Saturday, April 28, 2007

Don't count on the US media doing any digging

Greg Palast is a well know author and writer. Much of what he has written has been an expose of things others have simply either found too hard to follow up or difficult and time-consuming to investigate.

In this piece in the LA Times, Palast takes on the US media:

"In an email uncovered and released by the House Judiciary Committee last month, Tim Griffin, once Karl Rove's right-hand man, gloated that "no [U.S.] national press picked up" a BBC Television story reporting that the Rove team had developed an elaborate scheme to challenge the votes of thousands of African Americans in the 2004 election.

Griffin wasn't exactly right. The Los Angeles Times did run a follow-up article a few days later in which it reported the findings. But he was essentially right. Most of the major U.S. newspapers and the vast majority of television news programs ignored the story even though it came at a critical moment just weeks before the election.

According to Griffin (who has since been dispatched to Arkansas to replace one of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department), the mainstream media rejected the story because it was wrong.

"That guy is a British reporter who accepted some false allegations and made a story up," he said.

Let's get one fact straight, Mr. Griffin. "That guy" is not a British reporter. I am an American living abroad, putting investigative reports on the air from London for the British Broadcasting Corp.

I'm not going to argue with Rove's minions about the validity of our reporting, which led the news in Britain. But I can tell you this: To the extent that it was ignored in the United States, it wasn't because the report was false. It was because it was complicated and murky and because it required a lot of time and reporting to get to the bottom of it. In fact, not one U.S. newsperson even bothered to ask me or the BBC for the data and research we had painstakingly done in our effort to demonstrate the existence of the scheme."

Coincidentally, over at CommonDreams, they have a report from the Daily Star [Lebanon] of a talk given by Robert Fisk in Beirut the other day - where he covers some of the same territory as Palast.


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