Sunday, October 31, 2004

A media bulge leads down a prickly rabbit hole

We could be on the cusp of condoning minority rule and lower the standard of acceptable behavior in politics to dangerous levels.

"23% of the American population makes up the outright majority for a government"

Whether the "bulge" matters to you or not: we need to stop the corruption all over the Bush administration, so I invite you to read on.

David Lindorff wote a new article about the Bulge today:

Bloggers have been pretty much alone in dogging this story, and some have suggested that the president may be hiding a medical device -- the prevailing theory is an external atrial defibrillator. But at least one physician, Dr. Stephen Tarzynski of Pasadena, CA, says most such devices are worn on the front of the body, closer to the heart. Another suggestion is an electrical impulse machine that could be designed to relieve chronic pain. In either case, the public has a right to know the health condition of the man they are considering as a candidate for the next four years -- particularly as the vice pesident, Dick Cheney, himself suffering from a serious heart condition […]

(Remember, the U.S. media have been criticized in the past for covering up President Franklin Roosevelt's leg braces and President Kennedy's Addison's disease, as well as President Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's in office.)

Most defibrillators are worn from the front; certainly this information from the quoted doctor above reduces the chances that it really is a defibrillator as described in another article I wrote. Bushwired has an excellent summary of all the photographic evidence. One similar to this defibrillator could have been used by choice, for better concealment so it must logically remain possible. It is also highly possible the President was also wired. What is for certain is that the bulge exists. That is all we have proven so far, so the focus must be on getting an answer on what the bulge really is.

It still troubles me: not submitting a physical goes against a long standing tradition. Politicians don't ignore this sort of thing without good reasons. It could quite be the case that Bush has a health problem and nothing on his body to identify it.

In general, I find the apathy regarding this issue shocking. The media sets the course in America: they do not like to be told what to report. The media has a responsibility to inform Americans, and now when websites like this evolve to fill this "fact hunting" void the media has left, it becomes our own fault we don’t have credibility. They printed stories about Watergate when it wasn’t clear what was happening yet, just a strange event. So what is really the difference?

The credibility, I guess, comes with time because it is the very same mainstream media which discount these efforts who heralded them when CBS seemed under fire. They sit on the sidelines and wait for the work to be done for them here, and call them ‘dark chasms’ warding off others of the ‘salacious rumors’ being written about. So, in this nefarious little world, have people like us stepped forward to become what used to be called “investigative journalists” and taken over for what would then be “old media”*?

*Journalism subscribing to the culture of “figure it out for us and we will grace you with our access to the masses” their than looking into it for themselves

Why are there now so few attorneys like Eliot Spitzer and journalists like Seymour Hersh, Greg Palast, and David Lindorff?

It’s because of the complicity of the media we didn’t already have more evidence that Bush was wired a long time ago. Is it going to continue to be that way with the President’s health? Is it going to stay hidden how obvious it is he is wired?

Let me pose two potential media failures:

Do the media know Bush is wired? All indications seem to be that many in the media do. I point to that video of the Chirac news conference as to why:

I read an article recently in which an earpiece coach stated "what you're supposed to do is speak a split-second after you hear each word", actors use them and say that its easier to hear their own voice in an earpiece and repeat it. The news conference is littered with examples of Bush’s voice not matching the recorded voice (which was also his own), too many, in fact to list here. Any audio expert, at that time could have easily confirmed this, but, shockingly, it’s wasn’t news… we have a President who is wired but calls what you are reading now “internets”? We have a Bush which is an eastern prep school graduate turn cowboy clearing brush? The media decided for us this wasn’t news? And today, months after the fact, it’s another ‘salacious rumor’? Let audio experts decide. If eyes don’t lie, neither do our ears.

So our press covers scripted press conferences, does that go down another level beyond being able to write your story the night before? We can’t ask this pillar of society if they are cheating us too. There would be widespread embarrassment in the media if this were discovered to be true. If it got out enough they would do what the UN does: change in secret when nobody is looking.

Whatever the truth is, when the media doesn’t ask obvious questions they usually, as a culture, have a reason: self interest, whether career, integrity, job security, et al.

David Lindorff also writes:

“U.S. media have been criticized in the past for covering up President Franklin Roosevelt's leg braces and President Kennedy's Addison's disease, as well as President Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's in office”

How many Americans know these past cover-ups of health problems exist?

Is there another health issue here to protect? Has the media decided not to make health a campaign issue? Remember, they set the agenda, terrorism, national security, Iraq, and by following the talking points of the campaigns. The “and ask once and case closed” or “get it on the record” mentality is clear here:

President Bush’s advisors were quoted as saying the President was too busy to have a physical this year. (During his vacation in Texas) The media have asked why there was no physical, and there was no further follow up to the answer given: the answer is still the President is too busy” (while on vacation).

Not in my backyard?

If you took a poll, and asked people “Is the health of the President of concern to you?” what would you imagine the answer being? Does you health matter? Or the health of your friends? Does the health of the person who is supposed to represent you in a “more dangerous” world matter?

What if the media were like an attorney who you pay to represent you, would you feel let down by this attorney if you didn’t get all the information you deserved? Have the media become a culture that waits for public outcry to report on anything better than the same stump speech blurb every day? I mean, they look the same, sound the same, same flags, banners, smiles, cheers, um, and then Bush say’s Kerry’s a flip flopper and Kerry says Bush screwed up Iraq. And then tomorrow you see the same thing again.

