Democracy

Kill The Messenger? Pro-War Advocates Should Blame Themselves for the Mess in Iraq

Mob
Journalists! Let's get 'em!

As conditions in Iraq continue to deteriorate, supporters of the war are casting around for someone to blame, and journalists are becoming an increasingly popular scapegoat — an ironic turn of events, since the mainstream media's uncritical support for the war helped get us into this mess in the first place.

When Newspapers Fall for Political "Drops"

"Next time you see an 'exclusive' tag on a story about state politics, stop and have a closer look. The chances are that the story, far from being a feat of journalistic endeavor, is what we call in the trade 'a drop,'" writes Anne Davies in the Sydney Morning Herald. "You'll be able to tell it's a drop because it's likely to quote one side of politics only. This is often a condition of the drop." Drops, especially those in Sunday papers, help politicians influence the week's media agenda.

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FOIA's 40th Birthday Marked By Plans to Weaken It

Jeffrey Addicott, Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, will head a $1 million project funded by the U.S. government to produce a "model statute" to restrict information disclosed under the 40-year-old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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BBC Archives Reveal Spooks Vetted Staff

Archived internal BBC documents from the 1980's, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph under Freedom of Information legislation, reveal that the British spy service, MI5, was used to vet existing and potential staff at the public broadcaster. The paper reported that the documents revealed that "at one stage it [MI5] was responsible for vetting 6300 BBC posts - almost a third of the total workforce." The BBC adopted "categorical denial" as its "defensive strategy" to deflect questions about the practice by unions.

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Big-Spending Brethren

While members of the conservative Christian church, the Exclusive Brethren, are not allowed to vote, they have been big spenders in recent election campaigns in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. They spent $NZ1.2 million in the 2005 New Zealand election, while in the 2004 US election their Thanksgiving 2004 Committee spent $US636,522.

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