The Daily Brew

Friday, August 30, 2002:


Common Sense // 10:50 PM

______________________

Here is a laugher. The Thomas B Fordham Foundation has put out its own suggestions for what to teach the children about 9/11. Along with pithy essays by such luminaries as Bill Bennett and Lynne Cheney, Chester E. Finn, Jr., the President of the foundation, urges America's teachers to "teach the common culture, the history of democracy and the centrality of freedom and its defense against aggressors."

Also included in Finn's little essay is the predictable shot at the NEA: "A perceptive journalist who spent some time on the NEA web site found, for example, the union urging teachers not to "suggest any group is responsible" for the attacks of 9/11/01."

As we all know, thanks to Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler (Get that man a TV show, MSNBC!) this is a complete canard; a lie, a total fabrication. As stated by Robert Kuttner the day after the Washington Times ran the report, it was “a hoax." It was “about the most dishonest piece of journalism I’ve read in years”

So we have to ask, is Finn urging America's teachers to teach their students the actual history of democracy, or the fabricated partisan bullshit that is spewed forth everyday by our corporate media? Because we know which one Finn is teaching.
Common Sense // 10:48 PM

______________________


Common Sense // 8:59 PM

______________________

The Coming Slaughter
(c) August 31, 2002
The Daily Brew

So far, the debate over Operation Repair Dad's Legacy has taken place mostly between neo-conservatives who haven't fought in a war and conservatives who have. For a while, it looked like the veterans had the upper hand, but the chicken hawks cheered when Cheney struck what looked like the decisive blow last week. His argument, that the United States must act quickly to remove Saddam Hussein from power because "deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network or a murderous dictator, or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined" seems to have settled the issue.

Perhaps liberals ought to chime in, because Cheney's imagination is obviously stunted. One can easily imagine a variety of threats that are at least as grave as that posed by Saddam Hussein. All one need do is imagine the situation in the Middle East at the conclusion of the war Cheney is trying so desperately to launch.

While Saddam is undoubtedly a murderous dictator who does finance fundamentalist terrorist groups, Saddam is for the most part a secular murderous dictator who has historically calculated his military activities in terms of real politic. As far as we know, neither he nor any of the terrorist groups he finances have ever directly attacked the United States. By way of comparison, the last secular leader driven from power in the Middle East was also a murderous dictator; the Shah of Iran. He was replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who immediately declared America the "Great Satan" and seized 52 American hostages. Given that background, it is fair to ask, if the United States invades Iraq, will whoever replaces Saddam be better or worse? Will Iraq's capabilities for producing weapons of mass destruction fall into the hands of people even more likely than Saddam to use them? Does removing Saddam from power make it more likely, or less likely, that weapons of mass destruction will ultimately be used against America? After all, isn't that really the threat with which we ought to be concerned?

Even without the support of the UN, its allies, a substantial portion of the American public, or even neighboring countries that Iraq has invaded from time to time over the past two decades, if the US attacks Iraq, the United States will almost certainly prevail. Which is to say, when the dust settles, it is unlikely that Saddam will remain in power. Beyond that, it is difficult to predict much about the outcome, except to note that the cost in terms of the lives of US servicemen is likely to be high, the costs in terms of the lives of Iraqis is likely to be astronomical, and the post-Saddam power struggle is likely to take place in a highly unstable environment.

With Saddam's army dug into the cities, the US forces will either keep their distance, bombing the Iraqi infrastructure and waiting to starve them out, or move in for urban combat that will be the next generation of the battles fought by the Russians in Chechnya. The slow starvation of Iraq would likely take too long, and provide too grim a spectacle, and thus appears off the table as a realistic policy option. Assuming the latter strategy, American forces will undoubtedly seek to avoid the casualties the Russians endured at the hands of the Chechens. They will have the advantages afforded by superior technology; precision guided munitions and night vision equipment. They will also likely emulate the Israeli's use of bulldozers in Gaza and the West Bank as weapons that effectively level cities and which are immune to booby traps.

Unfortunately, the Iraqis are also far better equipped than their Chechen counterparts. While Iraq's military capacity was largely useless in the turkey shoot on the open desert during the Gulf war, when deployed in urban environments by guerrilla fighters conducting ambushes, it is highly conceivable that the Iraqis will be able to inflict much higher casualties this time around. Rightly fearing, or heaven forbid experiencing, such casualties, US commanders will have little choice but to employ methods and tactics even more devastating and brutal than those employed by the Russians. Assuming the Iraqis dig in and fight as hard as the Chechens, (a reasonable assumption according to those familiar with the current sentiment in Baghdad), the end result will be a devastated Iraq having much of its infrastructure turned into rubble, thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of its citizens dead, and its Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd populations thrust into a power struggle created by the vacuum. Iraq's neighbors will likely choose sides in this struggle, and Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey will almost certainly participate in at least a proxy war, leading perhaps to a shooting war.