Why didn’t the media demand a physical? If “national security” is important to explore with so many pundits and so many talk show hosts, and swift boats, why didn’t a serious discussion mount on this? One theory is that media insiders know of a health problem that “they have decided is not a significant enough worry”. They are also worried about the reaction of a secretive and vindictive administration if pushed further on any topic. Remember, the Bush Administration shuts you out.

Is this media complicity, liberal-bias sting, or worse, media collusion. What do you call Abu Grhaib? Other than Sy Hersch, or an editorial, have we heard a breath about this other than a few more trials and convictions of scapegoats? If a story that big can get smushed, so can the "bulgegate".

Collective power, minority rule

It seems the media wants to publish their stories on the same internet which they undermine. By discounting the collective power of the internet, “old media” undermine a place where they can get more information than ever. If you want us around, stop labeling us as “unhelpful” and heralding us when you can't avoid publishing on the story any longer.

Big budget media outlets have access to highly skilled professionals that can apply scientific techniques to discover the exact dimensions of the visible bulge on Bush's back. Astronomical research uses image analysis and in forensic studies they are commonplace and highly sophisticated. It's common scientific practice, it’s a matter of desire.

Is it time for me to consider my thinking ‘old world’ and modernize to this new paradigm which seems to want to take hold in the way news is presented to us?

People keep asking me why I care about this, my response: look, pick an issue that matters to you and do something about it. Right now this is mine, so stop telling me there are other, worse, examples of Bush corruption…. I know that. All of them need to be told and there is a gap here to fill right now, before it becomes lore.

A note came in from a newsgroup in which an Englishman pointed out that in today’s America 46% of people vote, meaning that 23% of the American population makes up the outright majority for a government. If you consider the Republican “southern strategy”, habits of vote supression, the Supreme Court selecting a President, and not a single senator standing up in congress to fight the disenfranchisement, there is a strong case that minority rule is at work today.

Republicans know they are the minority, which is why they play electoral games and present an air of a majority, just like they present the air of a competent President.

I wonder if the Electoral College has outgrown its shoes and the “southern strategy”, laid out bare, is just the mathematical result of a vote in Wyoming having more value than a vote in California.

Whoever we do elect (hopefully not select) on election day, it will be a reflection of exactly who we, as a people, are.


At October 31, 2004 at 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George W. Bush indicates what he really thinks about you.

At October 31, 2004 at 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Washington Post:
By Dan Froomkin
Friday, October 29, 2004

Bulge Watch

Kevin Berger writes in Salon that "a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis . . . has been analyzing images of the president's back during the debates. . . .

"[N]o one to date has enhanced photos of Bush's jacket to this degree of precision, and revealed what appears to be some kind of mechanical device with a wire snaking up the president's shoulder toward his neck and down his back to his waist."

The scientist, Robert M. Nelson, "stresses that he's not certain what lies beneath the president's jacket. He offers, though, 'that it could be some type of electronic device -- it's consistent with the appearance of an electronic device worn in that manner.' The image of lines coursing up and down the president's back, Nelson adds, is 'consistent with a wire or a tube.' "

At November 1, 2004 at 4:07 PM, Blogger Political Commentator said...

Newly published at Puppetstring:

-----------------------------------------------------------------Strings pull puppets, not selected hands of God-----------------------------------------------------------------Read article there....

At November 2, 2004 at 4:46 AM, Blogger Political Commentator said...

David Lindorff writes again on the bulge. Read the article here "Ground Control to Major George... NASA Scientist Detects Bush Wire; Press Yawns---------------------------------------------Great title, by the way

At November 2, 2004 at 4:51 AM, Blogger Political Commentator said...

Good article:-----------------------

Two men. One difficult choice

At November 4, 2004 at 3:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the link below. The heart of America has spoken. President Bush received more individual votes than any other candidate in history. You are out of touch; get a grip.

At November 4, 2004 at 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Various people sent me mail saying that it is awfully fishy that the exit polls and final results were substantially different in some places. I hope someone will follow this up and actually do a careful analysis. Does anyone know of a Website containing all the exit poll data? If we go to computerized voting without a paper trail and the machines can be set up to cheat, that is the end of our democracy. Switching 5 votes per machine is probably all it would take to throw an election and nobody would ever see it unless someone compares the computer totals and exit polls. I am still very concerned about the remark of Walden O'Dell a Republican fund raiser and CEO of Diebold, which makes voting machines saying he would deliver Ohio for President Bush. Someone (not me) should look into this carefully. The major newspapers actually recounted all the votes in Florida last time. Maybe this year's project should be looking at the exit polls. If there are descrepancies between the exit polls and the final results in touch-screen counties but not in paper-ballot counties, that would be a signal. At the very least it could be a good masters thesis for a political science student. The Open voting consortium is a group addressing the subject of verifiable voting.

At November 4, 2004 at 2:59 PM, Blogger Political Commentator said...

So what's going on here? Answer: the exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?" The voters don't know.

At November 5, 2004 at 3:17 AM, Blogger Political Commentator said...

Also on the show: In a CounterSpin exclusive, journalist Dave Lindorff will join us with his scoop on how the New York Times killed a story about the device George Bush wore on his back during the presidential debates. The spiked story included compelling photographic and scientific evidence that would have contradicted Bush's claim that the bulge on his back was just a matter of poor tailoring.

At November 7, 2005 at 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good post, for sure, but make sure you are prepared for anything by checking out defibrillator use . The The Philips Heartstart Defibrillator could save your life.

At November 18, 2005 at 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a link about that on yesterday that made it sound like you would do better finding it online.

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