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Ray McGovern on whether Assange is a “journalist”

Editor’s Note: Truthtelling007 is our terrific videographer who built this blog’s excellent YouTube channel.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern (who posts at NoQuarterUSA) is asked by CNN’s Don Lemon if Julian Assange is a “journalist”. Note his answer and Lemon’s fairly conditioned and defensive response about “standards”…

There is this myth living in the CNN sphere (clearly they aren’t the only ones) that there is a “journalistic standard” that they abide by. Anderson Cooper seems to be the guy most prone to promote the “mr man from nowhere” journalist nonsense as he and CNN bask in the partisanship at MSNBC and FoxNews.

CNN even has a show on Sunday called, “Reliable Sources” that makes sure you hear what Rachel Ray has to say. This show features the ever so astute Howard Kurtz. Kurtz works for WaPo and Daily Beast but is more known to common viewers as the periodic “media critic” used to bolster CNN’s image as a “credible news source”.

But if you look at the CNN guest list regulars, you can’t find a more biased and ignorant bunch of partisan hacks than at CNN. Lower level operatives who are making careers out of being useless hacks. And they know it. Paul Begala, Hack. Gloria Borger. Hack. Roland Martin. Hack. Floyd the Barber. Hack. (sorry, I meant Alejandro “Alex” Castellanos) Donna Brazil, multiple campaign losing failure. Hack.

Back to the video, “why do you think Assange is doing the right thing by releasing all these documents”….
I didn’t catch the opening salvo but note that McGovern draws it back to whether or not he’s a journalist. He points out that it is the job of a journalist to tell the people what their governance structure is doing. He is wise to quote Jefferson’s concerns about the choice between being informed and having governance.

The banner at the bottom is offensive to anyone with intelligence. This false choice between Journalist and Terrorist is childish. What we put down in the lower third of a news piece can set the town. Lower third is the area where we place headlines and messages. This is a very suggestive area when you use labels.
“Michael Jackson: Freak or Molester?”
“Plame: Patriot or Camera Crazy”

This is not a “journalistic standard”, CNN.

McGovern continues by pointing out the “malnurished” state of information in the American populace due to the “fawning corporate media who act more as stenographers than they do as journalists”. As I’ve demonstrated in the past with other stories, the fact checking of these major media sources like CNN is lacking woefully. They are extremely prone to group think.
WMD anyone?

Lemon refers to “journalistic standards” and “fact checking”. Coming from CNN, this is pretty humorous. The only reason CNN thinks it has a “fact checking” standard is because it simply regurgitates whatever the Pentagon tells it.

Ask yourself how many times Wolf Blitzer says, “The Pentagon says today”…then brings on Barbara Star to parrot the Pentagon message then will raise some arbitrary critic. It is here where one must pay strict attention. The critic chosen is perhaps the most important part of understanding where these pathogenic groupthink moments happen.

If you want to discredit the critic base, find the wackiest or most remote from mainstream thought and make sure to frame your questions in a mocking fashion, “but do you really think that…” is a great lead in. (Grayson, Kucinich, The Ron/Rand Pauls, etc). Make sure language reminds people that these are not the ‘mainstream’ people.

If you want agreement find the least wackiest critic that essentially has no disagreement with the first source and make sure the appearance of division is minimal. (any segment with Leiberman, Dianne Feinstein, or Lindsay Graham qualifies)

Lemon refers to how “journalists” will avoid printing information (censoring) it believes may cause harm somewhere to someone. But this really raises a question, for me anyway,…who decided at CNN they have the right to stand between you, a voting member of this governance structure called Your Government, and the information about what your governance structure is doing in your name with your tax dollars. My first impression is instinctive: of course I don’t want to cause harm to a person, a group, or a country by leaking secrets. Fortunately I don’t stop at instincts that are so primal as self defense.

Next I examine the claim. If the claim doesn’t hold up…then it should be challenged. As McGovern rightfully pointed out, much alarm has been made about nothing. No person has been harmed in the publishing of information, thus far. Embarrassment comes when you’re duplicitous. It is the nature of being revealed for being two faced. These cables, if you’ll read them, are not revealing Cheney’s secret bunker location or the password to the Presidential Blackberry.

Reading over many of them so far I have found it more fascinating to match what I learned in the public sphere by timing against when the cable related to the topic was sent. Example: Barack “Hope” Obama promised to close Gitmo and restore Ameica’s honor. Yet his State Department is leaning on Spain to leave former US officials alone. Aka, more of the same old shit. Or how under Barack “Yes We Can” Obama, we see a leaning on countries to take Gitmo detainees.

What part of this was unknown?

(author’s note: I forgot to finish this piece. I was drafting it in the NQ posts. So, I’ll call this: “Part One”…) Enjoy your holidays

  • TeakWoodKite

    High Plains drifters

  • TeakWoodKite

    Have some eggnog…

  • +

    Completely different regarding Plame. Novak was not charged because he was a journalist and did not commit a crime. Rove, Armitage, Libby and even Cheney should have been charged with a crime, as they were the ones how outed Plame. Can you see the distinction? The 1st Ammendment protects Novak, but not the government employees who revealed the top secret info. It is up to the government to protect their own information and not the press. How does the press even know what is considered secret or not? It is not their call.

  • truthtelling007

    It has been the consensus statement from Gates, Biden, Mullen and others…it would seem to fit the official speak.

  • truthtelling007

    Red herring: one main stream or independent news organization….

    Well he’ll state that his Organization is such a thing…then it would be your subjective assertion that it would not be.

    This is the game that those who control message love to play (cnn, fox, nbc, abc, etc…) They try to block anyone who isn’t one of themselves out of the equation so then…IS…No Quarter An Independent News Source?…

    This is a combination ad hominem fallacy and red herring. Nice job.

  • truthtelling007

    And as a tax paying citizen, why don’t government documents belong to you?

  • truthtelling007

    Tell that to all the major news papers. Their legal staff will have elaborate answers for you…Promise!

  • TeakWoodKite

    How Rumsfieldian of you. Known knowns…Known unknowns…..

  • Onofre’s arm

    Would you call this a “harmful” effect of the Wikileaks mischief, Noogan?

    http://www.itnews.com.au/News/242051,un-mulls-internet-regulation-options.aspx

  • Onofre’s arm

    Where would you draw the line on revealed secrets Noogan? If a reporter had obtained the date and location of the D-day invasion, would it have been “disinfecting sunshine” for him to splash that information across the headlines? He could rationalize it by claiming that it was his OPINION that the D-day plans were lousy, that more men would be killed unless the Generals come up with a better plan, and there was no real harm in exposing the plans because the Allies will simply change their plans. The reporter could pat himself on the back for his patriotic efforts that saved countless lives, IN HIS OPINION!

    It’s impossible to quantify the ‘damages’ that this massive dump of classified material will have, Noogan, just like it would be difficult for you to quantify the damages of the failed mugging I mentioned above. BUT THERE ARE DAMAGES in the failed mugging, your liberty to safely walk down the side walk has been violated, the mental and emotional trauma you’ll experience, while impossible to measure, will still be real. How does the Oracle Noogan measure the negative effects that this simply ‘embarrassing’ information will have on our relationships with countries all over the world? 

    The absolute necessity for our government to keep secrets has ALWAYS trumped the public’s need to know, and it’s not up to you, me, and the asshole Assange to decide what should be secret and what should be public knowledge, for so many obvious reasons that only an ignorant child would question the need. 

  • Noogan

    I was responding in my initial response to you RRRAmy because you asked whether or not he “is a prof of journalism!” If you knew him–or so my thinking went–you’d know he is not a prof of journalism.

    So, I was simply informing you about him. Sorry if that offended you, but as so often happens, people are neither responding in real time, or able to respond face to face, so intentions are not easy to discern!

    You are free to disagree with McGovern. of course. However, I have to take issue with your point about McGovern’s experience and knowledge and service to country–years in infantry intelligence, decades in CIA intelligence, Presidential briefer for Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and others as an “appeal to authority, i.e., logical fallacy.” 

    It is simply a fact that someone who’s academic, military, and intelligence credentials give him credibility to speak authoritatively on a subject translates into respect–not necessarily agreement, just ordinary decent RESPECT for their actual accomplishments. It must be annoying to Larry Johnson when people equate their opinion on intelligence matters to HIS opinion on intelligence matters. Certainly, Larry’s experience and authority are more deserving of respect than an accounting clerk or social worker without any experience in the subject. So, it’s as much a tautology to conflate respect for a person’s authority on a subject to “appeal to authority, i.e., logical fallacy” as it is to say disliking Obama means one is a racist. 

  • Noogan

    Listen RRRAmy, what Assange did is no different than what the New York Times did or Daniel Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers; moreover, it’s certainly no different than what bloggers do every day. It is journalism in today’s culture. And McGovern’s a journalist by every definition of the word. 

    What Jefferson had to say about TREASON referred, nearly always, to abuse of power by the federal government. If Jefferson were here today, I would wager he’d be saying that freedom of the press is paramount to counteract abuse of power by the government:

    I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion. ~ Thomas Jefferson

  • Onofre’s arm

    What a load of hogwash Noogan, good grief, you’re losing it.

  • Noogan

    Yeah, I agree, Docelder. I may not like what Assange did, but I fear the repercussions on journalism as a result of getting overly wrought up about it. I also think sometimes it’s in your best interests to NOT REACT, thereby giving your enemies ammunition against you. In other words, by making such a big deal about it all the time on all the blogs and media, aren’t you actually pointing people in the direction of the documents?! 

    Why would people who claim Assange has harmed us so much, continuing to bring it up!? Shouldn’t they just act like it was really nothing? Seems counter-intuitive to me to keep making such a fuss over it. 