Swirling about in all of this instability will be the specter of various terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, who will naturally seek to use the situation to their advantage. While many in the Arab world will care little about the loss of life on the American side, they will likely perceive the death of so many Iraqis at the hand of such a technologically superior aggressor as approximating a genocide. This perception will provide the terrorists who have repeatedly attacked the United States with a decisive recruiting tool, not only for volunteers and financiers to inflict more terrorism against the United States, but more importantly, to acquire whatever weapons of mass destruction that might remain in the aftermath of the war, including the expertise of those in Iraq who know how to build chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Unlike Saddam, these groups have proven willing to ignore the United States military and economic superiority, and have attacked the United States repeatedly.

Bush and Cheney are correct; Saddam is a menace. But sometimes the menace you know is preferable to the menace you don't know. Liberals ought to join the debate and point that out.

Common Sense // 8:59 PM

______________________


Common Sense // 8:57 PM

______________________

Thursday, August 29, 2002:

Renata Adler has written a stunning criticism of the press in general, and the NY Times in particular.

Here is the money shot:

I have always known, and even written, that the strongest, perhaps sole remaining taboo on freedom of expression in this country is any criticism of the press. Here I had not only questioned a received idea cherished by the Times; I had also been insufficiently deferential to this Times reporter. And the whole Times bureaucracy, instinctively totalitarian, needed to stamp out this disrespect. It would, of course, have gone without saying, until the Times, through Barringer, cited it with indignation, that a writer does choose what to write and when to write it. Now the matter had come to this: if you do not accept some cliché, bromide, or myth of theirs, and are not sufficiently deferential to them, this is not just insubordination. It is a breach of ethics.

You must be admonished. You must be taught a lesson. Other people may learn from it. Not only is your own reputation affected. You must, above all, recant. And this, this last issue -- retraction -- is where the stakes are inescapably, dangerously, raised.

Common Sense // 1:05 AM

______________________

Tuesday, August 27, 2002:

Osama bin Laden is firmly back in command of al Qaeda and the group is digging in for guerrilla attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan according to Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper with close ties to the militant's associates.

"My sense is that he will time any new attack to coincide with a U.S. attack on Iraq. He would want to capitalize on this to appeal to the Arab street so he will probably delay any attacks until the United States moves on Iraq," said Atwan.
more

Maybe this is why Bush wants to attack? To flush out Osama?
Common Sense // 9:58 AM

______________________

Monday, August 26, 2002:

First, thanks to everyone who wrote MSNBC and asked them to give Bob a show. I've posted some of the replies below so that everyone can see that we have stuffed their email box with Bob's name. Second, thanks for making this website so much fun. I don't know if MSNBC will realize how much money they could make by putting Bob on the air, but they certainly can't say we didn't tell them.

~brew

Common Sense // 12:24 PM

______________________

Greetings,

I believe that Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler hosting a show offering media criticism from the left, would be a huge hit. Millions of Americans are turned off by the so-called "news" offered by main-stream corporate managed media. His show would be a much needed "breath of fresh air".

Come on guys and gals - let's have a balance here - let's hear both sides of the story.

Respectfully,

Harold S Kramer

Common Sense // 12:21 PM

______________________


Dear Sirs:

It would be a great asset to your program if you would allow Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler to have a program on media criticism from 'the left'.

Thank you, Jesse Galvan

=====
Jesse Galvan
San Antonio, TX

Common Sense // 12:20 PM

______________________

The cable news channels and broadcast channels are flooded with conservative and right-wing show hosts. Poll after poll has shown that the vast majority of Americans are not conservative, nor are they right-wing.

If MSNBC would offer a show with a moderate host, as a media critic, it would fill a void, and could build a following. The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby is far more moderate than the majority of media critics and right-wing hosts, he is far closer to the center of American politics, and would be a success.

Talking with people at work, they are rapidly growing disgusted with the lock-step of media controlled by conservatives and the Republicans. A topic of conversation is the seemingly choreographed propaganda from the right and the Republicans flooding the radio and television. MSNBC has been guilty of chiming in with this choir of chattering nabobs of conservatism, and many of us are losing faith in the integrity, the objectivity of the broadcast media. From Rush Limbaugh to the babbling Fox chorus, they preached hatred of those who try to include all Americans, respect all Americans, and question those who want to divide America.

MSNBC can improve the public discourse, do something for America, and make money, which would seem to be a winning idea. Will MSNBC do so, or will it follow the path of the others, appealing to a shrinking minority of conservatives and Republicans?

