Saturday, August 9, 2008

Note to Star Tribune: George Bush is a liar

Why does the Star Tribune treat statements made by George Bush and his White House as true? That's a serious question, because it is a proven fact that the more George Bush wants something the more he lies about it.

The most recent example of this is the Strib's coverage of the new Ron Suskind book that provides explosive new evidence that the Bush Administration had *conclusive* proof before their preventive war on Iraq began that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.

That means, according to Martin van Creveld, a famed military historian, that the Bush Administration deliberately lied us into the worst strategic disaster in 2,000 years.

The Strib headline for the story - its first on the topic - was the Administration's denials, not the explosive charges: "CIA officials quoted in new book deny they faked a letter showing Saddam-al-Qaida link" (Aug 5 Star Tribune). So the paper jumped right into the story - to the part where the Bush Administration says "that can't possibly be true!" and led with it. Given the differences in historic veracity between George Bush and Ron Suskind, who has won a Pulitzer Prize, the paper obviously trusted the wrong side.

We know from many other books, but not the reporting in the Strib, that George Bush has lied to the American people in nearly every conceivable way, from his promise to be a "Uniter not a divider," to the claim when anyone leaves his cabinet it is to "spend more time with my family." Suskind and others have proof that George Bush wanted to attack Iraq from the day he took office, going so far as to torture one person to get lies to justify the attack, and forging and backdating a letter tying Saddam to the criminals of 911.

I wish I could say this fawning trust in George Bush was an isolated incident in the pages of the Star Tribune, but it isn't. I could name many examples. Is this Republican bias the result of the constant hammering this paper has taken from local Right wingers like the PowerLineBlog or TCF Chief Bill Cooper? Or is it the result of having a movement conservative in charge of political coverage? Or having another movement conservative - this one a religious bigot - as a "news columnist"? Note to PowerLineBloggers: Spare me your claims that Nick Coleman counteracts this bias - he is no movement liberal. He's just an irascible fellow who fights injustice, which seems to rile those on the Right.

The Star Tribune's misinformation not only poisons public discourse, but more importantly damages its franchise at a time when it can ill afford such a diminution of trust.

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