Accuracy in Media

Minneapolis: Barack Obama supporter
John Nichols brought “media reform” activists to their feet on Thursday night
with wild and strident attacks on the Bush Administration. “George Bush was not
elected,” said Nichols, working himself into a frenzy.

Nichols
is the Washington
correspondent for The Nation magazine and a member of the board of the Free
Press, the official sponsor of the National Conference for Media Reform.

Bush
and his vice president, Dick Cheney, “seized” power and launched an “illegal
and immoral war,” Nichols continued.

“Send
them to the Hague,”
shouted out one conference participant, referring to the location of the
International Criminal Court. “After we’re done with them,” Nichols countered.

He
urged conference participants to prevent the “theft of our democracy” in this
election year and said we need a “democracy cocktail,” much like the AIDS
cocktail of drugs used to treat AIDS patients, in order to save our “sick”
democracy. He departed the podium with a clenched fist salute.

The
suggestion that the 2008 election might be stolen from Obama seems to be a
developing theme of this event. One of the weekend activities is the advance
screening of “Free for All!,” a documentary that “uncovers startling evidence
of varied schemes to steal the national elections in 2000, 2004 and 2006 and
explores what we can do to take back our election in 2008.”

Meanwhile,
Amy Goodman of the “Democracy Now” radio and TV program announced that she would
soon interview former Bush White House press secretary Scott McClellan, who has
turned on the President and has written a book opposing the Iraq War. “This
year can be a turning point,” she told the crowd.

While
the conference is designed in part to create the impression that the
“progressive” media have been discriminated against, Goodman told the crowd
that her radio/TV show is on 700 stations and she claimed a bigger audience
than Larry King on CNN or the MSNBC cable channel.

Information
distributed during Goodman’s talk, which largely focused on racism in America and the
Bush foreign policy, said that her radio show was carried on two local stations
and her TV program was carried by six local stations in the Minneapolis/St.
Paul area. In addition, her programs are carried by satellite TV. Her personal
production company gets hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from big
liberal and left-wing foundations.

She
urged people to confront the “corporate media” and challenge the renewal of
licenses of radio and TV stations which do not serve the public interest.

Nichols
and Goodman spoke at what was labeled a pre-conference event, part of
“Democracy Day,” at the Hilton Hotel, just a block from where the National
Conference for Media Reform officially opens Friday morning.

Another
such event, sponsored by Consumers Union, concerned “International Media and
Human Rights” and featured an ACLU official and a Ford Foundation-funded
activist. A literature table included a brochure from “Free Speech Radio News”
referring to anti-American ruler Hugo Chavez as “The Poor People’s President”
of Venezuela and portraying U.S. troops in Iraq as murderers. 

“Free
Speech Radio News” is governed by a non-hierarchical Steering Committee that
strives for diversity in ethnicity, race, gender, class and sexual orientation
in its staff and reporter pool,” the brochure stated.

Meanwhile,
conference participants have been invited to a “Code Pink happy hour” on Friday
night to discuss how to disrupt the upcoming Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On
Saturday night, Arianna Huffington will be signing copies of her book, Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe
Hijacked America,
Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe
.

She
is insisting, of course, that the “lunatic fringe” is on the political right.

Conference
participants were provided copies of The Nation magazine, In These Times, The
American Prospect, and Ms. Magazine.

An
official conference exhibitor, Adbusters magazine, provided a special “Media
Democracy Issue” paying tribute to Dan Rather, Amy Goodman, Arianna Huffington,
and others. Rather, forced out of CBS News after he faked the news against
President Bush, is portrayed as someone who believes that the news is a “public
trust.” Rather is speaking to the conference on Saturday night.

Adbusters
takes various ads appearing in mainstream publications and purports to pick
them apart for inaccuracies and distortions. One ad that is examined urges
people to travel to Israel
during its 60th anniversary year of 2008. A “ranch on the Golan
Heights” is corrected to read a “ranch on the occupied Golan Heights,” since
the land was captured by Israel
from Syria
during the 1967 war.

But
an article in the magazine goes further, examining “Israel’s Architecture of
occupation” against the Palestinians. Israel
is depicted as a government that has taken Palestine
away from its rightful owners while former President Jimmy Carter is portrayed
as a wise statesman for calling the Israeli policy toward Gaza a crime and atrocity and for meeting
with the terror group Hamas, which backs Obama for president.

Articles
like this reflect the far-left perspective of virtually all of the conference
speakers and participants.

Nevertheless,
Minnesota’s
liberal Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar is scheduled to help kick off the
conference on Friday morning.

There’s
no official word as to whether comedian Al Franken will show up. He is trying
to secure the Democratic senatorial nomination in Minnesota and hopes to run against
Republican Senator Norm Coleman. But Franken’s jokes about raping women and his
pornographic writings for Playboy have come back to haunt him.




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