Saturday, June 11, 2005

Conyers and today's press

I want to share an article with you by Margaret Kimberly entitled, "John Conyers and Deep Throat". It's about Conyers' efforts to direct attention to the Downing Street memo and how the press is falling down on the job. Here's a pertinent passage:

An internal memo from Tony Blair's government said the following about the Bush administration argument in favor of war with Iraq: Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Unlike in the early 1970s, the Washington Post didn't even have to do any work on this story. All the Post had to do was quote other newspapers. They finally did, but very late and with very little fanfare. The Post reported the story weeks after the Times of London did, and to add insult to injury placed it on page A18. The Post's own readers angrily emailed their ombudsman and demanded that their newspaper do its job, only to be scolded for daring to question that august publication.

Democratic Congressman John Conyers of Michigan isn't holding his breath waiting for the press to tell this story. He is asking at least 100,000 Americans to sign a letter demanding answers to questions on the Downing Street memo.

John Conyers sat on the House Judiciary committee that was on the verge of impeaching Richard Nixon. Conyers must be feeling a strange case of déjà vu. He has seen a corrupt White House before, but in 1974 America still had a functioning press and Democrats were the majority party in the House of Representatives.

Thanks to Democratic party incompetence, that hasn't been the case since 1994. Conyers and his colleagues have evidence of numerous impeachable offenses against George W. Bush, but they are unable to make themselves heard when their leaders won't buck the system and the media focus on missing person cases and celebrity criminal trials.

Conyers is doing his job as a member of Congress, the media's job as an investigative force, and the Democratic party's job in opposing the Republicans. Not content to wear so many hats, John Conyers ignored the right wing attack on Felt, and planned to praise him with a House resolution.

"As one who was a first hand witness to Watergate, I can only state humbly that Mr. Felt helped bring our country back from the brink of a constitutional crisis and an out-of-control White House."

He also knows that today's press is unprepared to do its job vis a vis the Bush administration. "Today it is unclear who will step up to the plate to expose the wrongdoing of the current administration."

I have signed Rep. Conyers' letter. If you haven't done so yet, you can click through using the link on his name above.

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