Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I'm Calling My Broker

The question of how Big Media could have been played for such fools by the Bush administration's Iraq warmongers has been a staple in the blogosphere for months, swirling around the media giants like swarms of african flies harassing water buffalo. Big Media could finally ignore the issue no longer, and the New York Times belatedly addressed it in a "mistakes were made", navel-gazing, non-indictment of itself and unnamed reporters/co-nonconspirators last week.

As critical to the Iraq war hardsell as the shameless peddling of the WMD fraud was Big Media cooperation in underreporting the Enron scandal, a scandal that could have derailed the Iraq War Express. The looting of California by the Deserter's biggest corporate benefactor and the role played by the Bush administration's complicity or incompetence or willful ignorance should have triggered a Big Media feeding frenzy. It did not. The Times and the Post and the networks just couldn't seem to add 2 + 2.

How interesting, therefore, that suddenly the Enron scandal should appear so prominently in CBS's newscast last night. Nothing new, of course, but though the "Enron tapes" lacked caloric news content they were seductively sweet and tasty - tapes of dastardly energy traders direct from central casting, chirping trader-talk drenched in testosterone, fleecing California consumers and high-fiving all the way to the bank.

Why now? Where was this story when it should have been crippling the Bush administration and stalling the drive to defraud America into war? Well, the story was there for the taking, but Big Media didn't see a constituency for it. Why push this story when the Democrats didn't seem to have the wherewithal to capitalize on it? Ditto for the WMD fraud - if the Democrats were already on board the express train to war, why bother questioning whether it was wise to go to war on the basis of intelligence supplied by a handful of dubious Iraqi sources, sources spoon-fed to the Pentagon by a known charlatan like Ahmed Chalabi?

Titillating tidbits, like which administration officials Judy Miller was blowing for disinformation, are really meant to distract everyone from the central issue: the extent to which Big Media has become nothing more than useful idiots in the titanic battles among corporate oligarchies for hegemony in Washington, D.C. The corporate oligarchies are thoroughly unprincipled, of course, and have no ideology other than government in the service of profits, and therefore are interested solely in backing the winners. And just as the guy with the inside information reaps the biggest profits by being first to buy the hot stock, the oligarchs who first get behind the incoming administration garner the most government favors.

How else to explain the sudden Big Media epiphany over media manipulation on the subject of Iraqi WMDs, when virtually all of the pertinent facts regarding the unreliability of Chalabi's sources were known before the war? How else to explain CBS's unearthing of the "Enron tapes"? It really is simple. In the market for control of the government, the stock of the Bush administration is plummeting, and the inside information says that John Kerry will be the next President. That's why this White House, legendary for its iron discipline, is suddenly leaking like a sieve (but are they really leaking more, or did Big Media just start carrying buckets?). That's why the Enron tapes suddenly came to light. That's why Big Media, for so long somnolent in the face of Bush administration depredations, are suddenly alive with investigative fervor.

All of this is obviously very bad news for the Deserter, but not because it signals problems for his campaign. No, the bad news for the Deserter is that the real campaign is already over, and he lost. The smart money and its Big Media errand boys are getting behind John Kerry, trading on the Deserter's political life like so many Enron energy traders. Yup, they're shortselling Neocon Inc. and buying options on Democrat Corp., and that's driving the Deserter's stock into a hole and there is nothing he can do about it.


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