Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Teardown: The Mainstream Media Turns on Bush

Teardown:

The Mainstream Media Turns on Bush


Disgraced Congressman Mark Foley, (Rep), FL
By Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, DC

What’s with the mainstream (corporate) media? George W. Bush had a free ride for six years. There’s been more than enough to investigate. Stories of early substance abuse, avoiding military service, and financial improprieties were all there before the 2000 election. In some cases, suspected insider trading at Arbusto Oil for example, the stories barely required a rewrite. These and the other scandal-rich leads were either never adequately pursued or ignored. Corporate media was infatuated with this amiable Texan ambling through history.

It looked like nothing would catch and sustain corporate media’s attention. America was defenseless on 911, but that didn’t matter. The press turned George Bush into the “Wartime President.” Bush made a series of strange comments to Bob Woodward, author of two favorable books on the president. Talking about being a “decider” and seeking advice from a “higher father” were tell tale signs of an oddball in the White House, but that didn’t matter.

Documented lies about weapons of mass destruction, disaster after disaster in Iraq, the starvation of Americans for days in New Orleans through gross negligence, to name a few unreported stories: none of that mattered to the corporate media. Bush was tolerated and lifted up merely by the press ignoring or failing to sustain any real attention to these or other tragedies laid at the feet of the American people by an administration that many call the worst ever in our history.

Now, six years into the Bush regime we see a sudden reversal by the press. The networks and major daily papers are locked on to a huge scandal and they won’t give up.

Bombshell

The initial bombshell came from ABC’s Brian Ross. An intelligent and intrepid reporter, Ross uncovered the Foley emails to underage Congressional Pages. What could be more damaging?

Sixteen-Year-Old Who Worked as Capitol Hill Page Concerned About E-mail Exchange with Congressman (ABC News)

Rhonda Schwartz and Maddy Sauer Report
September 28, 2006 3:06 PM

A 16-year-old male former congressional page concerned about the appropriateness of an e-mail exchange with a congressman alerted Capitol Hill staffers to the communication.

A senior Republican closely identified with Bush had been sending suggestive emails to a former Congressional page. The details of that disgraceful act were amplified over the next few days. This was only the beginning and make no mistake; this is about the Republicans and their leader, President George W. Bush.

We found out that Denny Hastert and the Republican House leadership had been aware of this for some time, perhaps as early as June or July of this year. Early on, the time line moved back to 2003 and its going further back daily. We were told that a purportedly deviant Congressman posing as a children’s rights advocate had contacted and possibly engaged in sex with current or former male minors who serves as Congressional pages. He had done so with the knowledge and seeming indifference of his master, Denny Hastert, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Brian Ross and ABC continued to break news on this story. On October 5th we found out that there are three additional pages who report grossly inappropriate contact by Foley. ABC reported a page from the 2002 class saying, “I was seventeen years old and just returned to (my home state) when Foley began to e-mail me, asking if I had ever seen my page roommates naked and how big their penises were,"

What could be worse?

Ex-Page Tells of Foley Liaison (Los Angeles Times)
The young man says the then-congressman eyed males in the program.
He says he was 21 when he and the Florida Republican had sex
By Walter F. Roche Jr., Times Staff Writer
October 8, 2006

A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) after receiving explicit e-mails in which the congressman described assessing the sexual orientation and physical attributes of underage pages but waiting until later to make direct advances.

Just ten days into the story, we heard this from the Los Angeles Times: “A former Congressional Page has gone public in a recounting an alleged sexual encounter with the former Representative Foley.” The LA Times says that the “former page's exchanges with Foley offer a glimpse of possible predatory behavior by the congressman as he assessed male teenagers assigned as House errand-runners” (emphasis added).

Now, instead of a few pathetic encounters by an alcoholic worthy of the lead in The Blue Angel, we may just have a premeditated predator that “assessed male teenagers.” This raises the ante for the faulty Republican leadership. Instead of housing a deviant practitioner of epistolary erotica, they have become a faulty Republican leadership that failed to curtail the appetites of a Congressman with possible predatory behavior.

“He and other former pages were surprised that it took so long for Foley to get caught, he said.” LA Times

At this point, we have an alcoholic Republican Congressman from Florida “possibly” engaged in predatory behavior which includes the assessment of minors, the male pages on Capitol Hill, and who now stands accused of one sexual encounter with a former page. We also have Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House in charge and asleep at the switch due to failure to listen, according to sources gone public. Of almost equal importance, we have the reported enabling role Rep. Thomas Reynolds, Chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Reynolds is a symbol and a key real world actor in the effort to maintain a Republican majority. The leadership and other members see their names pop up in articles at a record pace.

