Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by Dave Winer.
First, Monday's Fresh Air interview with Bill Moyers, a preview of his Friday night PBS series, which begins this week with a look at how the press is in collusion with the administration in how they present news about the war. The interviewer challenged Moyers on that word, and he said there's no other word for it (although it's not universal, some of the press is, he says, trying to tell the truthful story).
He also expresses a point I wish more journalists would get, it's not their responsibility to tell both sides of a story, it's their job to say what's actually happening. Most journalists let a Republican and Democrat chew at each other and leave us believing the truth is somewhere between. But in many ways the two parties are also in collusion and they're not even in the neighborhood of the truth.
Second, I'm slowly working my way through the PBS series, America at a Crossroads, I'm in the middle of episode 3 (there are 11), and it's beautifully done, and it explains the history of al Qaeda, the relationship between what they call al Qaeda in Iraq and the group founded by bin Ladin. Lots of revelations and important reminders. I didn't understand that for all practical purposes we had destroyed al Qaeda in Afghanistan, that their plan of drawing the US into a hopeless war failed, that we prevailed and drove bin Laden into hiding. Then, something I did understand, we gave them the biggest gift, by invading Iraq.
The third episode contains stories told by soldiers in Iraq, with stories from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War intermixed. Great literature, eye-opening perspectives. Both parties say they are supporting the troops. They should watch this episode for an idea of what that actually means.
Connect the two shows together, Moyers and Crossroads, and you see that the press is still feeding us nonsense about Iraq, carrying the Bush message that we lose if we withdraw. In fact, we lose by staying, depleting our military, and going ever deeper into debt. And eventually the troops are going to figure out that no one is thinking about them back home, and we should expect a nightmare when they force us to look at what's happening. A replay of Vietnam, at a societal level, only much worse.
bin Laden understands economics, and I'm sure the President does too, but it isn't reflected in the public dialog. I hope Moyers will fully uncover that on Friday.