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Judging the New Yorker by its cover

There are two qualities about the New Yorker I find irresistible though I'm loath to praise any part of the established press. No matter how suddenly forthright or honorable their editorial might appear, it's only a feint. The Grey Lady NYT for example, has expressed accord with Wall Street's recent invaders, but otherwise will spew at best neoliberal subterfuge. The WSJ will only ever be Murdoch pretending. But I have the suspicion that some artsy pretense prevents the New Yorker from bowing to the corporatist agenda. It's the usual PUP on Israel of course, but too elitist for bourgeois self-deceit. That's my theory. As a result the most disturbing investigative journalism leaks regularly through its pages. It competes with Harper's among very few, but where the New Yorker has no peer is its cover art, which is often surprisingly subversive. The Oval Office Jihadist being a notorious example. Last week's cover illustration was a nod to the Liberty Plaza demonstrators, showing Manhattan tourists being subjected to special use sidewalks akin to the restrictions NYC reserves for protesters. This week's cover depicts Wall Street as sinister metropolis, literally an industrial behemoth, with the inhospitable accouterments of smog, smokestacks, cooling towers, and obelisk(!), looked over by a sphinx-like sacred bull with glowing eyes, nostrils and smoking horns, really if I had to guess, Mammon. Fitting that the bull signified indisputable power in the dawn of agrarian civilization, now its only symbolism is a brutish money-above-all-else juggernaut.

Tom Hayden says there’s nothing to a US conspiracy against Julian Assange, and he’s got the nothing to confirm it

What an ugly hit piece against Julian Assange, by Tom Hayden in The Nation. Formerly of the American Left, Hayden used to need no introduction, now he mistakenly cross-posts assignments for the State Department (see A view from Sweden). Hayden dismisses notions of a US-led conspiracy to render the Wikileaks mastermind from the UK to Sweden and thence into the US torture system, along the logic that such accusations only anger the Swedes and make the outcome self-fulfilling. Hayden's argument is to shoehorn Assange to Sweden now, to take his licks, before you make Dad really angry.   Based on everyone he's talked to, Hayden says there's no conspiracy. Seriously, that's his logic. And he admonishes us against speculating wildly about unknowns. Whenever a writer prefaces their investigation with "some facts will never be known" I can picture them already leaning on the shovel. Even if Hayden intended to dig, it's like he's come upon a suspect's backyard full of holes. Glancing into each one he concludes, yep, no evidence here. You wonder what Hayden would make of a document completely redacted. That's right, what the Swedish prosecutors won't tell us, what the USG won't say, the extraordinarily swift synchronicity of legal actions against Assange kept under a veil? Not even question marks. More important to Hayden are questions he can load, like this one: Why is the United States pursuing Assange as the conspiratorial mastermind of WikiLeaks, when his reputation, credibility and organization have been so damaged? I think Assange's reluctance to be sucked into the black hole that Sweden has become, is reinforced by the fact that the Nation Magazine has to get its "view from Sweden" from an American. My best clue about Hayden's focus is when he pretends to restore perspective by reflecting that aspersions cast against Assange (each with an assist by Hayden, if you're keeping score), be weighed against the good which Wikileaks has done. Thereupon Hayden lists revelations we owe to Wikileaks. But they're body counts from the Iraq and Afghan documents and nothing from the diplomatic cables, about the Middle East, North Africa, etc. I guess that underlies why Hayden can't find probable cause for US forces to ally against Assange. It's the "nothing new here" talking point. Based on everyone I've talked to, Hayden's an idiot. I'd rather give him less credit. At the Frontline Club forum on Saturday, Assange said what's needed now are troves of files from the CIA and FBI, and he added temptingly, the New York Times, the pace car of American media. Assange related that he'd just learned from Daniel Ellsberg that the NYT had 1,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers one month before Ellsberg leaked them. We know the corporate press prints "all the news that's fit" but wouldn't it be great to get confirmation? Don't worry about Hayden's nothing, he already has all the confirmation he wants.