As if that weren’t enough, look at the Time Magazine cover for this week:


Caption on cover: What a mess! Why a tawdry Washington sex scandal may spell the end of the Republican Revolution.

And on the inside, the lead story begins with this headline:

End of the Revolution


Sex, lies and power games are just the latest symptoms of a Republican party adrift from its ideals


It’s all about SEX!!! Or is it???

2600 American soldiers killed in Iraq and ten times that many with serious injuries didn’t motivate the corporate media. $300 billion spent on Iraq barely got their attention. 200 thousand citizens of New Orleans still living away from home with few visible repairs to their city hardly merit a story.

But Mark Foley’s long term problem with sexual boundaries and minors causes the media to snap to and do their jobs for the first time in six years. Why sex?

If you wanted to disable a party and derail an agenda, what’s the quickest way to do that? Sex with minors might do it. The dominant theme of the Bush Republicans has been religious values, values which are strangely symbolized through their anti gay marriage position. They’ve gone to great lengths to get this issue on state ballots. They were gearing up to making this the center piece of their campaign once again. After all, what else can they run on: sound fiscal management, effective response to natural disasters, helping the poor? This was their issue and they owned it free and clear. But now that issue is in shambles and so is the Republican campaign to retain control of Congress. The Republican owned voting machine companies are going to be very busy from now thorough Election Day. Even that may not prove sufficient to save this crew.

Sex is just the vehicle. It’s about something much bigger.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in the Obvious to conclude that there are powerful forces that simply can’t tolerate any more Bush disasters. How else do you explain the Republican controlled corporate media’s abrupt change from denial to a total focus on this story so utterly devastating for the administration and Congressional Republicans? How do you explain the timing just before the 2006 mid term elections? And, how do you explain the fact that this and other stories showing up (Iraq malfeasance, 911 neglect, etc.) are all old?

A month ago ABC was flouting a misleading documentary blaming Bill Clinton for 911 and Time magazine was announcing its new executive editor, formerly of the very right wing DeVos Foundation. All of a sudden, as if by magic, they and other corporate media are leading the charge against the ruling party.

The change is explained by simple logic. America is a very wealthy nation. There is immense potential here. It was just six years ago that both government and private sector researchers cracked the DNA code. However, anyone who is awake and paying attention can see that we’re headed for the cliff in a car driven by a juvenile leader who is cheered on by what appears to be the greatest collection of enablers in the history of governance. Stephen Colbert was right to say to the collected powers that be, “I have nothing but contempt for these people.”

We don’t need to resort to secret meetings during dress up day at the Bohemian Grove or some other obscure and mysterious venue or organization. Just think of those who control the great wealth of America as members of a trade association. Instead of a particular field like medicine or banking, the purpose of this trade association is to preserve wealth and investment in the United States of America. They’ve been meeting for years. Occasionally, when things get out of hand, they have to take action. This is one of those occasions. The outcome will be yet another great drama that is played out as a morality play when, in fact, it’s just about preserving and expanding wealth. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Hopefully, the people will begin to see The Wizard behind the curtain and take more control of their lives and country.

ENDS

*************

© Copyright: This material may be used in whole or in part with attribution to the author and “Scoop” Independent News plus a link to the story at “Scoop” Independent news if used on the internet.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

New HiveMind Project: What Should We Do About Sugar?

While most people agree that increased sugar consumption is a major cause of too many New Zealanders being overweight and obese, what we should do about this remains a matter of debate and argument. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Vladimir Putin’s Wonderful, Fabulous, Very Good Year

Safe to say that no-one, but no-one has had a better 2016 than Vladimir Putin. What an annus mirabilis it has been for him. Somehow, Russia got away with directly interfering in the US election process, such that a friendly oligarch is about to take up residence in the White House, rather than a genuine rival. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Normalisation Of Trump

We all supposedly agree that the media is going to hell in a tabloid handbasket, but the trends to the contrary can be a bit harder to spot. In his 1970s book The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe had mocked the way the media instinctively acts as what he called The Victorian Gentleman. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: The Reality Of Fake News

Fake news as reality; the inability to navigate the waters in which it swims; a weakness in succumbing to material best treated with a huge pinch of salt. That, we are told, is the new condition of the global information environment. More>>

Alastair Thompson: Helen Kelly And The Compassionless People
I wasn't a close friend of Helen Kelly's. But her passing has moved me to tears more than once in the past two weeks. I feel honoured to be one of the many who worked with her and was helped by her. More>>

Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On News From The US Election Eve

Here’s a somewhat scary headline from October 30 on Nate Silver’s 538 site, which summed up the statistical factors in play at that point: “The Cubs Have A Smaller Chance Of Winning Than Trump Does” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news