Where Is Our Free Press?
September 28, 2004, 1:00am

If you cross this administration you get your head handed to you. If you open your mouth and tell the truth like former White House Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsay did when he told the Administration that the Iraqi war was going to cost between $100-$200 billion dollars, you get fired. If you disagree with the President, like Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill did one too many times regarding the President’s policy on tax cuts, you get canned. If you claim that the Administration is misrepresenting the facts and misleading the public, like Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson did, your wife’s career gets ruined when she gets outed as a CIA operative in the national media. If you tell the administration that several thousand more servicemen and women are needed in Iraq, like General Shinseki did, you get publicly scolded as being incorrect. And, if you choose to air a story about George Bush’s military service, or lack thereof, like CBS did last week, you and your award winning news anchor, get investigated by the FCC.

So it’s no wonder that the press has taken a backseat to reporting the misdeeds of this administration. It’s not surprising that the press failed to ask the hard questions leading up to the war in Iraq, when a more informed public still had time to speak up. Never mind that CBS’s story included substantive and uncontested evidence that Bush didn’t show up for duty when he was supposed to, that he skipped a required physical that grounded him from flying, and that he mysteriously received an honorable discharge. Yesathe documents CBS presented could not be confirmed for their authenticity, but these details of Bush’s military record have been out for public consumption for years. Why is the media not discussing the facts behind the story instead of just focusing on CBS? For example, Killian’s secretary said those memos accurately reflected the Colonel’s feelings. Ben Barnes, former lieutenant governor of Texas, admitted that he pulled strings to get Bush into the National Air Guard. And Robert Mintz, retired National Guardsman who served in Bush’s unit in 1972, doesn’t remember seeing him there. And in contrast to Senator John Kerry, who said “send me” when given the option to go to Vietnam, according to the LA Times, when asked the same question, Bush checked the box stating “do not volunteer for overseas.” The media’s attention is diverted from the real story because we now live in a time where the fear of revenge by this administration sends a chill through the corporations that control our media and overwhelms the press’ responsibility to investigate, educate and hold our leaders accountable.

For more information on Bush’s military record, please see the LA Times article by clicking on the link below: