- The New York Times never qualified, run exclusively as
a voice for power and privilege. The same, of course, holds for virtually
all mainstream publications, including the Nation magazine, suppressing,
sanitizing, and distorting truths, betraying its readers since 1865.
- Its founding prospectus said it "will not be the
organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest
effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really
critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration,
and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the
day is marred."
- Today it claims "Nobody owns the Nation....We are
a wholly owned subsidiary of our own conscience."
- Yet, in disservice to its readers, its record since inception
has been shameless. It was unapologetic about slavery, then didn't support
minority, labor, or women's rights. It championed 19th century laissez
fare, attacked the Grangers, Populists, trade unions and socialists. In
1999, it called the US/NATO Serbia/Kosovo aggression "humanitarian
- After 9/11, it backed the official explanation despite
convincing evidence debunking it. Initially it supported the Iraq war,
and until recently the Afghan one. More on that below.
- It also ignored the blatant 2000 fraud for George Bush,
claimed "no evidence" showed the 2004 election was stolen, and
in January 2006, ran an offensive full-page anti-Muslim ad titled, "Arabian
Fables," claiming Palestinians are prone to violence and deception.
Two months later, it said Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide was "feared
and despised," then blamed Haitians for their own misery.
- After the January 2010 earthquake, it backed America's
intervention, Washington correspondent John Nichols praising Obama's "dignity
and determination," saying:
- "At a time when there is so much disappointment
regarding the unmet promise of a presidency that finished its first year
on a bitter note of a lost Senate seat, Obama responded to the crisis in
a spirit that has the potential to reassure not just Haitians but Americans."
- The reality is far different, and Nichols knows it or
should. Haiti is occupied and oppressed for the duration. Conditions on
the ground are horrific. Essential aid is obstructed and limited. A health
emergency continues. Malnutrition is rampant, clean water scarce, sanitation
nearly non-existant, and only a small fraction of those needing tents and
other essentials have them, leaving hundreds of thousands out of luck and
on their own.
- Yet for Nichols, Obama "has projected a concern
and a commitment that meets the moment," when, in fact, he militarized
Haiti, blocked essential food, medical, and other supplies, and plans more
sweatshops, resource exploitation, and commercial development instead of
vital aid, Nichols saying, thanks to Obama, Haitians are in good hands.
- In June 2007, The Nation ran a slanderous anti-Hugo Chavez
diatribe by contributor Joaquin Villalobos, a neocon Colombian government
advisor/assassin of Roque Dalton, the renown leftist Salvadoran poet/journalist.
- Long a notorious Democrat party flack, it cheerled Obama's
candidacy, extolled his election, sees in him a "sea-change of course
(for) progressive-driven reform, (the) end of the Reagan era....an end
of the occupation of Iraq, and a socially liberal new beginning."
- Eighteen months later, Nation writers are still supportive,
ignoring Obama's lies, deceptions, contradictions, and crimes - campaign
promises made and broken, including permanent occupations; raging imperial
wars; others threatened in the Middle East, Horn of Africa, Asia and South
America; shameless handouts to Wall Street bandits and other corporate
favorites; and hardline homeland repression against Muslims, undocumented
immigrants and minorities, while millions of Americans are impoverished,
jobless, homeless, hungry and cheated by a president who doesn't give a
- Neither does the Nation, including its editor, Katrina
vanden Heuvel, an establishment figure, a regular on corporate TV, and
member of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations (CRF), an organization
committed to one-world government based on centralized financial control,
historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. once calling it a "front organization
(for) the heart of the American Establishment."
- Her maternal grandfather, Jules Stein, founded MCA, the
entertainment conglomerate. Her father, William, was executive assistant
to William Donovan, former Thailand ambassador involved in the CIA's creation.
