Sunday, June 05, 2005

Downing Street Memo Hall of Mirrors 

You know me, I'm a trusting soul, not paranoid at all, but it does occur to me that Big Media has had very bad luck with bombshell Bush stories—especially ones that are true in essence, but have story details wrong. (OK, we didn't flush the Koran like ABC said, we urinated on it (through a ventilator...) And don't get me started on Bush AWOL, and CBS vs. Paul Lukasiak (google)).

In two cases now (CBS, ABC), there's been a bombshell story, true in essence, from a mysterious source, followed by a big buildup from us ("At last! Our story breaks through!"), followed by a humiliating retraction from Big Media, followed by a wingerly circlejerk. It's almost like the signature, the modus operandi, of a disinformation campaign. I wonder whose it could be...

And now we have what looks like a third case of the same signature. The bombshell: That in the buildup to Iraq "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy". The buildup: Happening now... And the London Times (the source of the Downing Street memo) is owned by Rupert Murdoch....

I'd hate for Lucy to snatch the football away from Charlie Brown again, know what I mean?

It's really a hall of mirrors, isn't it? Maybe Murdoch wanted to nail Blair so bad that any collateral damage to Bush was not relevant to him. Then again, the reporting operations at ABC and CBS have suffered so drastically from corporate cuts that they can hardly be called newsgathering organizations. So their immune systems are far less capable of resisting disinformation campaigns than newspaper. And the London Times is, at least not yet, a tabloid, so...

So I hope I'm wrong. But I'd hate to see the author of the Downing Street Memo retract, after a horse's head appears in his bed....

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