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Glenn Greenwald nails FOX "real news" program and anchor for propagandizing

Reported by Chrish - September 11, 2008 -

In some excellent and thoroughly sourced reporting, Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com writes about the complicity of the media and FOX News is particular in propagating the Pentagon's talking points to help further Bush administration policies and obfuscate realities. He tells this story:

"On the night of August 22, the U.S. committed what Chris Floyd, in a richly detailed and amply documented piece, calls an "atrocity" in the Afghan village of Azizabad, near the western city of Herat. The U.S. conducted a massive midnight airstrike on the village, killing scores of unarmed civilians, including large numbers of women and children. That was preceded just weeks earlier by another U.S. airstrike in Eastern Afghanistan which "killed 27 people in a wedding party -- most of them women and children, including the bride."

What makes the Azizabad attack particularly notable is the blatant and now clearly demonstrated lying engaged in by the U.S. Government regarding this incident, with the eager propagandistic assistance of what we are constantly told is the "legitimate news arm" of Fox News -- namely, Brit Hume's show and his stable of "legitimate news reporters." Working in unison, Fox and the Pentagon continuously denied claims that large numbers of civilians had been killed in the airstrike, accusing the villagers of lying and U.N. investigators of having been "duped." But a mountain of documentary evidence and independent investigations have now conclusively confirmed that it was the U.S. Government that was lying and the villagers' claims which were true along, forcing the military to "reinvestigate" its own conclusions. "

I can testify to the confusion wrought by the reports from FOX as compared to what I was reading on-line. It's enough to make a busy person give up and dismiss the whole story - it doesn't really matter to our lives, right? He continues

"I want to focus for the moment on Fox News' role in this. When the U.S. military originally was denying the villagers' claim, the Pentagon claimed it had had conducted an investigation and that an unnamed "independent journalist" who happened to be with them confirmed their account that large numbers of Taliban were among the dead and only very few unarmed civilians were. But then this was revealed:

The US military said that its findings were corroborated by an independent journalist embedded with the US force. He was named as the Fox News correspondent Oliver North, who came to prominence in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, when he was a[ Marine] colonel.

That "independent journalist" is the same person who, in 1986, proudly went before Congress and boasted: "I will tell you right now, counsel, and to all the members here gathered, that I misled the Congress," and then justified that lying -- and to this day still justifies it -- on the ground that it was for a greater good. That behavior -- which led to multiple felony convictions that were ultimately overturned because he had received immunity in connection with his testimony -- hasn't prevented North from being employed as a "reporter" by the serious, legitimate news arm of Fox News, nor from appearing regularly on Brit Hume's Serious News Show as a journalist, nor being cited as an "independent journalist" by the U.S. military to confirm its claims and accuse Afghan villagers of lying about the number of their dead."

On FOX News he is a hero and a patriot, and his veracity is unimportant. Please read Greenwald's transcript from "Brit Hume's "legitimate news program" to see the lengths to which they go to obfuscate and carry Bush administration/Pentagon water.

"Fox's news show -- not Bill O'Reilly, but Brit Hume's "legitimate news program" -- continued to insist, based upon the "reporting" of "journalist" Oliver North and his cameraman, that the U.S. military's original claims were true, and the villagers and the U.N. were lying, even as the U.S. military itself was, in light of the ample evidence, severely backtracking on its story."
[snip]
"This is what I found so deeply bothersome and inane about this week's hand-wringing over the oh-so-"undignified" spats between various MSNBC personalities during the Convention and the Threat to the Integrity of American Journalism posed by such squabbling, or by the oh-so-inappropriate placement of "blatant liberals" in the sacred anchor chair. There is an entire cable "news" outlet, the highest-rated one in the country, which exists for little reason other than to amplify and certify false government claims -- it's literally nothing more than an outlet for state-issued propaganda -- and our leading news critics and even other "journalists" praise and treat its "news" anchors as legitimate and credible sources of news..."

Please read the whole article here. Thanks are due Greenwald for his factual well-researched article, and h/t to reader John R for bringing it to our attention.