madhouse (a good read btw) and in articles on his website. States have been gearing up to help the Republican candidate win with an estimated one million vote headstart. Look to have McCain as your next President whether you voted for him or not.

 

As we should have learned in 2000 and again in 2004 voting in this country no longer matters or should I say that your vote does not matter. That may hurt and you may not want to hear it but do some reading and you will find out the truth; the votes are fixed. Bush never gained office by your vote in either election year; 2008 will be no different. If people don’t get off the duffs, start waking up and fight to get this country back we will soon lose it all. We have already had many of our constitutional rights and privileges taken away and it will continue under McCain.

So if you haven’t been paying attention watch what occurs during the DNC and RNC. Read between the lines. Watch how the media markets only certain stories to you and they play them over and over again. The media markets what they are told to market – the war on terror (a bunch of baloney), the housing and mortgage crisis, and other such stories. They draw your attention away from the fact that the government is slowly taking over the country from its own citizens.

So as we roll into September I’ll be looking forward to seeing those photos and videos from vigilant citizens on what really goes on at these conventions. You know, the stuff mainstream media won’t really be reporting on… Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of that stuff on my site and help in getting the information and message out to any and all that will listen. Listen that is to the fact that “we the people” barely exists anymore and corruption and lies run amok and rule. This country has been sold to the highest bidder and justice is truly blind.

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From The Huffington Post

Posted April 28, 2008 | 09:21 AM (EST)

In the fall of 2002, week after week, I argued vigorously against invading Iraq in debates televised on MSNBC. I used every possible argument that might sway mainstream viewers — no real threat, cost, instability. But as the war neared, my debates were terminated.

In my 2006 book Cable News Confidential, I explained why I lost my airtime:

There was no room for me after MSNBC launched Countdown: Iraq — a daily one-hour show that seemed more keen on glamorizing a potential war than scrutinizing or debating it. Countdown: Iraq featured retired colonels and generals, sometimes resembling boys with war toys as they used props, maps and glitzy graphics to spin invasion scenarios. They reminded me of pumped-up ex-football players doing pre-game analysis and diagramming plays. It was excruciating to be sidelined at MSNBC, watching so many non-debates in which myth and misinformation were served up unchallenged.

It was bad enough to be silenced. Much worse to see that these ex-generals — many working for military corporations — were never in debates, nor asked a tough question by an anchor. (I wasn’t allowed on MSNBC unless balanced by at least one truculent right-winger.)

Except for the brazenness and scope of the Pentagon spin program, I wasn’t shocked by the recent New York Times report exposing how the Pentagon junketed and coached the retired military brass into being “message-force multipliers” and “surrogates” for Donald Rumsfeld’s lethal propaganda.

The biggest villain here is not Rumsfeld or the Pentagon. It’s the TV networks. In the land of the First Amendment, it was their choice to shut down debate and journalism.

No government agency forced MSNBC to repeatedly feature the hawkish generals unopposed. Or fire Phil Donahue. Or smear weapons expert Scott Ritter. Or blacklist former attorney general Ramsey Clark. It was top NBC/MSNBC execs, not the Feds, who imposed a quota system on the Donahue staff requiring two pro-war guests if we booked one anti-war advocate — affirmative action for hawks.

I’m all for a Congressional investigation into the Pentagon’s Iraq propaganda operation — which included an active-duty general exhorting ex-military-turned-paid-pundits that “the strategic target remains our population.”

But I’m also for keeping the focus and onus on CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, even NPR – who were partners in the Pentagon’s mission of “information dominance.” And for us to see that American TV news remains so corrupt today that it has hardly mentioned the Times story on the Pentagon’s pundits, which was based on 8,000 pages of internal Pentagon documents acquired by a successful Times lawsuit.

It’s important to remember that at the same time corporate TV outlets voluntarily abandoned journalistic ethics in the run-up to Iraq, independent media boomed in audience by making totally different journalistic choices. Programs like Democracy Now! featured genuine experts on Iraq who — what a shock! — got the facts right. Independent blogs and websites, propelled by war skepticism, began to soar.

As for the major TV networks, they were not hoodwinked by a Pentagon propaganda scheme. They were willingly complicit, and have been for decades. As FAIR’s director, I began questioning top news executives years ago about their over-reliance on non-debate segments featuring former military brass. After the 1991 Gulf war, CNN and other networks realized that their use of ex-generals had helped the Pentagon dazzle and disinform the public about the conduct of the war.

CNN actually had me debate the issue of ex-military on TV with a retired US Army colonel. Military analysts aren’t used to debates, and this one got heated:

ME: You would never dream of covering the environment by bringing on expert after expert after expert who had all retired from environmental organizations after 20 or 30 years and were still loyal to those groups. You would never discuss the workplace or workers by bringing on expert after expert after expert who’d been in the labor movement and retired in good standing after 30 years. . . . When it comes to war and foreign policy, you bring on all the retired generals, retired secretaries of state.
THE COLONEL (irritably): What do you want, a tax auditor to come in and talk about military strategy?

ME: You hit it on the nail, Colonel. What you need besides the generals and the admirals who can talk about how missiles and bombs are dispatched, you need other experts. You need experts in human rights, you need medical experts, you need relief experts who know what it’s like to talk about bombs falling on people.

Before the debate ended, I expressed my doubts that corporate media would ever quit their addiction to unreliable military sources: “There’s this ritual, it’s a familiar pattern, a routine, where mainstream journalists, after the last war or intervention, say, ‘Boy, we got manipulated. We were taken. But next time, we’re going to be more skeptical.’ And then when the next time comes, it’s the same reporters interviewing the same experts, who buy the distortions from the Pentagon.”

A few years later, during the brutal US-NATO bombing of Serbia, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviewed CNN vice-president and anchor Frank Sesno:

GOODMAN: If you support the practice of putting ex-military men, generals, on the payroll to share their opinion during a time of war, would you also support putting peace activists on the payroll to give a different opinion in times of war, to be sitting there with the military generals, talking about why they feel that war is not appropriate?
SESNO: We bring the generals in because of their expertise in a particular area. We call them analysts. We don’t bring them in as advocates.

It’s clear: War experts are neutral analysts; peace experts are advocates. Even when the Pentagon helps select and prep the network’s military analysts. Shortly after the Iraq invasion, CNN’s news chief Eason Jordan acknowledged on-air that he’d run the names of potential analysts by the Pentagon: “We got a big thumbs-up on all of them. That was important.”

Of all the excruciating moments for me — after having been terminated by MSNBC along with Phil Donahue and others — the worst was watching retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, NBC’s top military analyst, repeatedly blustering for war on Iraq. Undisclosed to viewers, the general was a member (along with Lieberman, McCain, Kristol and Perle) of the pro-invasion “Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.”

A leading figure in the Pentagon’s pundit corps, no one spewed more nonsense in such an authoritative voice than McCaffrey — for example, on the top-notch advanced planning for securing Iraq: “I just got an update briefing from Secretary Rumsfeld and his team on what’s the aftermath of the fighting. And I was astonished at the complexity and dedication with which they’ve gone about thinking through this.”

After the invasion began, McCaffrey crowed on MSNBC: “Thank God for the Abrams tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle.”

No federal agency forced NBC and MSNBC to put McCaffrey on the air unopposed. No federal agency prevented those networks from telling viewers that the general sat on the boards of several military contractors, including one that made millions for doing God’s work on the Abrams and Bradley.

Genuine separation of press and state is one reason growing numbers of Americans are choosing independent media over corporate media.

And independent media don’t run embarrassing promos of the kind NBC was proudly airing in 2003:

Showdown Iraq, and only NBC News has the experts. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, allied commander during the Gulf War. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, he was the most decorated four-star general in the Army. Gen. Wayne Downing, former special operations commander and White House advisor. Ambassador Richard Butler and former UN weapons inspector David Kay. Nobody has seen Iraq like they have. The experts. The best information from America’s most watched news organization, NBC News.

