Dan Rather Suggests Bush
Is Manipulating The Media?
By Frank Warren
© 2004 Frank Warren
While appearing on the "Larry King Show" last night, nary a word was said after Dan Rather suggested that the "Bush Administration" was manipulating the media, i.e., the "wire services" (and others) in regards to the "accurate number" of causalities being reported in Iraq! To wit, Rather stated, ". . . Larry, let's point out that the administration and one can like it or not like it, they just about convinced the wire services and others [emphasis added] only to carry the killed in actual combat rather than the total number of casualties killed in the country."
Last night's "panel" on King's show, along with Rather, included " Senator John McCain, journalist/author Bob Woodward, as well as CNN reporter on location in Bagdag, Anderson Cooper. Astonishingly, after Rather made his comment, King went to commercial, and upon return, no one remarked on the suggested "manipulation of the media" by the Bush administration as pointed out by Rather.
One would have imagined that King would have interrupted Rather, and asked him to clarify himself; e.g., "are you saying Dan, that the Bush administration is involved in 'altering the truth' in terms of what is really happening and being reported in Iraq?" Moreover, since the panel consisted of two journalists and a Senator, one would think that Rather's statement would at the very least have drawn some inquires, yet that didn't happen either.
Apparently tampering with the rights guaranteed to all Americans didn't merit conversation by the panel in attendance. Rather went on to say, " . . . I don't want to make a big thing of it, but frankly I think that's unworthy of a great country such as ourselves. We had more than 800 young men and women killed here. Each and every one of them came here, did their service. And whether they're officially classified as having died in combat or not, you know, the number is 800. That's the number. And that's the number of families who have something missing at the table, missing around the house. . . "
Since "public opinion is shaped by what people absorb in the media" it doesn't take a rocket scientist to point out the magnitude of the act in "omitting the facts" in reporting the news. "Omission of the facts," and or it's partner "propaganda" is what we expect from countries who's people don't share the rights that we are "supposed to have," which is guaranteed by our Constitution.
Moreover, the thought that "any news organization would voluntary alter and or omit the facts" from it's reports it quite frankly appalling! The desire of the Bush administration to not want to publicize the negative aspects of the war they have initiated is no surprise, however; acts affecting the "freedom of the press" and or "free speech" by our elected officials is, to be blunt, "frightening!"
Finally, although questions weren't asked by the panel, or Larry King last night, Rather's statement certainly invokes many; one big one is, "if the 'Wire Services' (and others) have 'omitted' and or altered the facts in reporting the news to the American public at the request of the White House--how often has this happened, and to what extent?"



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