Daily Archives: March 3, 2004

Baby Doc Is Back?

Randy Paul at Beautiful Horizons links to a Miami Herald story on Michelle Gillen’s interview with the Babe. Seems he’s already made arrangements to return (with whom, one wonders?) and is looking forward to it. Asked by Gillen if he was planning on running for president, Duvalier replied, “That is not on my agenda.” I bet it isn’t. The Babe was never much interested in democracy, and you don’t “run” for dictator.

So who told him he could come back? Phillipe? Chamblain? Reich? Bush? It certainly wasn’t Alexandre, the titular head of the interim govt. So where did he get the idea he’d be welcome? This is very bad news for Haiti. Baby Doc is the last bastard they need right now. As Randy put it, “Like having an ambulance rushing to the hospital and driving off a cliff on the way there.”

Josh Marshall, In Toto, On Cheney

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Out of the mouths of babes.

Or not so babes …

If the Democratic policies had been pursued over the last two or three years, the kind of tax increases that both Kerry and Edwards have talked about, we would not have had the kind of job growth that we’ve had.

That was Dick Cheney today.

Now, where to start on this?

First of all Cheney seems to be caught in some sort of weird mental causality loop since what Kerry and Edwards support is a repeal of the 2001 Bush tax cuts (or most of them). So if their policies had been pursued over the last three years that means that the cuts simply never would have happpened at all, not that there would have been big tax increases.

More to the point, did Cheney really intend to say that without the President’s policies “we would not have had the kind of job growth (i.e., negative job growth) that we’ve had.”

Will someone ever straighten this guy out?And good luck to whoever takes that job on.

Bush Talks to Press–In Private?

Perhaps still stinging from the Russert interview debacle, Karl Rove–on whom it’s beginning to dawn that Junior’s chances are less than stellar at this point–decided to allow Bush to talk to the press–sort of. He was allowed an 80-min session with five hand-picked network correspondents in private and off-the-record. The rules for the session were “that his comments would not be directly quoted or attributed to him.” It would seem that Karl is trying out a new strategy: Don’t let the stupid sonuvabitch talk in public unless he’s reading something, and don’t let the press have access to him unless they agree not to quote him directly so his stupid doesn’t show.

That the networks accepted this ludicrous arrangement is bad enough but not particularly surprising. I just got finished telling you in the previous post why I’m not expecting a miraculous return of the adversarial press anytime soon. What really gets to me is the potential spectacle of a presidential candidate running for office without ever facing us outside scripted, tightly controlled campaign “events.” Is Rove going to duck the debates? Is Junior going to stay holed up in the Oval Office pretending to be “presidential” except for appearances in front his corporate donors and “photo ops” where no questions or contact with the real public is allowed? I mean, what kind of a democracy do they think this is?

If the press let that happen–and this “private session” BS suggests they will–they will forfeit in disgrace what little credibility they have left. If Rove is allowed to run Junior like the Kremlin ran Andropov, the GOP will forfeit whatever slim claim to governance they think they have. And if the Democrats don’t hammer Bush for being disconnected and afraid to face us, they will forfeit the last grains of their integrity.

(Thanks to Body and Soul)

The Docile Press

Some of us have been saying for some time–about three years or so–that the mainstream US media have been fairly shameless in their abject surrender to the Bush Admin, publishing the govt line without bothering to check the facts and ignoring or even discrediting opposition voices. Two new studies reported on by Scott Sherman in The Nation confirm what we’ve been saying–in spades.

Two new studies–one by Michael Massing in the February 26 New York Review of Books, which surveys news articles; the other by Chris Mooney in the March/April Columbia Journalism Review, which examines unsigned editorials–document the extent to which our elite press sailed with the stream in the decisive months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Together, these articles paint a disconcerting portrait of a timid, credulous press corps that, when confronted by an Administration intent on war, sank to new depths of obsequiousness and docility.

No kidding.

The Massing study concentrates on the NYT in general and BA mouthpiece Judith Miller in paticular. Continue reading