* *Jeff Cohen is the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. His latest book is Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.

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Mainstream media (MSM) news networks are not news. There are just an ebb and flow of public relations head spin to keep the money flowing into the coffers of the elitists. Carefully crafted words, stories and pictures are portrayed each day and night to those still willing to turn on their television sets; all the more in high definition and with Tivo to back up anything you might miss…

Project Censored maintains and compiles information on important international and national news and information that is overlooked or ‘censored’ from mainstream media. On their website they have listed the top 25 censored stories of 2006-2007 (an excerpt of their book) titled Censored 2008.

Truthout reporter, Geoffrey Millard, interviewed Dr. Peter Phillips, associate professor of sociology, media research specialist and leader of Project Censored, in October 2007. (see the following video and article) A short, informative interview worth listening to…

Dr. Phillips has much to say about how corporate America dictates what is seen on American television sets, including news reports, but he also stated that “the 11 largest or most influential media corporations in the United States – General Electric Company (NBC), Viacom Inc. (cable), The Walt Disney Company (ABC), Time Warner Inc.(CNN), Westinghouse Electric Corporation (CBS), The News Corporation Ltd. (Fox), Gannett Co. Inc., Knight-Ridder Inc., New York Times Co., Washington Post Co. and the Times Mirror Co. – represent the interests of corporate America, and that the media elite are the watchdogs of acceptable ideological messages, the parameters of news and information content and the general use of media resources.”

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As we prepare to celebrate the New Year, my resolution is to hold George Bush and Dick Cheney accountable for their abuses of power. In the last days, we have made real progress:

The mainstream media has awakened to this movement and to the extraordinary support you have given it. Your calls, letters, and emails have clearly made a difference. Already 140,000 people have joined us in demanding impeachment hearings for Vice President Dick Cheney by signing up at WexlerWantsHearings.com.

The power of these combined voices are already shaking up the established order on Capitol Hill and throughout the mainstream media:

This week, the Miami Herald printed an article on our efforts that was syndicated in papers across the country, including the Detroit Free Press, Philadelphia Inquirer, Fort Worth Telegram, Contra Costa Times, Sacramento Bee, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, NC News & Observer, and others. (Click HERE to read the article.)

In addition, CBS4 in Miami became the first station we know of to run a television segment about the call for hearings. Video of that can be found HERE.)

Perhaps most importantly, just this morning the Philadelphia Inquirer courageously ran the full editorial I drafted along with my fellow Judiciary Committee members Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (R-WI). (View it HERE .) Congratulations to the Inquirer for their willingness to publish a viewpoint that is so widely held by Americans – yet one that other leading national newspapers refused to publish.

We have come so far in just a few weeks. No longer can the mainstream media ignore our efforts and dismiss this cause as only part of the fringe left.

Already we are seeing tangible results from our combined effort. As you already know, Congress is well behind the American people on this issue. This is an uphill battle, but it’s one that has to be fought. It should not be the whole agenda, but it needs be *on* the agenda.

When Congress reconvenes in January, I plan to present a list to my Judiciary Committee colleagues of every single person that signed up at WexlerWantsHearings.com. I will go to more of my colleagues and ask them to join a letter in support of hearings. We will build on the momentum you have given us.

Last week, I spent an hour on Blog Talk Radio outlining thoughts and answering questions in regards to this work. So many people hit their site that their servers temporarily went down. If you’d like to hear the archived audio, please click HERE.

Let’s do our best to further spread the message so that list will be up to a quarter million. Please continue to blog, email friends, and insist that your family and friends sign up!

Thanks for your commitment.

Congressman Robert Wexler

P.S. I have been running online ads to make more people aware of our impeachment campaign. If you are interested in making a contribution to this effort you can click here.

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