Father William was also a Farfield Foundation board member, a CIA front
group active during the Cold War, and later special assistant to New York
Governor Averill Harriman and US Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
- Vanden Heuvel is a Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
(FERI) Board of Governors member. Others include former Senator Paul Sarbanes,
former Democrat vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, and John
Brademas, former New York University president and National Endowment for
Democracy board member, a US foreign policy instrument funding anti-democracy
- Initially an Afghan war supporter, vanden Heuvel and
Nation writers then backed humanitarian intervention to make the country
and region "secure" and "stable." Yet after WikiLeaks
revelations, she showed unease in her July 29 editorial (published on July
27 in her weekly Washington Post column) titled, "Could WikiLeaks
Offer a Way Out of War," saying:
- "The war in Afghanistan just got a little foggier
- or a little more transparent - depending on how you choose to see"
the WikiLeaks dump, quoting a London Guardian editorial "show(ing)
a conflict that is brutally messy, confused and immediate," neither
she nor the editorial writer exposing the conflict's lawlessness, mindless
slaughter, daily war crimes, and shocking atrocities, including torture
in America's offshore gulag. Instead, she quotes The New York Times saying:
- "The documents illuminate the extraordinary difficulty
of what the United States and its allies have undertaken in a way that
other accounts have not," responding only that "Perhaps a new
take on an old war is just what we need to extract ourselves from another
quagmire. (We've seen) enough to know that (Obama's) strategy cannot work,
and enough to understand that the cost of continuing the war far outstrip
any conceivable benefits."
- "Benefits?" Only for imperial pillagers, criminal
politicians, media hacks, and war profiteers, none for beleaguered Afghans
and cheated Americans, lied to and denied vital services when they most
need them - she and the editorial expressing no moral outrage, no sympathy
for massive suffering, and no concern for the truth, just support for winnable
wars, not ones that "cannot work."
- In response to Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award, vanden
Heuvel was effusive in her October 11, 2009 article titled, "The Burden
& The Nobel," calling it "an ingenious leap of faith - the
endorsement of the hope and the promise represented by America's new President....I
think those who argue that the Prize is cheapened are just plain silly.
The Prize doesn't go to only those who succeeded in their efforts, nor
is it a lifetime achievement award. Instead, it is often and wisely given
to endorse and encourage those who are working to bring about a better
and more peaceful world."
- This writer's October 12, 2009 article titled, October
Surprise - Peace Prize to a War Criminal expressed another view, accessed
through the following link:
- In his Nobel acceptance speech, Obama argued for continued
war, saying: "the instruments of war do have a role in preserving
the peace, (that) all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries
with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace," and imperial warlords
should be honored "not as makers of war, but as wagers of peace"
- "War is peace," Orwellian doublethink, the Nobel Committee
legitimizing wars and leaders who wage them, not peacemakers wanting swords
turned into plowshares.
- Nation writers, however, enthused, John Nichols calling
Obama's speech "a glimpse of (him) at his best," vanden Heuvel
saying it reflected "humility and grace," endorsing the Obama
Doctrine - wars without end, for historians Charles Beard (1874 - 1948),
Harry Elmer Barnes (1889 - 1968), and Gore Vidal - "Perpetual War
for Perpetual Peace," the title of Barnes' 1953 book and Vidal's in
2002, saying "our rulers for more than half a century have made sure
that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government
has done to other people, not to mention our own."
- A worried Barnes wrote:
- "If trends continue as they have during the last
fifteen years, we shall soon reach this point of no return, and can only
anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace. Such
an era could only culminate in a third world war which might well, as (historian)
Arnold J. Toynbee has suggested, leave only the pygmies in remote jungles,
or even the apes and ants, to carry on 'the cultural traditions' of mankind."
- Thanks to the Bush and Obama Doctrines, we've surged
closer to the abyss. No matter, the Nation remains rapturously supportive,
a voice for power, privilege and imperial wars, mindless of their destructive
consequences, its readers betrayed by its anti-populist tradition, its
backing wrong over right, and indifference to human suffering - lacking
vision, honor and moral courage to report truths.
- Three Other Faux Liberals
- The liberal media landscape is strewn with others like
vanden Heuvel and the Nation's stable of writers, two notables on MSNBC,
betraying their viewers the same way, establishment figures in good standing.