Jim "TWIG" Terwilliger

"When you're walking on thin ice, you might as well dance"
Green Parrot Bar, Key West, Florida

Common Sense // 12:20 PM

______________________

Madam/Sir,

Would you please consider allowing Bob Somerby of The Howler to host a show. I think that the networks and radio are over whelmed with way to much rhetoric from extreme right wingers. I see very little broadcast balance in the news/talk shows. I always thought and felt that a News Agency should show balance.

Now, if you are a News Agency that is trying to form Public Opinion for a certain political party or group then you really don't need viewers or listeners, you just need people that subscribe to your way of thinking and you don't want anyone else to hear what may very well be the truth. Were you one of the Agencies that kept mum on the findings of the debacle in the Florida Voting (presidential), because I ending up reading in one of the UK's News Service of what the results and findings were, a full two weeks before any US media reported this, and it was obvious that every news service was keeping quiet about what was discovered. If US Citizens find out what the US media is truly doing than you are going to be in deep doodoo, especially with the Internet being around. You can't allow any Politician or Groups with a Political agenda to suppress the truth, we the citizens of this Nation deserves the truth and we expect you to present the TRUTH and not one sided lies.

Thanks for your time and reading my request for some balance reporting.

Melvin Hayes Memphis, TN

Common Sense // 12:19 PM

______________________

Sir/Madam:
I would much like to see Bob Somerby host a show on your channel. I think you will be surprised at the success I'm sure he and you will have. There is so much ultra conservative garbage that it has become very boring.
Thank you.

Douglas Kinney Oneonta, NY

Common Sense // 12:18 PM

______________________

I have heard rumors of a new show, or segment of an existing show which would feature Bob Somerby from the Daily Howler commenting on the performance of the media, especially in the political context. I wanted to add my two cents to let you know that such a show, or segment, would be of great interest to me as a viewer. Go for it!

Ruth A. Courtney

Common Sense // 12:17 PM

______________________


People,

Media criticism from a new perspective (the left) would not only be a huge success it would be about time! My point: Be a pioneer and jump on the band wagon now.

Common Sense // 12:16 PM

______________________


With the new Nachtman and Donahue shows, and a featured role for Ashleigh Banfield, MSNBC is making great strides. You're still missing a key aspect of reporting.

CNN has "reliable sources" which is a solid show and a favorite of mine. Nothing is more important for the media than to watch itself.

One of my favorite websites is the Daily Howler,
http://dailyhowler.com/ run by Bob Somerby. He's a witty, well informed, but most of all evenhanded and accurate media critic. A show hosted by Mr. Somerby, or one with him as a regular would lift MSNBC news to the next level.

I don't know him personally, but I am familiar with his influential work. I use his research and reporting at my website, and I've seen top flight print and on air journalists refer to him as well.

You can contact Bob Somerby at: bobsomerby@hotmail.com and I hope you do so before someone else hires him.

Mike Hersh
MSNBC Viewer
Common Sense // 12:16 PM

______________________


Hey, a media critical show from the "left" would be a great addition to your programming. For a host, I would suggest Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler. I think it would be a big success with a large following/audience.

Thanks,
Marc

Common Sense // 12:15 PM

______________________


Hello there

I enjoy your website and much of the programming I see from MSNBC, but I think if you were to allow Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler host a show offering media criticism from the left, it would be a big success. People aren't getting much of any message from the left, aside from what we can see on CNN on Crossfire, and The American people have voted overwhelmingly in favor of left-leaning politicians in the last three presidential elections.

Thanks for your attention!

Jim Turner

Common Sense // 12:14 PM

______________________


Done

David Allyn
www.politicalpulpit.com

Save a tree:
Clear-cut the Bush Administration
Common Sense // 12:13 PM

______________________


From: William Putney
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 01:46:42 -0500
To:
Subject: a huge hit

if you let Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler host a show offering media criticism from the left, it would be a huge hit. This is in my humble & sophisticated opinion.

Thank you --
William Putney

Common Sense // 12:12 PM

______________________


DONE! (From a constant "Tush-watcher") (love the 'countdown clock'

Jeff T.

Common Sense // 12:11 PM

______________________


Done!

-- Kathleen de la Peña McCook
kmccook@tampabay.rr.com
University of South Florida, Library & Information Science
A Librarian at Every Table
http://www.cas.usf.edu/lis/a-librarian-at-every-table/
Common Sense // 12:11 PM

______________________


I sent an email (per your request) to MSNBC.

Tricia Galbraith ;-)

Common Sense // 12:10 PM

______________________


If you folks let Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler host a show offering media criticism from the left, it would be a smash.

Tim Doherty

Common Sense // 12:09 PM

______________________


here is what I sent:
Dear sirs'

If Boby Somerby of the Dailer Howler were to host a show with a left wing slant it would be a huge hit. You might want to take a look at the numbers since Crossfire added Paul Begula and James Carville.

