Monday, May 16, 2005

How To Kill The Messenger and Get Away With It

White House draws blood in the media

Discrediting the press and shifting blame for failed government policy to the media

Newsweek has now issued a retraction regarding their (May 9 Issue) story about abuse at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO), including the desecration of the Koran by interrogators.

After mass rioting had broken out in Afghanistan, resulting in several deaths, the White House came down hard on Newsweek for the report. Newsweek initially issued a statement saying that they “may have erred” in their initial report.

What was the error? Well the statement regarding the Koran had come from a high-ranking government official citing a report that was soon to be released, and who had proven in the past to be a reliable source. Now he’s saying that he can’t remember where he had read it.

So is the story true? It’s not the first time that desecration of the Koran has made the news. Many of those that have now been released from GITMO have made the exact same claims. Even those currently being held have relayed this to their lawyers. The New York Times article Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantánamo Bay supports the claims, as does a 2003 article in the Washington Post, Returning Afghans Talk of Guantanamo and a 2004 deposition by an inmate at GITMO.

But why has this only now caused the rioting in Afghanistan? Apparently it hasn’t, but they’re getting the credit for it from the White House.

According to Jacquelyn S. Porth, a Washington File Staff Writer, “Air Force General Richard Myers told reporters at the Pentagon May 12 that he has been told that the Jalalabad, Afghanistan, rioting was related more to the ongoing political reconciliation process in Afghanistan than anything else…an after-action report provided by U.S. Army Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, commander of the Combined Forces in Afghanistan, indicated that the political violence was not, in fact, connected to the magazine report.”

Has the MSM (Main Stream Media) picked up on this or included it in their reporting on Newsweek? No, and it’s doubtful they will. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even say anything about Newsweek’s initial report. They did however jump on the chance, as has the White House, to report that Newsweek’s article was wrong and led to the rioting and death in Afghanistan.

The initial report by Newsweek, in respect to the Koran being desecrated, is correct. It has happened and isn’t a new story. But it is a new chance for the White House to shift blame for their own failed policies to the media.

Media control is a big part of this administration. What’s the easiest way to discredit a truthful report? Easy, just offer a truthful statement that supports the story, and then lie about having told the truth in the first place. Then focus all the attention on the lie and claim the whole story is wrong.

The same thing happened during the past election regarding Bush’s service record, or lack of service (AWOL). The whole story was blown out of the water by one memo, which became more popularly known as “RatherGate.” Never mind that there was other supporting evidence, statements, and documents. The only thing needed was for a memo that supported the claims to be forged and sent off to the MSM. Then once it’s included in the story it’s debunked, essentially killing the whole thing and making the press look like schmucks in the process.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, in this case the cat was Newsweek. And there’s more than one way to control the media and the American public.

© Copyright J. Ryan (Bravo411), 2005. All Rights Reserved