Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lies and Consequences

Frank Rich has a good article in the NYTimes today, noting the decay in freedom of the press that has occurred over the years between Watergate and the present. It its sad and scary to see the corruption of journalistic notions of right and wrong under the steady pressure of Republican administrations. But right and wrong are not just points in a debate...there are consequences and Mr. Rich points them out vividly:
"Time Warner seems to have far too much money on the table in Washington to exercise absolute editorial freedom when covering the government; at this moment it's awaiting an F.C.C. review of its joint acquisition (with Comcast) of the bankrupt cable company Adelphia. "Is this a journalistic company or an entertainment company?" David Halberstam asked after the Pearlstine decision. We have the answer now. What high-level source would risk talking to Time about governmental corruption after this cave-in? What top investigative reporter would choose to work there?"
I think I can let my Time mag. subscription expire now after 40 years of reading it nearly every week. [Were you looking for THAT consequence Mr. Pearlstine?]

Thursday, July 07, 2005

who wants to know? who wants you not to know?

The news that Halliburton quietly got another 5 billion dollar contract was "underplayed" to say the least. This story was linked "above the fold" on Al Jazerra.net's English edition. It was nowhere to be found on NYTimes or WashingtonPost. From the article:

Halliburton bags another Iraq contract

The US military has signed on Halliburton to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion.

Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for US Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said on Wednesday that the military signed the work order with Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root in May.

The new deal, worth $4.97 billion over the next year, was not made public when it was signed because the Army did not consider such an announcement necessary, she said.

"We did not announce this task order as this is really not something we ever really thought about doing," said Theis.

Maybe 2:00 P.M. GMT is late for the NYTimes but it was not in their Reuters or AP feeds either and the deal was actually signed yesterday. I guess these news outlets agree with the Army's hush hush stance: "nothing to see here, move along now!"