FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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).

September 24, 2018
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail