FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Pink Slips at CBS

 

The only thing surprising about the purge at CBS was that they handed out the pink slips with a straight face. Other than that the episode was sadly reminiscent of Porter Goss wielding his scimitar over at the CIA. A few quick swishing motions and the erring parties were removed. Dan Rather, of course, was spared the humiliation of getting the boot down the office stairwell and, instead, was asked to commit ritual seppuku in the privacy of his own Park Ave. penthouse. The others simply got a brisk walk to the front door.

The whole incident yielded the unpleasant odor of corporate despotism; four careers sacrificed to the god of political loyalty. But, then, that seems to be the way of things now. One’s future is strangely tied to one’s deference to the “Dear Leader” just as it is at state-run TV. Slip up on story about Bush’s faithful service in the National Guard and it’s a quick jaunt to the unemployment line. What a joke.

Is there any doubt that the deserter-in-chief was AWOL during the time he was supposed to be with his Alabama unit? Remember, it was a small unit and, yet, not one of the men recalls the young G.W. ever showing up.

We also know that Bush didn’t ease his way into the “champagne unit” by virtue of his prodigious intellectual abilities. He was shoe-horned into the Guard by family patronage, and he skedaddled when he,d had enough. So, why all this hoopla about “forged” signatures anyway? It’s completely irrelevant. CBS nailed the bigger story even if they slipped up on a few trivial details. Big deal.

True, this is all yesterday’s news, but even the corn-fed, gun-totin,, confederate flag-waving yahoos don’t believe that Bush served his time anymore. The last true believers seem to be the boardroom bigwigs at CBS, who see it as a device for evacuating the last fetid remnants of liberal journalism.

Okay, I can live with that, but when does “political cleansing” become the theatre of the absurd?

 

The Investigation

First they dredge up Louis Boccardi, retired chief executive officer of The Associated Press, (Yes, the same Associated Press that processed all the sketchy exit polling after the 2004 election) Boccardi also belongs to the prestigious CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) the ultimate insiders club that steers the ship of state towards such worthwhile projects as deposing the democratically elected leader of Haiti and hard-charging for the Iraq war.

Boccardi was joined in the investigation by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. Thornburgh is a charter member of the far-right Federalist Society and a died-in-the-wool Bush loyalist. (The Federalist Society has a number of alumnae in the Bush administration. They,ve provided much of the legal rationale for the unlawful detention of aliens, the enhanced powers of the Executive, the indefinite incarceration of POW’s and the cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners.) Heading up an investigation with Thornburgh is like polling Madame DeFarge on the merits of the death penalty. It’s a slam-dunk. The Boccardi-Thornburgh combination was nothing more than a nattily clad firing squad. They were hired to dispatch the CBS infidels and to send a message that future impertinence would not be tolerated. Employees are quick to apprehend the meaning of such directives; especially when their job’s on the line.

The duo delivered their 224-page tome on the “shameful lack of journalistic standards” to the media and the station’s corporate chieftains. “The system broke down on this one, for sure,” Boccardi moaned.

Their tedious performance was picked up and repeated on every major TV station; muttering the same stale bromides over and over again. Boccardi would whimper about the “myopic zeal” in rushing the story on air, and Thornburgh would follow up with some energetic finger-wagging at the “errors of credulity and over-enthusiasm.” The sanctimoniousness of their recital almost obscured the fact that the real force behind the investigation was a White House vendetta directed at critics of the Peerless Leader.

Where were these pompous politicos when Judith Miller was pulling stories out of the ether about phantom WMDs in Iraq? No one was too concerned about “journalistic standards” back then.

And what about the penetrating news coverage of the 2 month siege of Falluja? Think that might have been worth investigating?

Or, what about the media blackout of election irregularities in Ohio? Are exit poll discrepancies only a curiosity when they happen in Ukraine?

There are literally hundreds of stories the media either buries or mishandles every year. The only reason this one grew legs was because it zeroed in on our pretzel-choking, Mt biking, war-president, George Bush.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t care if they wrapped Dan Rather in an American flag and ran him through the streets of Sadr City, but all this braying about “journalistic standards”?

Please! The TV executives yanked those off life-support a long time ago.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 17, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: No Woman, No Cry
Kathleen Wallace
Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style
Robert Hunziker
The Rumbling Methane Enigma
Frank Joyce
Will the Constitution Fail Again?
Pete Dolack
Claims that the ‘NAFTA 2’ Agreement is Better are a Macabre Joke
Andrew Levine
Biden Daze
Vijay Prashad
Not an Inch: Indian Students Stand Against the Far Right
Ramzy Baroud
Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank
Norman Solomon
Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us. Their Clash Underscores the Need for Grassroots Wisdom
Ted Rall
America’s Long History of Meddling in Russia
David Rosen
The Irregulators vs. FCC: the Trial Begins
Jennifer Matsui
The Krown
Joseph Natoli
Resolutions and Obstacles/2020
Sarah Anderson
War Profiteering is Real
James McFadden
The Business Party Syndicate
Ajamu Baraka
Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted
David Swanson
CNN is Trash
Rev. William Alberts
Finally a Christian Call for Trump’s Removal
Dave Lindorff
The ERA Just Got Ratified by Virginia, the Needed 38th State!
W. T. Whitney
Mexico Takes Action on Coup in Bolivia and on CELAC
Steve Early
How General Strike Rhetoric Became a Reality in Seattle 
Jessicah Pierre
Learning From King’s Last Campaign
Mark Dickman
Saint Greta and the Dragon
Jared Bernstein - Dean Baker
Reducing the Health Care Tax
Clark T. Scott
Uniting “Progressives” Instead of Democrats
Nilofar Suhrawardy
Trump & Johnson: What a Contrast, Image-wise!
Ron Jacobs
Abusing America’s Children—Free Market Policy
George Wuerthner
Mills Are Being Closed by National Economic Trends, Not Environmental Regulations
Basav Sen
Nearly All Americans Want Off of Fossil Fuels
Mark Ashwill
Playing Geopolitical Whack-a-Mole: The Viet Nam Flag Issue Revisited
Jesse Jackson
New Hope for One of America’s Poorest Communities
Binoy Kampmark
Harry and Meghan Exit: The Royal Family Propaganda Machine
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again!
Rob Okun
A Call to Men to join Women’s March
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
We All Need to Be Tree Huggers Now
Tom Stephens
The New York Times’ Delusions of Empire
Julian Rose
Fake-Green Zero Carbon Fraud
Louis Proyect
The Best Films of 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: Into Kosovo
Colin Todhunter
Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis
Julian Vigo
Can New Tech Replace In-Class Learning?
Gaither Stewart
The Bench: the Life of Things
Nicky Reid
Trannies with Guns: Because Enough is Enough!
James Haught
Baby Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark
David Yearsley
Brecht in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail