Jan
01
1990

Reporters Rallying Round the Flag

Journalists justified their role as distributors of government handouts in different ways. Asked on Day 1 why U.S. opponents of the invasion were virtually invisible on-the-air, a CBS producer (who declined to give her name) told Extra!: "When American troops are involved and taking losses, this is not the time to be running critical commentary. The American public will be rallying around the flag." Some TV reporters claimed they were forced to rely on official U.S. versions because they had nothing else. As Newsday reported January 14, "Peter Arnett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning combat journalist, was reduced to reporting on Noriega's […]

Jan
01
1990

The Washington Post: The Establishment's Paper

Don't get too far from the establishment. --Walter Lippmann to Katharine Graham File Lippmann's remark under the category of superfluous advice. Graham and the company of which she is "chairman"--she lists herself in the D.C. phone book as "Graham, Philip L. Mrs."--have never entertained a thought of straying from the establishment. In 1933, when Graham's father, Eugene Meyer took control of the bankrupt Washington Post, it enjoyed only physical closeness to power. The paper badly needed the wealth and connections that Meyer had in spades: Over the years, he'd been a Wall Street banker, director of President Wilson's War Finance […]

Jan
01
1990

'Noriega Offered His Usual Damp, Limp Handshake to Bush's Firm Grip'

For sheer propaganda, high marks go to Newsweek's Noriega cover story (1/15/90), featuring excerpts from a book about Noriega by Wall Street Journal reporter Frederick Kempe. The book and its author were much touted by the media during the invasion. Some highlights: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ELLIOTT ABRAMS. "By the summer of 1985, the State Department's new assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs, Elliott Abrams, began to believe that Noriega's help for the Contras was overestimated and his general harm to democracy and human rights was underestimated. Abrams had come out of State's human rights office...." Abrams hardly "came […]