Conservatives Rule the "Liberal" Media

"Resentment at the 'liberal media' has been a Holy Grail of the American right for 40 years, and a gold mine for conservative direct-mail fund-raisers," writes Joel Connelly. In reality, though, "the right plays an almost dominant role in setting the agenda and stereotyping opponents. It has unmatched powers to get a story airborne. ... The party line gets out on issues from going to war with Iraq to drilling the West." Then why do conservatives still pretend that the media are liberal?


War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

Veteran war reporter Chris Hedges has written a book examining the continuing appeal of war to the human psyche. "The communal march against an enemy generates a warm, unfamiliar bond with our neighbors, our community, our nation, wiping out unsettling undercurrents of alienation and dislocation," he writes. He discusses the myths that accompany war in an interview with TomPaine.com: "Once you enter a conflict, or at the inception of a conflict, you are given a language by which you speak.


Branding New and Improved Wars

"Marketing a war is serious business. And no product requires better brand names than one that squanders vast quantities of resources while intentionally killing large numbers of people," Media Beat columnist Norman Solomon writes. From 1989's Operation Just Cause to 1991's Operation Desert Storm to today's Enduring Freedom, Solomon suggests that naming military operations is nothing more than a form of "media cross-promotion" meant to sanitize war.


For Bush, Facts Are Malleable

"As Bush leads the nation toward a confrontation with Iraq and his party into battle in midterm elections, his rhetoric has taken some flights of fancy in recent weeks," Washington Post staff writer Dana Milbank wrote. "Statements on subjects ranging from the economy to Iraq suggest that a president who won election underscoring Al Gore's knack for distortions and exaggerations has been guilty of a few himself." Milbank quotes Brookings Institution scholar Stephen Hess suggesting that some of Bush's "overstatements" may be intentional.


For or Against War, How to Talk Like a Democrat

A memorandum from top spinmeisters provides advice, based on opinion polls, as to how Democratic Party members of Congress can explain their votes on the resolution giving President Bush the green light to attack Iraq -- whether the Democrat voted for or against war. According to the New York Times, the memo from Stan Greenberg, James Carville and Bob Shrum contains such advice as "An opponent of the Iraq resolution can run competitively
with the Republican proponent, when he or she affirms


Prefer Your Feces-Contaminated Meat 'Cold-Pasteurized'?

"U.S. food companies can seek federal approval to avoid using the word "irradiation" on labels of foods treated with the disease-killing process, and instead use language such as "cold pasteurization," the Food and Drug Administration said. ... The FDA issued guidelines explaining how companies can petition the agency to use more neutral language on the label of food treated with irradiation.


Ours Not to Reason Why

"The Bush administration campaign for war against Iraq has been an extravaganza of disingenuousness," writes Michael Kinsley. "The arguments come and go. Allegations are taken up, held until discredited, and then replaced. ... Two overarching concepts -- 'terrorism' and 'weapons of mass destruction' -- are drained of whatever intellectual validity they may have had and put to work bridging huge gaps in evidence and logic."



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