NY Times pretends the Afghanistan War Logs is news that does not fit

Is it surprising that the US newspaper of record, the NYT which prints all the news that's fit, should declare of the Wikileaks Afghanistan War Logs: there's nothing much new there? Oh REALLY? Point me to a NYT headline that read US Death Squads, or Civilian Casualties: We DO Body-Counts, or Insurgents Armed With Heat-Seeking Missiles, or War Crimes Being Committed Daily. Are we to accept that the NYT knew about these, but thought wisest not to report them? The only revelation which has been known, Pakistan Directs Taliban, is the leak they're running with, because those reports are founded on intelligence, ie dubious conjecture, to discredit the others based on first hand accounts, and to rationalize more attacks on Pakistan. I'm galled even that Wikileaks chose to let the NYT in on the advance team. Of course the NYT went right to the White House and Pentagon to warn them of what was about to be unleashed. The files were given to three news organizations simultaneously to limit the spin each might try to apply. The move to involve the press in advance was for stories and their context could hit the ground running. It's curious that most columnists and news blogs are favoring the Guardian's analysis the logs, over the NYT's. In spite of the peer review, the NYT is pushing back harder the the White House, which isn't disputing the authenticity of the material, only their outrage that the facts are being made public. Small wonder. Worse than denying them, the NYT is dismissive. No big deal. And it's working. The rest of the MSM is characterizing the "alleged" logs as "accusations." Despite the un-argued official admission that these are the unadulterated records. Most of the discussion is about the leak itself, and Julian Assange's motive as an activist. No mention he's anactivist for "justice." Not partisan, not pacifist, but moral. You'd think that shouldn't differentiate him from a journalist. The NYT has some nerve to pretend the logs aren't going to bring on a sea change of despondency about the war, even in Iraq. In particular with the soldiers' families starved for news, who will recognize from the reports the snippets of sensitive information they get from their individual soldier, with no idea it forms the character of the whole picture. We're fucked. We can't throw more at it, we can't fire truer, wiser, safer. This is unwinnable. And those are the reports our government has been seeing. Maybe that's what the NYT means to say, we/they already know this material. Our leaders have been reading these reports daily and they don't dispute that. Their glass-half-full projections for success in Afghanistan is half-full with blood. Now we know it. That's the sordid quality of these revelations. Soldiers lives FUBAR. These are more than the Pentagon Papers, these are American war-making unspun, undone. NYT et al, will have us blame the messenger, condemn Private Bradley Manning for his breach of security. Our national security depends on keeping secrets is their unchallenged theme. Do you believe

According to “liberal” MSM, Hayward fired for not being P.C.

Nothing at all about being incompetent. No, it was his insensitive but, according to the now-official story line, unintentionally Snotty Snobbish remarks. The Anti-politically correct squad will of course react with their usual convulsive tantrums about anybody in the entire world criticizing them for being deliberately rude and otherwise acting in an uncivilized manner. I don't have to point out the Usual Suspects, I'll just look in their general direction and smile. They would be, and anybody can make an inference to match the implication, the titty-babies who scream as though being skinned alive, without anesthesia and using a dull pair of nail clippers, about being "denied liberty" if anybody scolds them for being Socially Retarded Animated Sphincters. The ones who led the charge against MoveOn and the New York Times for the latter publishing, under the same First Amendment The T.B.s say is violated by scolding their churlishness... Publishing an advertisement in their newspaper, using editorial discretion and using managerial discretion, as in "It's OUR newspaper, why can't we charge exactly what we choose to charge for any service we choose to provide?" and gave the MoveOn people the same deal they had recently given the Bush Administration and... the person the Rival News Organization screamed so loudly about the ad criticizing, Generally Betrays-us, aka King David Petraeus. Yeah. THOSE Socially Retarded Animated Sphincter Titty Babies. I'm sure this unsavory taunting of them for their arrogance and hypocrisy will be seen as a denial of their First Amendment rights to be rude, unsocialized and uncivilized. But, you see, I'm not turning loose a squad of Police State goon-squad types to beat them down for being rude and uncivilized, now, Am I? Just a gentle tsk-tsk'ing. I'd say that raises me several level above their organizations and management style automatically.