I know I would certainly tune in.

Wolf Grulkey

Common Sense // 12:09 PM

______________________


OK, I did. I wrote a glowing assessment for Bob Somerby addressed to msnbc for a show, who ever he is. I trust your advice.

Regards,

Steve Luther
Louisiana

Common Sense // 12:08 PM

______________________


To Whom It Concerns:

Hey, I heard that you were considering Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler as a host for a show which critiques the media. Somerby would be great. I read the Howler regularly and find him accurate, funny and insightful. What this country needs is fewer centrist and conservative pundits and more progressive voices in the mix. I have almost stopped watching cable and network news for this reason. One gets weary listening to people politely disagreeing about minutia, while there are huge problems and much wider viewpoints available (to the left). Dial me back in, with Somerby.

Dan Bishton Fort Wayne, Indiana

Common Sense // 12:08 PM

______________________


How's this:

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Malone [mailto:lmalone1@houston.rr.com]
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 7:53 AM
To: Cable@msnbc.com
Subject: Bob Somerby

As you know, many people have been touting this idea that the media has a liberal bias. I don't know what planet these people have been living on, but in my view, the media has for years been serving nothing but Nerf-balls to the right wing, and ignoring the substance of liberal thought.

I encourage you to bring in Bob Somerby to host another point of view. It would be a breath of fresh air, and I expect, a huge hit among people who think.

Larry Malone Houston, TX

Common Sense // 12:07 PM

______________________

Done.
Common Sense // 12:06 PM

______________________

Here's a copy for you---

----- Original Message -----
From: Ben Raizen
To: Cable@msnbc.com
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 7:06 AM
Subject: Bob Somerby show?

Would you consider a show hosted by Bob Somerby? It would attract enough people who think like him that it should have a good audience.

Ben Raizen, Denver, CO

Common Sense // 12:05 PM

______________________

Brew:

You got it, dude. Great idea!

TD

Common Sense // 12:05 PM

______________________

DONE! jp
Common Sense // 12:04 PM

______________________

I did.
Common Sense // 12:04 PM

______________________

Done. I don't even watch TV or know who Somerby is, but you asked for a favor which I'm happy to help out with any time.

Warren Gammel
Ocala Florida

Common Sense // 12:04 PM

______________________

Done and sent you and Bob a bcc
Common Sense // 12:03 PM

______________________

Just sent it to them Lots of luck"
Common Sense // 12:03 PM

______________________

Brew:

Here's what I sent them (you may reprint all but my name and city).

Rock On!

Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 11:21:23 -0400
To: cable@msnbc.com
From: RM
Subject: programming suggestion

To Whom It May Concern:

I am one of the thousands of MSNBC viewers, and Americans concerned about the integrity of journalism and the news, who think it would be a WONDERFUL idea for you to hire Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler (http://www.dailyhowler.com) to do a media criticism show from the left. CNN's Unreliable Sources sure could use the balance!

I believe such a program would be a very big hit, on the order of the new Crossfire--a higher level of discussion and debate than currently seen anywhere else on cable television.

I urge you to seriously consider such a program, scheduled, perhaps, directly across from Mr. Kurtz and Co. Or, perhaps, just before or after, so viewers could watch both and REALLY see what a load of unapologetic, self-congratulating nonsense Howie and the others spew.

Thanks for your attention,

RM

Common Sense // 12:02 PM

______________________


DONE....

RAUCnCAUC

Common Sense // 12:00 PM

______________________


Message Sent!
Good luck,
Greg Jungheim
Chicago

Also, check out my personal op-ed toon site...
http://www.senryusid.com/
Common Sense // 12:00 PM

______________________


Done!

________________
Julie Jackson Lusby julie@yaysoft.com

Common Sense // 11:59 AM

______________________

Sunday, August 25, 2002:


Common Sense // 10:59 PM

______________________

Bob Somerby is again hitting on all cylinders. Face it, the guy is a national treasure. The counterspin blog has suggested that we begin an email campaign to get MSNBC to hire Bob for a cable talk show on media criticism "from the left." I am firmly on board.
Common Sense // 10:50 PM

______________________

I am considering filing a lawsuit, but I am in need of a theory.

The essence of the suit is thus; I am an outspoken left wing liberal. Anne Coulter has, in print, openly advocated my murder. If any of you smart lawyers out there know of a federal statute that will form a plausible cause of action based on these two facts, send me an
email
Common Sense // 1:48 PM

______________________


This site is powered by Blogger because Blogger rocks!









Visit the main page and read email policy at http://www.thedailybrew.com email us at brew@thedailybrew.com

Archives