- Rachael Maddow for one. Calling herself a "national
security liberal," she says "I'm undoubtedly a liberal, which
means that I'm in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican
- In August 2008, Nation magazine called her a "ballsy
gremlin of the left, (an) explosive star, (a) popular guest analyst on
MSNBC (now likely to) get her own show (as) one of the few left-liberal
women to bust open the world of TV punditry, (not by) bluster and bravado
but with a combination of crisp thinking and 'galumphing' good cheer."
- The New York Times calls her a "defense policy wonk"
reporting embedded in July from Afghanistan, supporting the war, not how
bad it's going, yet opposing withdrawal, defending power and privilege
like other faux liberals. Some call them liberal fascists, well paid to
suppress, sanitize and distort truths, support imperial wars, and why not.
- Maddow represents upwardly mobile middle class values.
She's a Democrat party stalwart, indifferent to working class needs or
suffering imperial wars cause, let alone why fought, reasons unrelated
to democracy, human rights, and moral principles, notions never considered
by her or other fake liberals.
- At a time of deepening economic crisis, unemployment,
poverty, and other needs aren't discussed, nor is Obama's public trust
betrayal and permanent war agenda, one Maddow supports.
- On his nightly Countdown program, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann
is another unabashed Democrat party supporter, uncritical of outrageous
Obama policies, including:
- -- imperial wars without end;
- -- anti-labor opposition to the Employee Free Choice
Act (EFCA), and agenda to destroy, not create, jobs when they're most needed;
- -- a "Race to the Top" scheme to destroy public
- -- stiff-arming budget-strapped states, and freezing
out millions trapped by poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair;
- -- militarizing Haiti and backing the Honduran coup,
ousting a democratically elected leader;
- -- supporting banker bailouts and bogus financial reform
for Wall Street, not main street;
- -- endorsing preventive detention, police state surveillance,
and plans to assassinate US citizens named terrorists, with or without
- -- bogus health care reform, for many weeks the top Countdown
story, Olbermann flacking for Obamacare, now passed - a destructive program
to enrich insurers and drug giants, making a dysfunctional system worse.
- For months, he was unabashedly one-sided, feigning liberalism
for a pro-business agenda - shamelessly pro-Obama when not jousting with
Fox News or his nightly buffoonery, acting more like Bozo the Clown than
a newsman, why critic David Forsmark calls his program "Meltdown,"
nightly "public ravings," not real news and information, evident
by his topics, choice of guests, and discussions, supporting Democrat party
politics, not good governance and public needs.
- Georgetown history Professor Michael Kazin calls him
"O'Reilly on the left - completely predictable, unfunny, and arrogant."
University of Chicago Professor Harold Pollack said he "can be smart
and funny, but I've basically had my fill. My life is full of shticky and
rude blowhards already. Why add another?" Harper's editor Luke Mitchell
described him as "irritating and his obvious sexism is reprehensible,"
despite some positive attributes.
- On June 23, 2008, New Yorker writer Peter Boyer called
him "One Angry Man," saying:
- At home one night, he penned "the first draft of
a lacerating indictment of Bush, a twelve-minute-long j'accuse, addressed
personally to" (him). The denunciation hit the high notes of the most
fevered antiwar rhetoric, accusing Bush....his alleged puppet master (Dick
Cheney and those around them) of perpetrating a 'panoramic and murderous
deceit' on America and the world, (saying) 'you yoked this nation and your
place in history to the wrong war, in the wrong place, against the wrong
people,' " accusations applying to Obama never aired on Countdown,
in reports or commentaries, Democrats exempted from jeremiads, reserved
exclusively for Republicans and Teabaggers, bashed separately in a nightly
Tea Time segment.
- In the 1980s, he was a CNN sportscaster, later co-hosting
ESPN's Sportscenter from 1992 - 1997, switching over to Fox Sports amid
controversy, Olbermann calling it "the pressure of working in daily
long-form television....not the broadcasts....an inability to digest all
that led up to those hours (in) a medium so complex it would've made Rube
Goldberg blanch." Others said he was fired for being caustic and thinking
he was bigger than the network.
- After Fox, he rejoined MSNBC in 2003 hosting Countdown,
a sportscaster turned newsman, impersonating a progressive, calling himself
"not a liberal, an American," his specialty - flacking for Democrats,
bashing the political right, feuding with Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush
Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin, and including nightly buffoonery/junk food news
- He should have stuck with sportscasting, the right venue
for fun and games, pranks, horseplay, and tomfoolery. Consumers of real
news and information won't find much on Countdown.
- Nor from National Public Radio, including from its now
departed Daniel Schorr, recounting in his memoir that "being poor,
fat, Jewish (and) fatherless" made him feel like an outsider, later
"achiev(ing) identity" through journalism, reporting for over
70 years until passing on July 23 at age 93.
- NPR rhapsodized in numerous tributes, comparing him to
Edward R. Murrow, citing his many awards, his analysis "broadened
by his firsthand perspective" on history, starting as a journalist
at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and Jewish Daily Bulletin from 1934
- 1941, followed by the Dutch news agency. In 1946, he was a foreign correspondent,
later covering the Cold War, 1953 McCarthy hearings, the Clinton impeachment
ones, and Nixon era, a noted member of his enemies list.
- He observed superpower summits, from Krushchev to Gorbachev,
worked for Army intelligence in WW II, later the Christian Science Monitor,
New York Times, CBS, and CNN before joining NPR in 1985 as a senior news
- Hold the plaudits, Nation magazine's eulogy notwithstanding,
lauding him for "making the right enemies, (his) unofficial beat always....the
abuse of power....relentless questioning, (then) NPR's resident truth teller"
until his death.
- Others see him differently, notably his quarter century
at NPR, recent critics citing his waltzing with Bibi, one-sidedly supporting
Israel with comments like:
- "Netanyahu will not accept the Palestinian state
with its own defense capability. The Palestinians will not accept a Jewish
state that nibbles away with settlements in Occupied Territory."
- Nibbles? Over 42% of the West Bank has been stolen, total
Judaization of East Jerusalem is planned, and some observers expect mass
expulsions throughout the Territories for a Greater Israel, besides keeping
Gaza besieged, and daily incursions, mass arrests, targeted killings, torture,
and intermittent wars, unmentioned in Schorr commentaries, a committed
Zionist until death. A man who lied on air about the Mossad's role in assassinating
Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last February.
- Last December, commenting on Obama's West Point speech
announcing a 30,000 Afghanistan force surge, he said:
- "I would characterize it as being a statesmanlike
speech, (explaining the) need to send more troops,(and try to placate)
many liberals in the Democrat party," saying withdrawal will begin
in 18 months. According to Schorr, "not really a very wise thing to
do if you want to get the Taliban and Al-Qaeda out of there. You don't
say just hang around, we'll be leaving in 18 months."
- Not a word about an illegal war; imperial agenda, daily
slaughter; appalling atrocities; willful targeting of civilians; millions
killed, displaced, oppressed, and immiserated; and a shocking betrayal
of the public trust to be there or in Iraq in the first place - suggesting
only that the war continue and be won.
- Ignoring the dire economy, he supported Obama's approach,
suggesting conditions are headed in the right direction when they're worsening.
Production is falling. Housing crashed. Consumer confidence plunged. Leading
indicators point down. Jobless benefits have been extended seven times
in the past two years. Nearly half the unemployed have been looking for
six months or longer.
- Youth unemployment is 25%. For Black and Latino youths
it's far higher, in major US cities topping 80%, according to a report
by the Northeastern University Center for Labor Market Studies. Since January,
over 100 banks folded. The federal deficit is out of control. Consumer
credit and spending are falling, but Schorr sounded like a CNBC pundit.
Not to worry. Things are looking up.
- Earlier he was positive about Obamacare, finance reform,
and other pro-business measures, not their harm and betrayal of the public
- Yet, the Nation's John Nichols hailed his "art of
making the right enemies." Others said he was aggressive, tenacious,
a pioneer. NPR called him a "legend....speaking truth to power."
Most often he spoke for it instead.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays
at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening.