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Late Nite: Welcome To Another Edition of ‘If a Democrat Did This, It’d Lead the Evening News’

lapdogs.JPGHo-hum. Pulitzer-winning journalist reports that the Bushies cobbled up fake evidence to justify starting a war of choice.

Yawn. Pulitzer-winning journalist reports that Cheney mulled having US sailors shoot at Navy SEALs in Iranian garb to justify starting another war of choice.

Snore. Republican presidential candidate offers up his wife to be "Miss Buffalo Chip" at Sturgis, a signal honor that requires the prospective titleholder to, among other things, parade around topless and publicly simulate oral sex on a banana.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Really, folks: Does anyone think that the GOP/Media Complex will interrupt their transmission of McCain and Rove campaign talking points to give any of these stories the coverage they deserve? Me neither.

After all, look at how assiduously they’re ignoring Seymour Hersh’s latest revelation of Team Bush perfidy – namely, that in order to create an excuse to attack Iran, Cheney’s people seriously considered dressing Navy SEALs as Iranians, putting them in speedboats, and having other US Navy personnel shoot at them:

HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.

Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of — that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.

You’d think that these stories would be all over the media in a nearly-unavoidable fashion, if only because of the strenuous denials that the accused perps should be emitting. It should be screaming out from every front page, leading every radio and TV newscast, the talk of the pundits on every news-discussion program. The word "impeachment" should be voiced in hushed tones by Very Serious People as a Very Serious Possibility.

And so it would be, if any of it happened during the Clinton, Carter (or Obama) administrations.

But not with Bush — or McCain, Bush’s minion. Why?

Atrios says it’s to protect the vanity of "the Villagers", that crew of morally-vacuous American media figures who still can’t bring themselves to admit that TIG-welding themselves to Bush’s bogus agenda was a mistake of horrific proportions. But I think it goes beyond vanity, to what they think of as self-preservation. They are very rich people who work for even richer people, and these people don’t want any part
of any candidate or party who might dare to roll back the massive Republican tax breaks and free money given to the upper crust elite.

August 4 was the twenty-first anniversary of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine — the rule that gave us the concept of "equal opportunity" in the media. Its repeal had been engineered by various groups, including wealthy conservative media tycoons looking to take certain conservative AM radio talkers, such as Rush Limbaugh, to a national audience, using their money and influence to drown out non-conservative voices. Big Media hated the Fairness Doctrine and are grateful to the GOP for ending it, but they also like the nice corporate tax breaks and the gutting of FCC regulatory authority that Bush and the Republican Congresses gave them. As Joe Conason pointed out way back in 2002, the US media chiefs, especially of the electronic media, are Republican as all get out:

Editor & Publisher polled the nation’s newspaper executives just before the 2000 election, and found an overwhelming preference for George W. Bush.

We also know that Jack Welch, former chief of NBC (and GE) is an ardent Republican. So was Larry Tisch when he owned CBS. So are Richard Parsons and Steve Case of CNN (and Time Warner AOL). Michael Eisner (Disney ABC) gave to Bill Bradley and Al Gore, but he gave more to Bush and McCain — and he supported Rick Lazio for the Senate against Hillary Clinton. Rupert Murdoch and John Malone are big Republican supporters of the Cato Institute. So why isn’t anybody complaining about the "conservative bias" of media executives?

Why? Because the people with the biggest and loudest megaphones ARE Republicans. That’s why.

And that’s why the Suskind book will join the Hersh discoveries and the McCain Sturgis scandal in being kept off of those parts of our radio dials and TV screens where most Americans get their news. The networks’ grip is slowly loosening, but for all intents and purposes, if a story isn’t on the evening TV news or on a drive-time radio news show, most folks will never hear about it. After all, if it doesn’t involve a blue dress and a Democrat, it doesn’t count.

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