Friday, May 05, 2006

Media Bias in action ...

This week has been somewhat remarkable for the concept of speaking truth to power, though its a bit difficult to tell from watching media outlets like CNN or US network news. Last night on the Hour, George did a bit on a fellow named Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who challenged Rummsfeld publicly on specific statements he's made in the past at a press conference recently. There's been some coverage of McGovern's questions, but the tone of it has been fascinating.

The linked article at Salon discusses the interview Paula Zahn had with McGovern last night as well. I saw the report and interview, and the transcript here describes well some of the pointed questions she asked, and what direction they were pointing. What it doesn't point out is that the story started off with heavy coverage of the protestors that had been removed for shouting Rumsfeld down earlier, and then led into McGovern, suggesting that he was in some way similar to people who were trying to shout down their opposition, to protestors who WERE causing a public disturbance.

And, the article in Salon left off Zahn's most important, most telling question. It was about the point when Rumsfeld asked security not to remove him, as there was a guard starting to manhandle him out of the building. She asked him is he gave Rumsfeld credit for that. His answer was appropriately incredulous, but Zahn seemed to ignore it completely. McGovern pointed out the PR issues with having a rational questioner dragged out of a public, televised press conference, and rightfully concluded that Rumsfeld's actions were self-serving, not in defense of free-speech. The fact that he even had to call a guard off of a rational former CIA agent is telling ... McGovern was posing no threat, was not yelling, was not interrupting Rumsfeld unduly, and was speaking with verifiable fact. There was no reason for him to be ejected, none at all.


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