Investigative Journalism Suppressed During Bush Era

As I often say, the challenge to people becoming aware that major media outlets have become co-opted representatives of major corporate interests is that most people get their news from them. As a fellow #rootstriker pointed out recently, major media executives have absolutely no incentive to talk truth to themselves or to report against their own corporate interests. That’s why many people eventually want to know, “If I truly can’t find real news through major media outlets, how can I find it? To answer that question, I put together a brief list of Media Outlets Serving Up REAL News, and I’ll add to it over time.

Without delving into individual news that was either mispresented or ignored by major media organizations while the latest GWB was in office such as the state of the US economy, or Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott‘s pro-Dixiecrat statement made in a speech at Strom Thurmond’s party – lamenting “the Civil Rights and Voting Acts” as phrased by blogger, Atrios – a perception shared by so many others it led to Lott’s resignation: a quick Google search on, “Bush impact on investigative reporting,” instantly accessed two credible reports on strategies used by the Bush administration to cripple our country’s freedom of speech and free press. If you’re ready to have your ideals and beliefs completely ripped apart, there’s plenty more where that came from, folks: just google that phrase to produce the evidence that democracy’s most fundamental underpinnings are not always valiantly protected by this country’s highest elected officials. Here are the two examples:

  • The Yurica Report’s post, Battle for the Control of the Press aggregates, “Reports from the Free Press and Common Cause and Digital Democracy,” and links to the Inspector General’s Report on PBS. It leads with the statement:

    A host of recent developments have made it clear that the Bush White House is doing battle against the journalistic standards and practices that underpin our democracy. With its unprecedented campaign to undermine and stifle independent journalism, Bush & Co. have demonstrated brazen contempt for the Constitution and considerable fear of an informed public.

    In short, America’s leadership is waging a war against the journalistic standards and practices that underpin not only a free press but our democracy. The Fourth Estate is withering under an unprecedented White House assault designed to intimidate, smear and discredit investigative journalism . . .

    And a New York Times editorial published in January this year, An End to Bush-Era Politics, had this to say:

    The most recent Bush administration became so consumed with Republican politics that it crossed a legal red line, according to a new federal investigative report.

    The report, by the federal Office of Special Counsel, found that the Bush White House routinely violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. It depicts the Bush Office of Political Affairs, run by Karl Rove, as virtually indistinguishable from the Republican Party. And it makes a strong case that the office — shut down by the Obama administration last week just before the report came out — can no longer co-exist with the law.

    . . . (at) meetings, government officials were told to think of ways to shape federal policies to help Republican candidates and were strongly urged to volunteer on individual races. Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services were ordered to show up at a political meeting with “your pompoms on.”

    Getting back to the opinion front, Things Bush and the Republi-con Party have ruined, injured, insulted, or somehow compromised, directly or indirectly, is an admittedly left, but nevertheless interesting and long list of other ways Bush and company systematically attempted to annihilate civil rights and resident’s freedom in this country. If nothing else, the list is tasty food for thought.

2 Replies to “Investigative Journalism Suppressed During Bush Era”

  1. It was interesting to read Scott McClellan’s book, , which lamented the constant-campaign atmosphere of the Bush administration in Washington, D.C.  He believed that it was a product of that city, that Bush had been different as governor of Texas.  I don’t know anything near enough to analyze the validity of that, but the constant focus on “spinning” issues to benefit the perpetual campaign certainly works against both true journalism as it has long been understood and an informed citizenry.
    Something to consider when doing Internet searches is that certain search engines track your history and feed you those items that the algorithm “thinks” would interest you.  This is in NO WAY to call into question the validity of what is written here, it is instead to point out yet another way that corporate entities shape what we see/hear/read.

    1. Oops, how embarrassing.  I meant to look up the title, but then I hit the send button before I remembered to do so!  AAARRGH, that is really short-term-memory loss.
      WHAT HAPPENED: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception is the title; published May 2008 by PublicAffairs.

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