FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Sorry, Unless We Have the Original Downing Street Memo, in Our Hands, We Can’t Go With a Story

 

I’ve heard some lame excuses, but what we’re hearing from American editors as to why they took a month to start letting Americans know about the Downing Street memoranda is beyond pathetic. These are the memos that are all over the British media, documenting the lying and duplicity of Bush crew in secretly planning to go to war against Iraq as early as the fall of 2001 or spring of 2002, while pretending to be seeking a peaceful solution.

USA Today’s assignment editor, Jim Cox, was quoted in an article in his own paper saying he didn’t run the memos because he “couldn’t get a verifiable copy” of the initial memo, written by Richard Dearlove, the head of British intelligence and presented to Tony Blair.

Couldn’t get a copy?

It was published by Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London! One of USA Today’s British correspondents could have walked into the Times offices and photocopied that paper’s copy-or the one at the BBC. What a joke!

When I used to work in daily newspapers, I had city editors who would have skewered me or any reporter on a spike for trying to make such a limp excuse for not obtaining an important document in a story.

Many editors blame AP, as if the only way they can do a story is if they can pull it off the wire! And AP’s editor simply says his organization “dropped the ball” in not running stories on the memoranda (there is more than one surfacing now in the British media, all pointing to the clear fact that the Bush administration was going to war behind the public’s back and manufacturing the evidence to convince us of the need to invade). If a pro ball player dropped this important a ball, he’d be sent back to the farm team.

Some editors were just dishonest. The Philadelphia Inquirer, a once proud investigative reporting venue that has become an entertainment rag afraid of its own shadow, actually ignored a decent early report on the Downing Street memo and its import written by the bureau chief of Knight-Ridder’s Washington bureau (the paper wasn’t alone among K-R chain papers in ducking the story). The N.Y. Times has yet to make the information in the memos a page-one piece in their own right, preferring grudging inside thumb-suckers.

From my vantage point, I’d say the tradition of investigative reporting in the American corporate media can now be called dead, killed by a bunch of careerist cowards in editorial positions who are afraid challenging government authority is bad for business and promotion. As with poor Terri Schiavo, the most charitable thing viewers and readers can do at this point is to pull the plug and stop trying to learn anything of use from these dinosaurs.

It’s time for people to turn to the alternative media and the Internet for their information. All the corporate media is good for now is movie listings and comics (newspapers) and lame sitcoms (TV) best watched as a form of anesthetic.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
January 21, 2020
Sheldon Richman
Warmonger Cotton Accuses Antiwar Think Tank of Anti-Semitism
John Feffer
Trump Makes Space Great Again
Patrick Cockburn
The US and Iran’s Perpetual Almost-War is Unsustainable – and Will End Badly
James C. Nelson
Another Date That Will Live in Infamy: 10 Years After Citizens United
Robert Fisk
Iran Will be Changed Forever by Admitting Its Great Mistake, Unlike the West Which Ignores Its Own Misdeeds
Dean Baker
Did Shareholders’ Benefit by Paying Boeing’s Fired CEO $62 Million?
Susan Roberts
The Demise of the Labour Party and the Future For UK Socialism
Binoy Kampmark
Janus-Faced on Climate Change: Microsoft’s Carbon Vision
David Levin
The Teamster Revolt Against the Hoffa Era
Victor Grossman
Defender and Spearheads
Russell Mokhiber
BS Public Editor and the Disease of Contempt
Tiffany Muller
Get the Money Out of Politics: 10 Years After Citizens United
Laura Flanders
Iowa is Not the Twitterverse
Graham Peebles
Education: Expanding Purpose
Elliot Sperber
Handball in Brooklyn 
January 20, 2020
Paul Street
Trump Showed Us Who He Was Before He Became President
Eric Mann
Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Ipek S. Burnett
MLK and the Ghost of an Untrue Dream
Mark Harris
Better Living Through Glyphosate? Spray Now, Ask Questions Later
Katie Fite
Owyhee Initiative Wilderness and Public Lands Deal Critique: Ten Years After
Thomas Knapp
A Loophole for the Lawless: “Qualified Immunity” Must Go
REZA FIYOUZAT
Best Enemies Forever: The Iran-U.S. Kabuki Show
Jeff Mackler
Worldwide Furor Sparked by U.S. Assassination of Iran’s General Suleimani
William deBuys
The Humanitarian and Environmental Disaster of Trump’s Border Wall
Binoy Kampmark
A Matter of Quality: Air Pollution, Tennis and Sporting Officialdom
James Haught
GOP Albatross
Jill Richardson
Why Do We Have School Lunch Debt at All?
Robert Koehler
Nuclear Hubris
Patrick T. Hiller
Instead of Real-Time Commentary, Eight Common-Sense Reason for Not Going to War with Iran
Charles Andrews
A Note on Carlos Ghosn and Global Capitalism
Jeffrey St. Clair
Some Trees: Los Angeles
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?
Andrew Levine
Biden Daze
Pete Dolack
Claims that the ‘NAFTA 2’ Agreement is Better are a Macabre Joke
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
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail