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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like a Black-Ops & Media-Blackout Betraying Christmas

QUESTION: If a dramatic Veterans for Peace-led protest happens in the very front of the White House, Dec. 16, 2010, and 250 activists at least assemble in the cold and SNOW, and 135 of them stand tall in front of the White House fence, some even chaining themselves to it, and those 135 are arrested, but the mainstream media including progressive corporate media don't see it and report on it ... or saw but chose not to report on it, more accurately ...

... did it really happen?

Yes, yes, yes! but shame shame shame shame on our propaganda selling out fourth estate!!

More chilling than that punishing Wash. DC weather last Thursday is the stunningly widespread blackout of this inspiring exercise in civil disobedience. I don't know about you, but I am calling and writing the sell-out news shows, sites and newspapers, including MSNBC faux-progressive line-up. I am appalled and sobered by the betrayal of these apparent enemies of truth, justice and morality. Enemies of the wagers of peace! Cherry-picking their stories, clearly, to serve at the pleasure and convenience of the Prez and the murdering status quo. Wow. Lackeys of the corporatist-imperialist class.

David Lindorff:

Washington Police arrested 135 of the protesters, in what is being called the largest mass detention in recent years. Among those arrested were Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who used to provide the president’s daily briefings, Daniel Ellsberg, who released the government’s Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration, and Chris Hedges, former war correspondent for the New York Times.

No major US news media reported on the demonstration or the arrests. It was blacked out of the New York Times, blacked out of the Philadelphia Inquirer, blacked out in the Los Angeles Times, blacked out of the Wall Street Journal, and even blacked out of the capital’s local daily, the Washington Post, which apparently didn't even think it was a local story worth publishing.

Making the media cover-up of the protest all the more outrageous was the fact that most news media did report on Friday, the day after the protest, the results of the latest poll of American attitudes towards the Afghanistan War, an ABC/Washington Post Poll which found that 60% of Americans now feel that war has “not been worth it.” That’s a big increase from the 53% who said they opposed the war in July.

Clearly, any honest and professional journalist and editor would see a news link between such a poll result and an anti-war protest at the White House led, for the first time in recent memory, by a veterans organization, the group Veterans for Peace, in which veterans of the nation’s wars actually put themselves on the line to be arrested to protest a current war.

Friday was also the day that most news organizations were reporting on the much-touted, but also much over-rated Pentagon report on the “progress” of the American war in Afghanistan--a report prepared for the White House that claimed there was progress, but which was immediately contradicted by a CIA report that said the opposite. Again, any honest and professional journalist and editor would immediately see the publication of such a report as an appropriate occasion to mention the unusual opposition to the war by a group of veterans right outside the president’s office.

And yet, the protest event was completely blacked out by the corporate news media. (Maybe the servile and over-paid White House press corps, ensconced in the press room inside the White House, didn't want to go out and brave the elements to cover the protest.)

If you wanted to know about this protest, you had to go to the internet and read the Huffington Post or to the Socialist Worker, OpEd News, or to this publication (okay, we’re a day late, but I was stuck in traffic yesterday), or else to Democracy Now! on the alternative airways.

I can safely ... well, wrong choice of word, maybe, but I can accurately say we as a nation are no longer at the top of the slippery slope of fascism, we are careening down it so much farther along. This blackout for me was further, gravely disturbing evidence of that.

So, let's see, politically pimped legal teams are struggling right now in Virginia, rumor has it, to figure out how to prosecute Julian Assange for Wikileaks leaks, as high profile, political and media power elite celebs call out for extrajudicial punishment, even assassination, of him when he is has not even been charged in America for anything. Repeat, he has done nothing illegal. He has released evidence of U.S. government criminal activity. Is it a crime to report crimes? No, but a lot of adamant McCarthyite people are declaring it is. We are now living in the bizarro world of the United States of Amoraity. Of Non-accountability. Only the messengers of moral conscience are in danger in America now. And God help not only us, but everyone everywhere, due to U.S rogue, reckless and violent corporate-profiteering imperialism.

So the media that tried to sell us all on non-existing WMDs in Iraq and helped the Bush and Obama regimes keep the monster war machine going, destroying lives, literally, or displacing millions from the quality of life they could be having, have now rallied to persecute, disinform about, and/or ignore a leader of a news organization for accurate truth-telling (as well as persecute, disinform about and/or ignore the alleged soldier messenger of war crimes who passed on this evidence). Calling for the literal execution of those revealing evidence of criminal activity. Hang the bill of rights, apparently. What is left of it. Hang everybody, apparently, working to salvage it.