Simplifying the Omnivore’s Dilemma

The author of The Omnivore's Dilemma put together a list of eating rules for the New York Times. From 2,500 submissions made by his readers, Michael Pollan gleaned 20. If I lob cheap laughs off the top, like "Don't eat egg salad from a vending machine" and other home-spun wisdoms which help NYT editors trivialize critiques of consumerism, I'm left with eight tips to spark constructive rethinking of our eating patterns. For starters: 1. If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then youíre not hungry. 2. You may not leave the table until you finish your fruit. 3. You donít get fat on food you pray over. 4. Breakfast you should eat alone. Lunch you should share with a friend. Dinner, give to your enemy. 5. Never eat something that is pretending to be something else. 6. Donít eat anything you arenít willing to kill yourself. 7. Donít yuck someoneís yum. 8. Eat until you are seven-tenths full and save the other three-tenths for hunger.

NY Times perfumes the 18th UN condemnation of Cuban Embargo

Does this seem like an appropriate headline to you? US EMBARGO ON CUBA FINDS SCANT SUPPORT AT U.N. --that's how the NYT titled its article whose first sentence was accurate: "The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to condemn the American trade embargo against Cuba." Then the NYT dismissed the non-binding resolution as "an annual ritual" instead of the 18TH YEAR IN A ROW the US finds itself in defiance of a unanimous count of the community of nations.   You say 187 vs 3 is not unanimous? The only nation-entities voting with the US were Israel and Palau, with the Marshall Island and Micronesia abstaining -- basically all former or quasi US territories. American NYT readers are made to think their country stands as lone vanguard against the Cuban peril, instead of a gang leader bully breaking international law. And get a load of the Zionist paper's other headline: From Iraq, Lessons for the Next War.

Ward Churchill is not guilty of academic misconduct

Literary theorist and legal scholar, Stanley Fish, weighs in on the report of the "committee of faculty peers" that found Ward Churchill guilty of academic misconduct.   "The verdict did not surprise me because I had read the committeeís report and found it less an indictment of Churchill than an example of a perfectly ordinary squabble about research methods and the handling of evidence." "The accusations that fill its pages are the kind scholars regularly hurl at their polemical opponents. Itís part of the game. But in most cases, after youíve trashed the guyís work in a book or a review, you donít get to fire him. Which is good, because if the standards for dismissal adopted by the Churchill committee were generally in force, hardly any of us professors would have jobs." In the New York Times column, Fish concludes his Churchill-exonerating analysis by claiming that he doesn't question the integrity of the committee leading the witch hunt, excusing their dishonesty with "they just got caught up in a circus that should have never come to town." Apparently Stanley Fish didn't see any of the lying douchenozzles on the stand, or read their vomit-inducing 125-page report trashing Ward Churchill's 30-year stint as polemicist laureate. Still, I appreciate Mr. Fish setting the record straight: Ward Churchill is not guilty of academic misconduct. I hope David Lane, Ward's wildly fabulous attorney, is gearing up to sue the stuffing out of the next bastard who publicly claims he is.

Yes Men suggest another NYT is possible

The YES MEN strike again! Yesterday a fake edition of the New York Times was distributed around the city. IRAQ WAR ENDS, Troops to Return Immediately, Ex-Secretary Apologizes for W.M.D. Scare, Court Indicts Bush on High Treason Charge. While this issue was post-dated to July 4, 2009, there's a headline which the corporate media is already misreporting: Pressure Ushers Recent Progressive Tilt. Imagine what an admission of the public's repudiation of the "center" could mean in terms of news headlines? The special edition NYT featured headlines which the media should be reporting if Barack Obama is going to bring change: Nationalized Oil To Fund Climate Change Efforts, USA Patriot Act Repealed, National Health Insurance Act Passes, Maximum Wage Law Passes Congress, All Public Universities To Be Free, Education Department Plans National Tax Base for Schools, and Popular Big Boxes Appeal Eviction from Low-Income Neighborhoods. See the full edition at nytimes-se.com.

