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December 1st, 2005

The New York Times' slow slide into irrelevance. [Dec. 1st, 2005|09:59 am]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
So ... maybe expecting everything on the internet to be 'Free' forever was unrealistic. But, the New York Times used to be one of the most influential media sites on the Internet. Now that they charge for certain things -- notably Op-Ed -- they've abdicated.

Each of their Op Ed writers I was only about 50% with -- Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd seem content mostly to parrot the liberal talking points a week after they've made the rounds on the blogs and Air America -- but Krugman is usually pretty good. And Safire, you had to read and refute every time his column appeared or you hadn't done your ideological calisthenics.

But now, you have to pay $50 a year to read them, and they're not worth it at least half the time. Would I pay $25/year? Maybe.

The real problem is making them pay-only means that they've checked out of the larger dialog on the Internet. Bloggers can't link to them any more, and many bloggers are as cheap as I am about the Times, so they're not even reading the Op Ed any more.

This comes on top of several years of episodes like Jayson Blair and Judy Miller. Between those two it's clear that there is some lack of editorial checks and balances at the Times, and even their hard news reporting has seemed pretty bland and rudderless. It comes down to this: we're losing the last truly serious national newspaper, just when we need it most.
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Effing Retards Chapter 2,304,304 [Dec. 1st, 2005|10:28 am]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
US plants positive stories in Iraqi Press

Just when you thought the stupidity couldn't get any stupider, along comes an example of the stupids descending to new levels of ultra-mega-dumb stupiditude.

The fact that this was taking place reinforces the image of America as arrogant, condescending, and out of touch with reality. Who seriously thought that any literate, engaged Iraqi wouldn't see this crap as a plant?

And as for today's articles about the Pentagon and White House being in the dark on this, give me a fucking break. This is the military we're talking about -- for this operation to take place, contracts have to be signed and people have to be hired. Someone with fairly high authority had to sign off on it. In the military, you can't take a leak without the approval of your superior officers. This is a case yet again of the bastards falling back on plausible deniability.

Besides, the Administration has already pulled this bullshit here in the US, and their reaction was exactly the same -- some 'overzealous underling' was responsible.

Pushing the blame down the chain of command is the last refuge of the morally bankrupt bureacrat. So long as the sketchy shit people on the ground are doing isn't a political liability, they're rewarded for their loyalty. As soon as the story breaks and the Administration and Pentagon might look stupid, so their reaction is to disavow the actions of the implementers and then hang them out to dry.

I think you have to go to places like Burma and North Korea to find a government more mendacious and wrong headed.
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Lying Sacks of Government Shit [Dec. 1st, 2005|04:25 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
John Rendon has gotten rich manipulating the media to build support for war, paid for by the Pentagon

In which we find out that this guy A) Put together the Iraqi National Congress, channeling millions of dollars of US government funds to support them. B) Planted news stories about WMD based on stories told by an Iraqi defector who the CIA found to not not be credible. C) Hooked up Judy Miller with interviews with this defector, precipitating her series of bogus articles on WMDs. He was also involved in building support for the invasion of Panama, and the first Gulf War.

In other words, not only were you being lied to -- starting RIGHT after 9/11 -- but this guy was paid a lot of YOUR tax dollars to set up the big lies that precipitate military action.
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