The death toll in Afghanistan Jonathan Ditz has reported for 2010 reveals it is the worst year for casualties so far. But Robert Gibbs reports that Obama is "pleased with the war." Say anything and avoid specifics Obama, while more and more "experts" declare it an unwinnable catastrophe. Drone attacks and night raids have escalated there. The war is likely to spread further into Pakistan and Yemen not only via drones but on the ground. But Obama smiles and stays the course. (The transformational supposedly president has transformed all right. Himself to arch Republican corporatist, war criminal in chief, protector of the craven status quo.)

50,000 troops are in Iraq still.

Gitmo is still open. God knows what chilling indecencies are happening in Bagram, that detention/torture hell hole. U.S. covert black ops (death squad) activities happening across the globe against any enemies of US corporatist-imperialism.

Let us also keep in mind the economic terrorism going on now from our own government, the willful and gratuitous dooming of millions of Americans to unavoidable hardship.

Alas, American exceptionalism and the effective branding of Obama as deserving of the public trust still enthralls a vast number of hearts and minds. We have got to stay earnestly pro-active, those of us awakened in conscience. We must wage peace! We must assert loudly from the right side of history. We must communicate at a grass roots level since we are clearly continually being betrayed by the fourth estate.

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john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

Thanks for this Libby. A couple of responses.

1) Did you see the video of the demo? It strikes me that while it got little major media play, this particular video could circulate widely and function as the beginning of a slowly, or maybe even not so slowly, growing resistance movement. I say that for a couple of reasons, first, because Hedges' speech around which it is framed has a kind of liturgical power to it. Also because of the testimony of the vets who were there getting arrested and finally because it looks to have been a much more youthful event then what I had thought had been one of the usual kinds of geriatric affairs which these have been in the past.

2) The demo itself demonstrated a couple of things relevant to our open letter (which I hope you and everyone else here have signed by the way). First, the numbers while not disappointing should have been much larger-and would have been larger had those we were addressing in the letter gotten behind it in the way they should have-and would have if they were in active opposition to the Obama administration rather than "critical supporters". Secondly, while the demo might have been useful-as just mentioned-as initiating a new phase of resistance, it by itself was not large enough and, yes, disruptive enough to force those in positions of power and authority to take notice. What we have learned is that 100 vets chaining themselves to the White House fence isn't enough. But what about 1000. Or what about 10,000 engaged in slightly more disruptive forms of CD? We could easily have had those numbers and that kind of participation had the establishment left jumped seriously on board. Remember that Michael Moore-to take one example-has 364,000 facebook friends. If only 1% of these showed up in Washington, that would have tripled the turnout for this event.

Let me know what you think of all that.

John

Submitted by libbyliberal on

John, your link for letter above didn't work for me. Open letter in support of Dec. 16th demo.

So grateful you did that! Thank you.

I viewed the wonderful video that vastleft posted. Love the tossing in the postcards moment! And recognizing some of the faces along the fence. Couldn't believe it, seeing one man who chained his neck to the fence! Wow.

Eager to see your link of demo and hear Hedges. Thanks again. Glad demo had some serious youth there. How terrific is that! What turned the Vietnam War around. The waves of protesting youth. I have worked with World Can't Wait organization, and I am so impressed with their dedication and resourcefulness and community. A great website, too. I saw some of them among the group.

Yes, there should be far greater numbers by now. And the surreality of Obama being accused of being a socialist by the right when he is the opposite. And the pragmatics on the faux-left, lost to cronyism to the media and political elite. That whole perfect as enemy of the good crap. And calling morality ideology and getting so high and mighty at the ridiculous "purists". We need to keep calling for morality in our government leadership, not letting them frame us and morality so disrespectfully and slickly.

Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell is a big deal, but it should not eclipse the continuing insanity of these wars. But progressive media celebrated one and ignored the anti-war activism.

I do believe in the 100 monkeys theory. Once the 100th monkey gets sanity and processes justified outrage the whole monkey nation gets it. What an excruciating journey, though, getting to that 100th monkey. IMHO Walter Cronkite was the 100th monkey for the Vietnam War.

And getting the talkers of the talk like me more than walking the walk I admit, fully committed to walk the walk in a profound, risk-taking way is when things can happen for the better. Those risking so much, and serenely role modeling courage for the rest of us sends out serious ripples of inspiration. We have to fight passive "inertia" as a citizen class, our learned helplessness and passing the buck on responsibility, our own cronyism or codependency with an untrustworthy leadership, about an object staying not in motion, and get the inertia going--the flip side of inertia, an object in motion to stay in motion.

