The Media and priorities

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright might have some issues. I won’t rehash them here, but since the Right has worked themselves in a regular lather making military service almost a prerequisite for patriotism, even though most Americans never sign up for a hitch the fact that Dick Cheney had five deferments and regardless of his Guard enlistment Bush did avoid the draft and going to Vietnam, Wright signed up. Since McCain is running on his 100 year war in Iraq with his and his families military history as creds for lending weight to his political policy its only fair that one reconsiders Wright’s right to rant in light of his service too.

In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.)

Or put another way, why has the media been so focused on Wright when the shrill O’Reillys, Limbaughs and McCain supporters like hate monger Parsley dole out their daily portion of hate speech. The US Establishment Media in a Nutshell

Here are the number of times, according to NEXIS, that various topics have been mentioned in the media over the past thirty days:

“Yoo and torture” – 102
“Mukasey and 9/11? — 73
“Yoo and Fourth Amendment” — 16
“Obama and bowling” — 1,043
“Obama and Wright” — More than 3,000 (too many to be counted)
“Obama and patriotism” – 1,607
“Clinton and Lewinsky” — 1,079

Wright wasn’t much more then a daily blip and certainly not more important then a president carrying out torture in our name or an attorney general that simply makes up stories and then gets teary eyed when telling them. Its not a matter of blowing off the Wright story, but giving it a proper place in media priorities.

I just finished watching Harry Smith on CBS say that the recent conflict in Basra was a victory when questioning Hillary Clinton. Harry seems like a nice man, but he might want his producers do do their homework before selling the American people that narrative, Ira Chernus, The General and the Trap

Stephen Farrell and James Glanz of the New York Times estimate that at least 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen, or more than 4% of the force sent into Basra, “abandoned their posts” during the fighting, including “dozens of officers” and “at least two senior field commanders.”

[  ]…30% of government troops had “abandoned the fight before a cease-fire was reached.”

In other words, after years of intensive training by American advisors and an investment of $22 billion dollars, U.S. military spokesmen are once again left trying to put the best face on a strategic disaster (from which they were rescued thanks to negotiations between Muqtada al-Sadr and advisors to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, brokered in Iran by General Qassem Suleimani, a man on the U.S. Treasury Department’s terrorist watch list)

While it would be a mistake, or rather overly simplistic to say that al-Sadr won. The fact that he could cause so much destruction and al-Maliki could not deal with him with Iraqi troops alone says something about the supposed “progress” and a clear victory by either side. al-Sadr may have gotten part of what he wanted, for troops from any side to stop the house to house harassments of his followers. Why General David Petraeus  is going to testify today is an exercise in politics as show business. We’ve all seen the show before and we all know that while Dave seems like a nice guy his political loyalties are clear enough.

Inside the Surge (subscription req.)

Amriya had been a stronghold of the Iraqi resistance since the early days of the occupation, and after Falluja was destroyed in late 2004 resistance members as well as angry displaced Sunnis poured in. Shiites were attacked even if they were former Baathists, their bodies found lying on the streets every day.