Monday, June 16, 2008

Rusert's death Gives US Media Some Breathing Room

Russert’s Death Gives US Media Breathing Room

“The notion that Russert asked the 'tough questions' of those he interviewed, advanced by a host of former colleagues on a tribute broadcast this Sunday in place of “Meet the Press,” is absurd. During the run-up to the war, Russert, along with the rest of the media, provided a platform for Vice President Dick Cheney and others to present their lying claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction without seriously calling any of them into question. On March 16, 2003, only days before the US-led invasion of Iraq, Russert virtually handed his program over to Cheney, providing the latter with a propaganda opportunity in front of a large national audience, much of it skeptical about the administration’s claims. Russert’s particular role here was to politely raise certain doubts and allow Cheney to allay them.” www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jun2008/russ-j16.shtml

The sudden transition of corporate shill Tim Russert of NBC has given the US mind control apparatus some much needed breathing room. The corporate media has come under fire in recent months for its handling of the presidential primaries, the pass they give the Bu$h administration and the decline of open minded analysis and hard hitting investigative reporting. The media is supposed to have a liberal bias but in truth it is fascist and right wing in nature. Scott McClellan’s recent book took the corporate media to task for being sock puppets for George W Bu$h’s preemptive invasion of Iraq. McClellan’s book put the big time media talking heads in an extremely awkward position. There were no WMDs, Saddam Hussein was not involved in 9-11 and the invasion and occupation has not been a “cakewalk” as the Bu$h-Cheney administration and the corporate media repeatedly told us. Most AmeriKKKans have by now deduced we were snookered by the Bu$hites with the blessings and cooperation of the mainstream media. Folks are taking their revenge out on the corporate media; both newspaper readership, network and cable news viewing has declined precipitously. More people now get their news from the Internet ,short wave radio and the foreign press now than ever before. Disingenuous sycophants and shills like Tim Russert were the catalyst for these changes.
Russert died last Friday of a heart attack while at work in the NBC Washington Bureau office. His death provides a respite from the scrutiny and scorn McClellan’s book and recent events have refocused on the US media. The news and cable channels took a hit during the contrived controversies they created during the recent presidential primaries. McClellan’s book provided additional fuel for the fire. The media talking heads were all back peddling denouncing McClellan as a crass opportunist sell out who betrayed his former long time friend and associate George W Bu$h rather than owning up to their role in selling an illegal war.
But most AmeriKKKan’s knew the Bu$h administration conducted a prolonged propaganda campaign to dupe us into going along with his plans for imperialist wars beginning with the US invasion of Haiti, Afghanistan and then Iraq. Some of us have even pointed out the corporate media has given Bu$h a free pass on every major issue since he announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2000. It was the corporate media who refused to grill Bu$h on his AWOL status during the Vietnam war, his inexperience on foreign affairs, his shady business history, the economy or the inconsistencies about the official government accounts of 9-11 or the obvious white wash and cover up of the 9-11 Commission!
Russert was a flunky, a functionary of the corporate elites doing the bidding of his fascist masters. The ruling elites use the Sunday morning “public affairs programs” like Meet The Press to promote their fascist agenda and Russert was a willing shill albeit one who occasionally exposed his guest’s inconsistencies and contradictions. But Russert was no threat to the status quo. If he were, he would never have been given the position at NBC on Meet The Press nor the wide latitude and free hand he was at MSNBC and CNBC. Russert was the quintessential company man and he was well paid for it.
But at his death, Russert’s contemporaries in the mainstream media went out their way to portray him as a sainted news hound. On MSNBC they were touting his devotion to Catholicism, how he contemplated going into the priesthood. On PBS he was canonized. It was sickening to see the talking heads sitting on stage reconstructing and making up history to make Russert a hero. In essence they were using Russert’s death to take the pressure off of themselves. By heaping praise on him they were using him to vicariously absolve themselves of their crimes of warmongering and deceit. His death gave them an opportune break from having to rationalize being sycophants and cheerleaders for Bu$h’s fascist agenda that time has shown to be one of the colossal, costly and bone headed misadventures of this nation’s history.
While he portrayed himself as a blue collar guy from Buffalo New York, Russert was actually a political insider having worked as the Chief of Staff for New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s senatorial campaign as well as press secretary for Mario Cuomo’s campaign for New York governor. His experiences and political connections helped him land a job at NBC. From there he parlayed his connections, skills and willingness to shill for the power elites to become host of NBC’s Meet The Press. Make no mistake Russert was no blue collar working class radical. He was one of the good ol’ boys as far as toeing the line for the corporate oligarchy. “Russert became a household name during the period of the severe decline of the American media, when ignorance, superficiality and cynicism became the hallmarks of all that passed for news and analysis. It is worth noting that in its original format ‘Meet the Press’ had a single guest and a panel of questioners. It went through various permutations, until ‘Under Russert,’ as one commentator notes, ‘the show was expanded to one hour, and became less of a televised press conference and more focused on Russert, with longer interviews and Russert hosting panels of experts.’” Tim Russert and the decay of the American media By David North and David Walsh 16 June 2008 www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jun2008/russ-j16.shtml
In the Orwellian New World Order a shill and propagandist like Russert is painted by his colleagues as a tough minded interviewer and reporter. “CBS News ‘Early Show’ Co-Anchor Harry Smith: ‘Man did Tim Russert love politics. He ate it, lived it and breathed it. His knowledge of it was organic, internal and genetic. It showed in his every broadcast, in his every debate appearance. He was not afraid, nor was he intimidated. And because he was so good at what he did, we were the beneficiaries. He was in that chair for us, and we were damned lucky he was.’” www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/13/politics/main4180701.shtml
The media is using Russert’s demise to take the pressure off of themselves, restore order and regain the initiative in the ongoing psychological war they are waging against the AmeriKKKan people. Russert himself admitted he wasn’t forceful in probing the administrations claims about the war on Terror and WMDs. Perhaps that’s why so many Washington insiders and media talking heads are singing Russert’s praises at a time when the corporate media has lost all credibility. They are cheering him on just like he cheered them and their polices that now have AmeriKKKa on the brink of fiscal collapse and moral ruin.
In fact the media’s coverage of Russert’s passing also allows the corporate media to keep the news of Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduction of thirty five articles of impeachment against George W Bu$h and the failure of the Democratic Congress to take serious action on it off the front pages or the TV news! The massive coverage of Russert’s death also allows all the news media to ignore the US Senate’s recently released report documenting Bu$h and Cheney lied about the threat of Saddam Hussein and Weapons of Mass Destruction, thus validating McClellan’s charges and Kucinich’s articles of impeachment . We certainly can’t have that can we? S now we see how the game is played; even in death Tim Russert is still performing useful service for his fascist masters.

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