Mike Gravel spoke once about needing 65 million citizens to be on the same page to seriously rally governmental change! We on the left need to not let ego and pragmatism vs. purity parsing sabotage the momentum of reform as it sadly did with health care and so many other things. I am thrilled that the health care movement, Dr. Flowrers, is calling for solidarity.

We as liberals are often putting out serious fires but separated doing so and not watching each other's backs collectively speaking. Pete Seeger advised, "Think globally, act locally." Both are important! Can we do both? Why I joined the Green party. Disgusted with Dems but more ... am hoping Green party will grow and be a big tent for solidarity and organization for people of conscience.

Thanks for writing. This was written quickly. Am in process of traveling. So grateful for the responses here. I need to do more contacting of the media from the FAIR media contact sheet below. I am still very angry at the blackout. Horrified and confused by its degree!

Submitted by Fran on

is the nature of the leadership of this event. It was organized by Veterans for Peace and included former CIA analysts, Daniel Ellsberg and Chris Hedges. Although these people have participated in many past events, this was not called by the usual groups. I wonder whether it is somehow more threatening. These are people who were there, so to speak, who know whereof they speak.

I have always felt that the Veterans for Peace are the strongest voice for peace. No one can doubt their patriotism or their direct experience/ knowledge.

And, yes, this is right in line with the Protest Obama petition. It has to do with progressives establishing a new leadership.

I also think, as with Dr. Flowers, that the various causes/groups ultimately will coalesce because they all reflect the same basic values which we have not seen being honored in this country for a long time. And, I think they are values that, really, most people in this country want to see honored.

Consider, although we did not see good coverage of this event, we also did not see negative coverage of it. I think that, again, actually, the PTB are concerned, and the mainstream media did not know what to make of it. It was not your usual event, with puppets, etc. I was moved by the clip I saw of Taps being played because that is what this was about in large part - our young people dying for no reason.

Submitted by Hugh on

It shows what an organ of propaganda our media are. They won't cover this kind of protest because to do so might encourage it. But if those involved had been Tea Partiers. The coverage would have been wall to wall and depicted as a major challenge to the White House.

What I would like to know is what kind of coverage the liberal orgs and A list blogs gave to this. Some, none, what?

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

My impression would be not much. And that reflects the attitudes of the left establishment we targeted in our letter. (Did I mention that I hope you, Hugh, and everyone else here signs on? I can't remember, forgive me if not.)

I think the lesson for all of us here is that we need to view the self-described "leadership" of our own political movement, and that includes media figures and outlets, just as we do the political establishment. Which is to say if the people lead, the leaders will follow. To take one theoretical example, even a dishonest, opportunistic fool like Kos will respond if he feels that he is losing control of his base. And there are small signs of even that happening. Our job is to try to mobilize this base, peeling as much support off from the establishment organs by constantly revealing their cynicism and basic cluelessness.

Some leaders will (unwilling, but that's irrelevant) come around to our side. Others will be discredited and become irrelevant. So our job is to push this envelope, using the most effective means we have at our disposal.

At least, that's my take on it.

What's yours?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

none I found on the tv, even on liberal blogs -- very little.

Watched a whole night of MSNBC programming Thursday with NO MENTION! If anyone caught anything let me know. Some days it seems Glenn Greenwald is the only one addressing the elephant in the room.

It is a profound kind of disrespect, especially cruel and effective, to totally block out the existence of others who are exercising moral conscience. Especially when such courage and passion is involved.

To me ALL members of the corporate media truly showed their compromised amoral selves. Their hearts of darkness.

Submitted by Nancy Van Ness on

Thank you for writing about this courageous protest and action of civil disobedience. Chris Hedges had written about his intention last week, saying that doing it was what counted, regardless of how few people showed up to participate or what attention it attracted, or even of the possibility of its having much effect at all. Hedges, of course, has a better understanding of the situation in this country than most people do.

I read today in the French daily Libération that the Gbagbo government of the Ivory Coast, which just lost an election to Ouattara but refuses to leave office, has suppressed daily newspapers publishing articles sympathetic to Ouattara.

The US dictatorship of the corporatacracy is much more subtle. Its wholly owned media do its bidding without public scandal. Only those of us who are very alert and read alternative and foreign media can connect the dots, or even sometimes know what goes on at all. Nothing so crude as stopping the presses by force is necessary.

The policital elites of this country learned much from the failure of the Third Reich. It knows that seven students with a conscience and access to printing can be dangerous, as The White Rose was, but it would not allow them to become martyrs as those young people did eventually. Wikileaks and Julian Assange may be the occasion of a serious breach of this so far successful strategy. It is going to be tricky to handle that and not make Assange and his collaborators martyrs, in addition to the impossibility of really shutting them up entirely.

