rt_lieberman_070511_070511_msthumbnail.thumbnail.jpgJonathan Cohn has a good post in The New Republic today debunking the $70/hour myth about union auto industry workers.  He’s written consistently good things about the financial crisis hitting the auto industry.

But  whatever good writing goes on at TNR is largely a sideshow.  Its primary function is to promulgate neocon propaganda that has led this country into economic disaster and endless war.

Marty Peretz sold TNR to the Canadian company CanWest several years ago.  Who is CanWest, and why would they buy the financially unprofitable New Republic, whose subscriptions are in continuous decline?

Consider — when the Neocon smear machine wanted to bang the drums of war with Iran and float the story that they had passed legislation requiring Jews and Christians to wear badges, they put it out through the CanWest’s Canadian paper, the National Post:

At this point it is worth asking, why the selection of Canada’s National Post to plant a deliberately misleading article intended to discredit Iran?

There are several reasons, but primary among them is the knowledge that the National Post has past affiliations with some of the same people in Benador’s stable, most notably Richard Perle. Perle, a former co-chair of Hollinger International Inc. (Conrad Black’s former company), had used the National Post from his Benador position, along with other Hollinger publications, in the run up to the invasion of Iraq to propagandize the evils of Saddam Hussein. The National Post, already a right-wing publication and controlled by the Israeli-friendly Asper brothers was more likely to view an article discrediting Iran in a favorable light. Amir Taheri has a history of publishing in the National Post’s pages and is considered by that journal to be an expert.

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CanWest-Global owns 50 percent of the Jerusalem Post plus media outlets in Australasia, Europe and Turkey. The mix of Canadian newspaper, Iranian ex-pat journalist (who lives in Europe) and outrageous legislation would be attractive to news outlets along the CanWest News Service wireline plus those who would acquire the story after publication.

In short, it was a neo-con’s wet dream.

Of course, the story was completely fabricated.  But it became widely circulated in blast email campaigns, and because it originally appeared in an ostensibly "legitimate" publication, the myth persists.

And that’s what TNR is there for, too.  They earned themselves the well-deserved sobriquet the "Joe Lieberman Weekly" due to their willingness to float neocon propaganda over the years.  (In the past Peretz’s assistant has published outright lies at Lieberman’s behest.)

Pushing out neocon propaganda isn’t some sideline, some wacky eccentricity of Marty Peretz.  That’s what The New Repubic is there for.  It’s why the bills get paid, why the lights are on.  If any good journalism gets done there it’s purely by accident.

One of the most challenging things the Obama administration will face is dealing with the continuing problems the Middle East, a situation that CanWest and the neocon New Republic continue to pour gasoline upon.  (As a friend recently commented to me, because of their closeness to the military industrial complex, the Neocons are like a party perpetually in power who never have to run for reelection.)  Rooting out the Neocons, and their insidious influence, is going to be key to success in that arena.

Why do Franklin Foer and others continue to slap a coat of respectability on a publication whose raison d’être is the perpetuation of essentially corrupt, disgraced, intellectually dishonest and venal propaganda?  

You can only cash a paycheck from a vicious, race-baiting Neocon house organ whose business model is perpetual Middle East warmongering for so long and still look at yourself in the mirror.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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