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ABUSE YOUR ILLUSIONS
THE DISINFORMATION GUIDE TO MEDIA MIRAGES AND ESTABLISHMENT LIES
By Russ Kick
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2003 The Disinformation Company Ltd.
All rights reserved.
EXILE ON MAINSTREAM
WHY AN AMERICAN REPORTER HAD TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY TO REPORT THE NEWS
No, you're not stupid.
They just talk to you that way.
Two: Loony. Dangerous. Disgusting.
Have you heard about Cynthia McKinney, the former US Congresswoman?
According to National Public Radio ...
... McKinney's "a loose cannon" (quoting a media expert).
..." The people of Atlanta are embarrassed and disgusted" by McKinney (quoting a politician).
...McKinney's "loony" and "dangerous" (quoting a Senator from her own party).
Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, "McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information."
The New York Times revealed her comments went even further over the edge: "Ms. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war."
That's loony, all right. As an editor of the highly respected Atlanta Journal Constitution told NPR, McKinney's "practically accused the President of murder!"
* * *
Problem is, McKinney never said it.
That's right. The "quote" from McKinney is a complete fabrication. A whopper, a fabulous fib, a fake, a flim-flam. Just freakin' made up.
"ALL OVER THE PLACE"
A transcript of my phone call.
Times: New York Times.
Could you connect me to the extension of Lynette Clemetson?
Hi, Lynette. My name is Greg Palast, and I wanted to follow up on a story of yours. It says, let's see, after the opening—it's about Cynthia McKinney—it's dated Washington byline August 21—quote: McKinney's [opponent] capitalized on the furor caused by Miss McKinney's suggestion this year that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war. End quote. Now, I have been trying my darndest to find this phrase.... I can't....
THE "QUOTE" FROM MCKINNEY IS A COMPLETE FABRICATION. A WHOPPER, A FABULOUS FIB, A. FAKE, A FLIM-FLAM. JUST FREAKIN' MADE UP.
Times: Did you search the Atlanta Journal Constitution?
Yes, but I haven't been able to find that statement.
Times: I've heard that statement—it was all over the place.
I know it was all over the place, except no one can find it and that's why I'm concerned. Now did you see the statement in the Atlanta Journal Constitution?
Times: Yeah ...
[Note: No such direct quote from McKinney can be found in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.]
And did you confirm this with McKinney?
Times: Well, I worked with her office. The statement is from the floor of the House [of Representatives].... Right?
So did you check the statement from the Floor of the House?
Times: I mean I wouldn't have done the story.... Have you looked at House transcripts?
Yes. Did you check that?
Times: Of course.
ABUSE YOUR ILLUSIONS
You did check it?
[Note: No such McKinney statement can be found in the transcripts or other records of the House of Representatives.]
Times: I think you have to go back to the House transcripts.... I mean it was all over the place at the time.
Yes, this is one fact the Times reporter didn't fake: The McKinney "quote" was, indeed, all over the place: in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and needless to say, all the other metropolitan dailies—everywhere but in Congresswoman McKinney's mouth.
Nor was it in the Congressional Record, nor in any recorded talk, nor on her Website, nor in any of her radio talks. Here's the Congresswoman's statement from the record:
"George Bush had no prior knowledge of the plan to attack the World Trade Center on September 11."
* * *
I should say ex-Congresswoman McKinney.
She was beaten in the August 2002 Democratic primary. More precisely, she was beaten to death, politically, by the fabricated quote.
BLACK-OUT IN FLORIDA
Months before the 2000 presidential elections, the offices of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris ordered the removal of 90,000 citizens from the voter rolls because they were criminals, evil-doers, convicted felons ... and felons can't vote in Florida. There was one problem: 97 percent of those on the list were, in fact, innocent.
They weren't felons, but they were guilty ... of being black. Over half the list contained names of non-whites. I'm not guessing: I have the list from out of the computers of Katherine Harris' office—and the "scrubbed" voter's race is listed with each name.
And that's how our President was elected: by illegally removing tens of thousands of legal African American voters before the race.
But you knew that ... at least you did if you read the British papers—1 reported this discovery for the Guardian of London. And I reported again on the nightly news. You saw that ... if you live in Europe or Canada or South America.
In the USA, the story ran on page zero.
Well, let me correct that a bit. The Washington Post did run the story on the fake felon list that selected our President—even with a comment under my byline. I wrote the story within weeks of the election, while Al Gore was still in the race. The Post courageously ran it ... seven months after the election. The New York Times ran it ... well, never, even after Katherine Harris confessed the scam to a Florida court after she and the state were successfully sued by the NAACP. I HAVE THE LIST FROM OUT OF THE COMPUTERS OF KATHERINE HARRIS' OFFICE—AND THE "SCRUBBED" VOTER'S RACE IS LISTED WITH EACH NAME.
So, I can't say the New York Times always makes up the news. Sometimes the news just doesn't make it.
* * *
At BBC Television, we had Florida's computer files and documents, marked "Confidential"—stone-cold evidence showing how the vote fix was deliberately crafted by Republican officials. Not a single major US paper asked for the documents—from the state nor from the BBC. Only one US Congressperson asked for the evidence and made it public: Cynthia McKinney of Atlanta.
That was her mistake.
The company that came up with the faux felon list that determined the presidency: a Republican-tied database company named "ChoicePoint," one of the richest, most powerful companies in Atlanta.
FOXES ON THE CHICKEN TUBE
Before I started with the BBC in London, I took a one-day television training course with the Washington correspondent for Fox News.
We filmed Al Gore. Specifically, we filmed the eleven seconds of Gore's impromptu remarks ... which we'd been given two hours earlier by his advance ladies. They wore blue suits.
The man for the Associated Press newswire wrote a lead paragraph of Gore's impromptu remarks one hour before Al walked in and said them. The network reporter copied down the AP lead line. I copied down the AP lead line.
After we got Al Gore's eleven seconds and footage of someone in the crowd saying, "Wow, Al Gore really talked different from the way AI Gore usually talks," we set up in front of the hotel where Al Gore talked. The important network reporter looked sternly into the camera and spoke in a very important voice. I squinted into the camera and spoke in a very important voice.
I can't remember what I said.
He can't remember what he said.
No one can remember what we said.
No one should.
EXILE ON MAINSTREAM GREG PALAST
SPECIFICALLY, WE FILMED THE ELEVEN SECONDS OF GORE'S IMPROMPTU REMARKS ... WHICH WE'D BEEN GIVEN TWO HOURS EARLIER BY HIS ADVANCE LADIES.
A PICTURE WORTH A THOUSAND LIES
The same week in June 2002 that NPR warned you that McKinney was dangerous and a wacko, another story caught my eye. There on page one of the San Francisco Chronicle was this Associated Press photo of demonstrators:
"TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VENEZUELANS OPPOSED TO PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ ..."
The caption let us know this South American potentate was a killer, an autocrat, and the people of his nation wanted him out. The caption continued: "[Venezuelans] marched Saturday to demand his resignation and punishment for those responsible for 17 deaths during a coup in April. 'Chavez leave now!' read a huge banner."
There was no actual story in the Chronicle—South America simply isn't worth wasting words on—just the photo and caption. But the Chronicle knew no story was needed. Venezuelans hated their terrible President, and all you needed was this photo to prove it.
And I could confirm the large protests. I'd recently returned from Caracas and watched 100,000 march against President Chavez. I'd filmed them for BBC Television London.
But I also filmed this: a larger march, easily over 200,000 Venezuelans marching in support of their President, Chavez.
That picture, of the larger pro-Chavez march, did not appear in a single US newspaper. The pro-Chavez marchers weren't worth a mention.
"ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS THE PRINT"
By the next month, when the New York Times printed a photo of anti-Chavez marchers, they had metastasized. The Times reported that 600,000 had protested against Chavez.
Once again, the larger pro-Chavez demonstrations were, as they say in Latin America, "disappeared." I guess they didn't fit the print.
Did I mention to you that (ex-)Congresswoman McKinney is black? And not just any kind of black. She's the uppity kind of black.
What I mean by uppity is this:
After George Bush Senior left the White House, he became an advisor and lobbyist for a Canadian gold-mining company, Barrick Gold. Hey, a guy's got to work. But there were a couple of questions about Barrick, to say the least. For example, was Barrick's Congo gold mine funding both sides of a civil war and perpetuating that bloody conflict? Only one Congressperson demanded hearings on the matter.
You've guessed: Cynthia McKinney. That was covered in the ... well, it wasn't covered at all in the US press.
McKinney contacted me at the BBC. She asked if I'd heard of Barrick. Indeed, I had. Top human rights investigators had evidence that a mine that Barrick bought in 1999 had, in clearing their Tanzanian properties three years earlier, bulldozed mine shafts ... burying about 50 miners alive.
I certainly knew Barrick: They'd sued the Guardian for daring to run a story I'd written about the allegations of the killings. Barrick never sued an American paper for daring to run the story, because no American paper dared.
The primary source for my story, an internationally famous lawyer named Tundu Lissu, was charged by the Tanzanian police with sedition, and arrested, for calling for an investigation. McKinney has been trying to save his life with an international campaign aimed at Barrick.
That was another of her mistakes.
FITS IN PRINT
The New York Times wrote about McKinney that Atlanta's "prominent Black leaders—including Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP and former Mayor Maynard Jackson—who had supported Ms. McKinney in the past—distanced themselves from her this time."
Really? Atlanta has four internationally recognized black leaders. Martin Luther King Ill did not abandon McKinney. I checked with him. Nor did Julian Bond (the Times ran a rare retraction on their Website at Bond's request). But that left Atlanta's two other notables: Vernon Jordan and Andrew Young. Here, the Times had it right; no question that these two black faces of the Atlanta Establishment let McKinney twist slowly in the wind—because, the Times implied, of her alleged looniness.
But maybe there was another reason Young and Jordan let McKinney swing. Remember Barrick? George Bush's former gold-mining company, the target of McKinney's investigations? Did I mention to you that Andy Young and Vernon Jordan are both on Barrick's payroll? Well, I just did.
Did the Times mention it? I guess that wasn't fit to print.
Look at the Chronicle/AP photo of the anti-Chavez marchers in Venezuela. Note their color. White.
And not just any white. A creamy rich white.
I interviewed them and recorded in this order: a banker in high heels?
Excerpted from ABUSE YOUR ILLUSIONS by Russ Kick. Copyright © 2003 The Disinformation Company Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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