We can chatter all we want to on alternative media, but we are marginalized. Some can go to jail and endure the serious inconveniences and dangers of doing so. Until we are willing to take action in numbers too great to be ignored, things will only get worse here.

What if a million people had been in front of the White House? This was not a convenient weekend day, but a Thursday. A million people in the streets would not be entirely invisible, regardless of media coverage.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Hard to connect the dots when the corporate enabling media won't share some of them, those dots. Crazymaking when they offer only some convenient ones and deny, omit or disinform about others, and one assumed there is credibility and then it is awesome when the morality talking points disappear or never even appear via the propaganda fog machine. The razzle dazzle of say anything rhetoric. Obama gets down with dogs, and the country gets up with fleas. Over and over and over. Unbelievably apologizing for such selling out still occurring. Cronyism. We need ... call it tough love, maybe, but ... we need honesty, not group think to minimize morality and dismiss it as ideology. Power class conveniently dehumanizes the lower classes. Can't accept its responsibility for greed and malice.

Later, my friend!

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

covered it on his YouTube channel.

I have come to think that our greatest problem is our deeply corrupt press. The are the main instigators of the Assault on Reason.

It is just hard to have a conversation about anything with the harpies have control of the airwaves.

Submitted by Fran on

http://www.opednews.com/a/123734?show=vo...

"The Big Apple event was populated by many Veterans for Peace and lots of peace grannies from the Granny Peace Brigade, the Raging Grannies and
Grandmothers Against the War. Two of the grandmothers were in their 90's but stood for more than an hour in the cold throughout the action. There was a contingent of Catholic Workers, War Resister Leaguers, the Green Party, and other anti-war groups, also."

"The event was organized by one of the arrestees, Bill Steyert, a Vietnam war vet with the Vets for Peace, who said: "I think it was a travesty that the war in Afghanistan wasn't even brought up as an issue during the recent mid-term elections. This tragic war jeopardizes not only the lives of American troops but directly affects our economy, which is in such dire shape because money spent on war is urgently needed to create jobs at home. This rally showed that those of us who were there have not forgotten what's going on in Afghanistan in our name." "

Submitted by Fran on

coverage to the DC event than the large papers. They did it from the point of view of people from their area who were attending the event.

This reminded me of when, right after 911, and when it was NOT popular, our WILPF group was holding vigils and signs for peace at our county courthouse. We were getting mostly negative reactions - until, eventually, over time, the reactions became positive. Our local paper gave our events large coverage from day one. They have also always printed our Letters to the Editor.

Maybe local papers are a venue to work with. People do read them. We have several. The one covering our peace events is a daily and one of the larger papers.

btw, that last post was .......in Sympathy with the White House Protest. The last word was cut off.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

No surprise more integrity and less collective cronyism group think at the local level.

When the first Iraq War happened and I kept listening to more and more media broadcasts and never heard any statistics on the collateral damage of that war on the Iraqis. It was as if that was an insignificant detail. Number count of soldiers dead, yes. But no humanity about fellow humans in the country we were invading?

I am going to get more serious at writing letters to the eds. Thanks for the reminder!

Submitted by libbyliberal on

If we all could contact a handful of these contacts about the blackout of the Dec. 16th demonstration, with more opportunities of complaint to come I have no doubt! FAIR's media contact list:

ABC News
147 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-456-7777

General e-mail: netaudr@abc.com
Nightline: nightline@abcnews.com
20/20: 2020@abc.com

CBS News
524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-975-4321
Fax: 212-975-1893

Email forms for all CBS news programs
CBS Evening News: evening@cbsnews.com
The Early Show: earlyshow@cbs.com
60 Minutes II: 60m@cbsnews.com
48 Hours: 48hours@cbsnews.com
Face The Nation: ftn@cbsnews.com

CNBC
900 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Phone: (201) 735-2622
Fax: (201) 583-5453
Email: info@cnbc.com

CNN
One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1784
Email forms for all CNN news programs

Fox News Channel
1211 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 301-3000
Fax: (212) 301-4229
comments@foxnews.com
List of Email addresses for all Fox News Channel programs
Special Report with Bret Baier: Special@foxnews.com
FOX Report with Shepard Smith: Foxreport@foxnews.com
The O'Reilly Factor: Oreilly@foxnews.com
Hannity: Hannity@foxnews.com,
On the Record with Greta: Ontherecord@foxnews.com
Glenn Beck: GlennBeck@foxnews.com