Hate attack on US Muslims during religious service at mosque; result of newspaper spread hate dvd, ‘Obsession’?

The US newspapers have hidden away a story that underlines how disgusting and irresponsible was their spread of the anti- Muslim dvd, 'Obsession'. I am referring to an attack on a Muslim mosque in Dayton Ohio by some thugs who sprayed chemical gas into a room full of children. Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton's mosque What a group of pathetic cowards these men are, and what a cowardly police force it is to not call this a hate crime. What a cowardly media we have in the US to have had them spread these dvds throughout the country that practically invited hate crimes like the one in Dayton to be done. Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After Obsession DVD Hits Ohio

Supposedly liberal New York Times spreads fascist filth around country

A spokesperson there said the (New York) Times last Sunday inserted 145,000 DVDs (of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West,") in its papers delivered in the following markets: Denver, Miami/Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Detroit, Kansas City, St Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee/Madison. Note: These are all in swing states... See America's oldest journal covering the country's newspaper industry full report about the so-called 'Clarion Fund' titled UPDATE: Newspapers Deliver Millions of 'Terror' DVDs to Subscribers -- In 'Swing States' That is, they are delivering DVDs targeting a religious group with racist and US Christian nationalist filth urging yet more war, bloodshed, and Christian religious hatred directed against the Muslim World. What is most disgusting about this material is the projectionism onto others of their own motives as authors of this DVD. The makers of the DVD urge Christian Americans to stop what they say is a Muslim effort to take over the entire world. Isn't this exactly what Christian Americans advocate in American foreign policy, where they see American Christians as God's chosen people and are encouraging a war to help America run the entire world for the supposed future benefit of Christianized America? So here is the supposedly liberal (in the eyes of Christian Jihad Crusaders) New York Times spreading the Chruistian Fascist Movement's racial and religious intolerance around our country. And this supposedly liberal paper is doing it to help along the campaign of John McCain, too! John McCain is trying to create a war hysteria in this country against both the Muslim World and Russia, and the NYT is aiding and abetting the effort. Go figure? Maybe this paper with the liberal reputation is not that liberal at all? Not too liberal to help spread fascist hate mongering against an ethnic and religious minority in our country? The New York Times is really a paper that totally sucks, Liberals. Why do you read it when it acts most like Fox News most of the time? You liberal dumbasses make conservatives actually believe that The New York Times is a liberal paper when it most certainly ... well... really most certainly is not! Stop buying the damn thing! It's boring, too, ... and racist. Of course, many of you liberals are just that as well.

Time for Iraq to Pay the Bill? YHGTBFKM

The NYT editorial pages decry "Time for Iraq to Pay the Bill." Oh, really? Sign that editor up for charges, and every single US politician on that bandwagon. It was indeed part of the pitch to convince the public that America could pay for this war. Iraq reconstruction would be financed using Iraq's oil revenues. Sounds like a great business plan. Except it's robbery. In war-making terms: pillage. It must simply sting, that America expend so much money to "liberate" Iraq, to restart its oil production, to position our oil companies to collect their cut, only to see Iraq accumulate oil monies while the US public is saddled with the cost or Iraq's reconstruction. But we destroyed Iraq. It's our responsibility to rebuild. Shouldn't this go without saying? Instead our talking heads are saying it's the exact inverse. Do you suppose you could interest rapists to collect fees from their victims for services rendered? Was the sexual attention wanted or unwanted? Arguable, in a rapist's mind. It don't work that way, do it? It's the same in rape and war. The Geneva Conventions spell out the ethic for military peanut brains who need it explained. You are not permitted to finance your war with the spoils of your invasion. There are no spoils of war. That's pillage. Reconstruction-wise, Colin Powell famously put this concept in layman terms for us consumers: You break it, you fix it. You don't charge the Pottery barn for a contract to have you fix it. It's there in the laws of war. Do they teach anything in military school? In law school? The rhetorical answer is yes they do. Ergo, these jackasses, brutes, cheerleaders and their investors, are criminals. Make 'em pay for their scaffolds.

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