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Evidence Up in Flames?


The ministry of planning in Baghdad is on fire.

Abc Watch


The Media Research Center, which has been doing more ABC watching than is allowed under the rules of the Geneva Conventions reports:

Peter Jennings could find not one second for the pro-war rally at Ground Zero yesterday with a crowd estimated by AP at 15,000. But hours before the war began, Jennings demonstrated that no anti-war demonstration is too small for him to consider it
newsworthy as he picked up on a solitary effort: “And in San
Francisco, a man apparently leaped to his death from the Golden
Gate Bridge. Our affiliate there, KGO, reports that he read an
anti-war statement before jumping.”




A reader informs me that NRODT can’t be an acronym because it’s not a “word” like Scuba etc. I don’t know what he’s talking about. We’ve always pronounced it Nrrr-RAH-Dt.

Web Briefing: April 15, 2015

Not Totally With It


Jonah, weblord Aaron Bailey reports that your acronym finder says WFB is Wells Fargo Bank.


It Is Official!


If you were ever confused by what NRODT stood for, you can look it up in this handy

Hollywood’s Castro-Lust


Looting in Baghdad


It’s about time the military clamped down on the chaos in Baghdad. We haven’t seen looting and vandalism like this since the last few days of the Clintons in the White House.

The Regime Underground


FNC is showing footage of an elaborate bunker under a government building in Baghdad, part of the presidential compound. It has room from 300-400 people. Living quarters, offices, decontamination rooms. Thank God we got into Baghdad before the regime retreated down there. Now if we could just get the weapons…(out of Syria?)

Pelosi’s Pride


One in a long line of pols and pundits who will not apologize.

Stars and Stripes Rules


A crackdown on displaying the U.S. flag in Iraq.



…this is from Reuters, too:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Hundreds of desperate Iraqi civilians stormed the headquarters of Iraq’s military intelligence on Friday and started digging the ground to try to find relatives they believe are trapped in dungeons below.

U.S. soldiers, who took Baghdad on Wednesday and are trying to secure and restore order to the city, later moved into the sprawling compound in the northwestern district of Kadhimiya with tanks and armored vehicles.

Family and friends of detained Iraqis earlier appealed for help from the U.S. military to rescue people they said were in underground jails. As they dug, voices could be heard below the surface.

“I am afraid the people in here are going to die,” said a man in the crowd who gave his name as Mohammed Saleh.



This extract wouldn’t make sense, except it is from Reuters:

Egyptians with close professional or cultural ties to the United States say the U.S.-led war on Iraq has tarnished their image of the country they most admired.

“Before the war, I was undecided about America’s commitment to its promises,” said Mai Ezz el-Din, 29, who works for a U.S. insurance firm in Cairo.

“Now I have seen them breaking their word and changing their stance. I don’t believe what they say anymore.”

No Conventional Forces


Guys, It’s Not Saturday!


And even if it were….get in The Corner!

Cnn Fallout


I’m still having a hard time understanding the ethical justfication for keeping this stuff secret. If CNN had gotten kicked out for standing up to such brutality against its own employees and associates, I don’t see such a huge downside. What were the CNN stories that had to be reported from the scene that compensated for the dishonesty of not telling the whole story? Besides if CNN left on such principle, it would make other media organizations look like lapdogs. The tumult from that would have either forced more honest coverage from those organizations or resulted in more organizations leaving Iraq. Ultimately, this would have been a PR disaster for Iraq which desperately needed to win over world opinion and they would have had to have treated all employees of foreign media more gingerly. There was a similar dilemma during the Cold War when journalists were accused of “writing for their visa” — i.e. softening their reportage in order to stay in the Soviet Union. This was always justified on the grounds of getting out the bigger story. The problem with this approach is it tends to make evil countries seem like normal countries and hence foster a climate of moral equivalence.

Full disclosure: I work for CNN and I would like to continue doing so, but I can’t in good conscience say that Jordan’s explanation, as offered in the Times, is persuasive. I don’t mind the use of journalistic ground rules, but I do think it is unethical not to tell the reader or viewer what those ground rules are. For example, when Barbara Walters types interview stars she’ll agree to a host of ground rules about what they will and won’t discuss. That’s fine. But if you don’t tell the viewer what those ground rules are, you are implying that the issues which are off limits are in fact not newsworthy. If CNN agreed not to report certain events or to soften its reporting in anyway, it should have made it clear early and often that it is impossible to provide a clear picture because of the climate of fear and intimidation. I am sure that some disclosures along these lines were offered over the years on CNN, but I don’t think there were a lot of them.

Where Jordan might deserve credit is for at least being the first of many to come forward. He suggests that this was a problem for numerous “international press services.” It will be very interesting to see what kinds of confessions we get — and don’t get — from other networks and newspapers. It seems to me this has the potential — small though it may be — of becoming a journalistic Enron scandal. Of course, when all of the media is complicit in something, it rarely becomes a big deal.

Funny how that works.

Cnn Now


Walter Rodgers says Marines in downtown Baghdad have foiled another suicide attack. They have also, with the help of local Iraqis, found two suicide-bomb factories.

What Cnn Said


I just looked up that Jordanian border scene. Here’s CNN producer Ingrid Formanek talking to Paula Zahn, March 22:

I think you were asking about our negotiations to be able to stay, with everything possible, we pointed out it was in everybody’s interest and CNN’s interest and Iraq’s interest and certainly the interest of the world and of the American people to see what was going on in Baghdad and it was very important to have set of independent eyes and ears to report this. That’s a point that we’ve always made to the Iraqi authorities throughout the years that we have been in Baghdad. We certainly made that point last night. In all of the years we worked there, we pointed out we have reported fairly. We followed the rules and it was in their interests, as well as ours.

Now, of course, it was a request by the network for an interview with the president. Interestingly enough, the Iraqis have never, as far as we could tell, taken advantage of the foreign media in the sense that all of the world, for example, the Bush administration, they take advantage of the media, they speak every minute that they can get of air time they take to get their point across to the world. This is done all over the world. The Iraqis, I think, has never taken full advantage of this. And I think it’s a great missed opportunity because the world can hear and see what’s happening if organizations like CNN are allowed to remain in Baghdad. And a great missed opportunity for everybody.

Hans Blix Accuses Us of Planning The War!


Presumably we should have done no planning at all.

Tariq’s Crib


Great story about what was in Tariq Azziz’s house. Apparently someone was studying for the GMATs. Also, Tariq dug Sleepless in Seattle and the Godfather.

Re: Cnn


Reading the Times op-ed I couldn’t help but flashback to the morning CNN got booted out of Baghdad a few weeks ago. Nic Robertson and Rym Brahimi were greated as heroes at the Jordanian border by CNN execs, probably because CNN people were in fear that the journalists would face some awful Iraqi-inflicted fate before they hit the border. Of course, that’s not what viewers were told. Presumably the greatest threat to them was American shocking and awing. Viewers watching the extended coverage of the Jordanian entrance got to hear the producer who had been in Baghdad with them going on about the importance of giving equal time to both sides, as if the U.S. and Iraq were somehow equal players in the realm of free media (in fact, she went on about how the Iraqis didn’t use CNN to feed enough propaganda, compared to the U.S.). She, of course, was saying much of it because she wanted Disinfo Guy to let them back in. There are ways of doing that without being so fundamentally and blatantly dishonest, however.


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