MSNBC/NBC
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Phone: (212) 664-4444
Fax: (212) 664-4426
List of Email addresses for all MSNBC/NBC news programs
Dateline NBC: dateline@nbcuni.com
Hardball with Chris Matthews: hardball@msnbc.com
MSNBC Reports with Joe Scarborough: joe@msnbc.com
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: nightly@nbc.com
NBC News Today: today@nbc.com

PBS
2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington VA 22202
Phone: 703-739-5000
Fax: 703-739-5777
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: newshour@pbs.org

National Radio Programs

National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001-3753
Phone: 202-513-2000
Fax: 202-513-3329

E-mail: Alicia Shephard, Ombudsman ombudsman@npr.org
List of Email addresses for all NPR news programs

The Rush Limbaugh Show
1270 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Phone (on air): 800-282-2882
Fax: 212-445-3963
E-mail: ElRushbo@eibnet.com

Sean Hannity Show
Phone (on air): 800-941-7326
Sean Hannity:212-613-3800
James Grisham, Producer: 212-613-3832
E-mail: Phil Boyce, Program Director phil.boyce@citcomm.com

National Newspapers

The Los Angeles Times
202 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: 800-528-4637 or 213-237-5000
Fax: 213-237-4712

L.A. Times Contact Information by Department
Letters to the Editor: letters@latimes.com
Readers' Representative: readers.rep@latimes.com

The New York Times
620 8th Ave., New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-556-1234
D.C. Bureau phone: 202-862-0300
Fax: 212-556-3690

Letters to the Editor (for publication): letters@nytimes.com
Write to the news editors: news-tips@nytimes.com
Corrections: senioreditor@nytimes.com
New York Times Contact Information by Department
How to Contact New York Times Reporters and Editors

USA Today
7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108
Phone: 703-854-3400
Fax: 703-854-2078
Letters to the Editor: editor@usatoday.com
Give feedback to USA Today

The Wall Street Journal
1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-416-2000
Fax: 212-416-2658

Letters to the Editor: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com
Comment on News Articles: wsjcontact@dowjones.com

The Washington Post
1150 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20071
Phone: 202-334-6000
Fax: 202-334-5075

Letters to the Editor: letters@washpost.com
Ombudsman: ombudsman@washpost.com
Contact Washington Post Writers and Editors

Magazines

Newsweek
251 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-445-4000
Fax: 212-445-5068

Letters to the Editor: letters@newsweek.com

Time
Time & Life Bldg., Rockefeller Center, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Phone: 212-522-1212
Fax: 212-522-0003

Letters to the Editor letters@time.com

U.S. News & World Report
1050 Thomas Jefferson St., NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-955-2000
Fax: 202-955-2049

Letters to the Editor letters@usnews.com

News Services / Wires

Associated Press
450 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-621-1500
Fax: 212-621-1723

General Questions and Comments: info@ap.org
Partial Contact Information for the Associated Press by Department and Bureau

Reuters
Three Times Square, New York, NY 10036
Telephone: 646-223-4000
Reuters Editorial Feedback

United Press International
1133 19th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: 202-898-8000
FAX: 202-898-8048
Comments and Tips: tips@upi.com

FAIR wants to hear about your media activism. Please send copies of your letters to journalists to

FAIR
104 W. 27th St. 10th Floor
New York, NY 10001
fair@fair.org

Submitted by libbyliberal on

on corrente..? I had even forgotten it was FAIR I had gotten my contact info from and spent time trying to go through old blogs of mine to dig out the listing. I hope more and more of us start to offer pushback to the media on specifics!!!

Submitted by lambert on

... the key thing is to get it maintained and expanded (say, with local sources). I tried that once, and it didn't fly, but our readership is larger now...

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I wish I were more proactive in being a communicator to mainstream media. I am hoping the momentum on this style activism grows everywhere. Appreciate all the depth of this site. Maybe the momentum for this will grow with more and more obvious media cherry picking and blackouts. One thing I was suggesting was maybe an actual link to FAIR (spelling out here it is a media contact list) which would do the heavylifting maintenance on updating. Piggyback onto them? Unless we do begin collectively setting up more personal experience indexing. Which would be a great thing if it catches on in future probably connected to a very hot issue.

Submitted by lambert on

It's an issue of maintenance (and also expansion). Links get stale, and a list with broken links is worse than no list, because it reflects badly on the quality of all other information on the site.

At a minimum, you can always just make a post and tag it, so you can retrieve by search or tag.

What would be best would be if there were the equivalent of Plantidote of the Day, where a small team posts consistently excellent material. "Media Contact Of The Day." These would then be automagically assembled into a list that was dynamic and always current, instead of a static list destined to fail. The actual post is formulaic and fast to do, but the aggregate is of great value.