  • Noogan

    Well, okay then. You can call Assange an asshole any time you like! :)

  • Noogan

    A “condemnation” of Assange would seem to be more appropriate. That is your perspective, perhaps, but I differ; thus I could be called an Assange “apologist” even though I am not. I simply question the assertions that he has “harmed US interests” by divulging secrets that embarrass us. I also question the repercussions of jumping to such conclusions because of the impact it could have on freedom of the press–notwithstanding my contempt for much of today’s press, I would not want these threats and intimidations to mean further restrictions on the public’s right to know what it’s government is up to. Sunlight is the best disinfectant in my view. Secrecy has a way of propping up chicanery. A little disinfectant every once in a while, keeps us all squeaky clean. :)

    We went into both Iraq and Afghanistan “under false premises.” Well, in fact, McGovern has a point, since G.W. Bush planned to effect regime change in Iraq before he was even President, and the 9/11 attack was committed by 15 SAUDIS, not Afghans, and most of all, because The US Government had long been negotiating with the Taliban up to the point we chose to use the 9/11 attacks to invade first Afghanistan, and then move our troops and assets to Iraq and leave Afghanistan to allow the Taliban to regroup. Why didn’t we press our advantage in the North in the very beginning when we had the chance to actually catch Osama Bin Laden? Do you ever wonder about that?

    Why Those are all in whole or in part what I call “false premises.” I can’t speak for McGovern, but I wonder if that is what he is referring to. McGovern’s credible in my book; but of course, you are free to disagree with him. 

  • Noogan

    Wha? 

    I’m not being the least disingenuous; I’m being completely straightforward. 

    Where is the evidence that Assange has harmed US interests? I agree that he’s embarrassed the US government with secret behind the scenes missives; I agree that he’s exposed things we didn’t want exposed. But where is the evidence that he has actually harmed US interests, other than the interest to keep “email messages” secret from the US public? 

    I don’t think Assange is a “hero,” but neither was the New York Times a “hero” when they posted the Pentagon Papers; both were simply actors reacting to government actions and reporting what government actions. Both were essentially using information provided by whistleblowers to shed light on actions by the government. Assange isn’t an American citizen, and Manning is in jail for violating the UCMJ, which I believe he did, so have no quarrel with his arrest or the charges against him. 

    The Christmas Tree Bomber in Oregon was entrapped by an FBI poster ON FACEBOOK who enticed him into spouting off his stupidities; he was then encouraged to act out his stupidities by the same FBI, who provided him with the directions and the means to act out his stupidities. A sad young person too stupid to know that venting his stupidites on Facebook can not be considered much of a real threat if you ask me. 

    It is most certainly not irrelevant “whether the leaked information has caused any actual harm to the US” since THAT is the essence of Coulter’s ARGUMENT. 

  • candymarl red bone cracker

    I agree that laws passed by the Houses should be transparent as they affect all of us. 

    But where do we draw the line when it comes to the release of classified information?  If Secret information is okay why stop there?  Let’s release TS info.  Government/politcians lie. There’s a shocker -NOT.

    Assange is a specific case under a particular circumstance.  Damage control? All administrations, irrespective of party,  do it.

    Saying silencing Assange will cause the government to control or shut down the internet is a bit far-fetched.  Why?  Because any old excuse will do for government control of any medium they consider a threat to their power or influence. That’s true if you don’t have a Democratic Republic. Guess ours is gone.

    There’s not much anyone can do anyway.  When no one went to jail for outing Ms. Plame that was classified information yet the PTB and the courts looked the other way.  They set the precedent and I can’t say I blame Assange for using it to his advantage.

    In all of this mess I’ve noticed one thing hasn’t changed. Women who charge rape are money grubbing liars who make it up on a whim.  Our own government stats show women are raped in this country every few mintues.  Guess they are all lying as well.
    These same stats show most women don’t report rape for just that reason.

    WTH is happening to our country?

  • Hot Librarian

    Diane- Assange answered questions in Sweden & the charges were dropped. He was given permission to leave the country.That is a fact.

    Next after seeming collusion between the 2 ladies  their story changed & they found another prosecutor. 

    As NO charges have been laid (bad term!) you do not know  them . 

    The ladies themselves had no problems at the time  -they continued the relationship & one gave him a party.

    They are obviously unhurt & can provide no forensics . Yet  Sweden puts out a RED alert.

    It is the political nature of the charges that he is arguing.

    The British judge stated that it did not appear to be a serious offense if it was already dropped.

    Your HATRED for Assange is simply embarrassment you feel that a single person undermined American Exceptionalism.

  • Hot Librarian

    “stupid is as stupid does’ is not a correct description of the Us cables. There are some very relevant observations & infomation including the ME. Chevron & Tehran , Ghaddafi & Britain & BP , Lebanon & Hezbollah.

    It is the best read ever.It is only through WL that citizens of many countries are learning what goes on in their name by The Grand Lizard League ( as it were!

  • Hot Librarian

    Because Joe Biden saisd so today at the UN Security meeting. He said it was just embarrassing.

  • Hot Librarian

    Yes he is registered with the relevant union in Australia.