Sunday, July 20, 2008

Media Mythology

Listening to Tom Brokaw (hosting Meet the Press) ask Al Gore this morning about offshore drilling, I was aghast that Brokaw cited a factoid that is untrue, and sheerly the creation of the right wing. "No oil spills in the past 50 years" was used to justify hypothetical support for the access to those supposed oil resources. Those past 50 years include Katrina, in which several oil spills occurred. Al Gore, thankfully, pointed to the futility of trying to drill more wells when 'staying the course' in fossil fuel use - it is the problem, not the solution. He did not correct the error about the lack of oil spills.

As noted in a recent post, there were multiple oil spills caused by Katrina. The invention of a period free of the spills is more self-serving fiction from oil industry, to justify the unjustifiable.

As Atrios pointed out this morning (his 8 a.m. post), and I insisted here and in comments at WaPo, calling an Occupation a War changes the whole dynamic of the issue. The press seemingly never has seen, much less gotten beyond, its collusion in the lie. The Great War on Terror is seldom used these days, it's been too obvious that the occupied White House long ago left that behind. As long as the cretin in chief gets press attention, though, he will perpetuate the myth that the occupation of Iraq is a war, and he is a war president. Without that myth, the power grab would be the war on America that it is.

The truth can't be brought out while press handouts are the basis of reporting. Fact checks go on constantly on the internet, and the lies cannot stand up. At one time, the fact checks were part of reporting. Reputations like Dan Rather's have been destroyed by public outcry over failure to back up what they presented adequately, and Mary Mapes regrets to this day that the fact of AWOL's failure to serve in the TX National Guard were not backed up by incontrovertible documents. The country regrets it as well.

What has become almost the flag leading to their crimes, the worst administration ever blatantly lies and depends on the lies to be reported - without mitigating evidence to contravert them.

The only solution seems to be constantly to ferret out the truth and report on it.

So here you are: the basis for Tom Brokaw's question to Al Gore this morning was a lie, a lie that the oil industry is promulgating to make offshore drilling palatable. It is not true that there have been no oil spills for 50 years.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stark reality of the Brokaw interview was his descending to the lowest common denominator of the MSM. He asked about Gore's too big house (how about his own? and Russert's). He pressed him on the silly VP nonsense that was asked 10,000 times too many already. And many other.

It hits you time and again, how incompetent the MSM people are.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ruth - good post.

I am disappointed in Brokaw as I expected better of him.

I guess I'm naive.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Santa Barbara 1969; Prince William Sound 1989; Katrina; I don't know what kind of definitional restrictions they put on "oil spill" but something makes this a lie.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder whether we can come up with a list of 10 journalist, Krugman is a journalist, who have a decent brain power. For instance, Greider who was mentioned several posts ago has discovered that we are controlled by the rich. I guess he was in hibernation since 1980.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tom brokaw, as in : "jack welch is the smartest man I know, and he signs my paychecks." That tom brokaw?
Anything that Gore wants iss going to be interpreted as bad news for g.e.
Besides, there is no shortage of oil based on demand. Oil ministers of several producing countries have said exactly that. big oil is using the high price to to get us to think that there is a demand problem, and tat we need increased supply to satisfy that demand problem, so that drilling more places won't seem so radical. brokaw's only working for his big monied masters. The only way to deal with these whores is to jump down their throats when given such a ripe chance. Why is civility called for when someone is actively trying to ruin our country?

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Copy of Moonves motivated court order against Dan Rather for $200 court costs meant to embarrass

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone expect better of Brokaw? He read the news sonorously, but had no wits about him whenever he talked rather than read. Have you ever seen him as a so-called expert commentator on election night coverage? And then there was his "greatest generation" career as a mythologist---

7:11 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Sad to say, the acting job has taken over from reporting credentials where news programs are concerned. Still, that no staff was able to or wanted to weed out the outright lies is downright dangerous. The outcry needs to be brought to the attention of sponsors, that the public is angry about misinformation, and will leave their broadcasts for the informed and dependable information here on the internet.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Incontrovertible documents" proving Bush's desertion of duty have been available for many years at The Awol Project. Glenn Greenwald this AM pointed me to something that sickens & disgusts me and causes me to have zero hope for the future: Dems, in this case Howard Dean, get into oceans more trouble for telling the truth than the whole lot of right-wing crooks in media & government ever will. Can you think of anything more profoundly un-American than IOKIYAR?

7:35 AM  

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