|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Monday, November 1st, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|The Economist has nearly half a million Americans readers each week. Bill Gates is reputed to be among them, a cover to cover student of the British magazine. The Economist prides itself on being more skeptical, more independent, better informed, wittier, and more internationalist than other publications, which makes its endorsement of John Kerry for President in this week’s edition all the more surprising.1 Not the endorsement itself; only the narrowly self-interested or the irremediably foolish plan to vote for Mr. Kerry’s opponent. Nor the “heavy-hearted” quality of The Economist’s endorsement, since the magazine has been a Bush cheerleader from before his appointment to the Presidency. The surprise in The Economist’s endorsement of John Kerry is how gullible it shows the weekly to be.
Mr. Kerry, according to The Economist, made up his mind once, and that was thirty years ago. He vacillates, at least when he’s not oscillating. Inevitably, the loathsome Bush campaign “flip-flopper” smear is dragged in. The Economist follows the Bush campaign script in its characterization of Mr. Kerry, although the Bush handlers would never have used the words “oscillates” or “vacillates” since their candidate certainly can’t pronounce them. With endorsements like this one, who needs endorsements? The headline for the magazine’s leader should have been “Damning with Faint Praise.”
But what a triumph for the Bush marketing team that its artfully crafted portrayal of Mr. Kerry, mendacious though it is, should be swallowed hook line and sinker by a sophisticated international news organ read by political, business, and academic leaders around the world. As a combat veteran, public prosecutor, and U.S. Senator, Mr. Kerry has shown himself to be a determined and courageous fighter. Whether pursuing Vietcong guerillas, Boston gangsters, or the likes of the Iran-Contra scandal perpetrators and the BCCI crooks, Mr. Kerry’s record of bringing malefactors to book and taking a firm stand for justice and truth speaks for itself. Only the black-is-white, up-is-down, wrong-is-right lie mongers of the Bush campaign could take a record like that and claim its owner is weak and wishy-washy.
Until now, it seemed that only the supremely gullible, profoundly ignorant, or pathologically lazy subscribed to the warped Bush version of reality. The Economist demonstrates that you don’t have to be any of the above to drain Karl Rove’s snake oil to the dregs. In a world gone so mad that a purveyor of reason and factual analysis like The Economist begins parroting the calumnies of the Bush campaign, even Dick Cheney starts to make sense, for it is time to be afraid. Very, very afraid.
The Afternoon Affront
It was front page news in Le Monde in Paris last week, though the Washington Post buried the story on page 16. It hasn’t had much play elsewhere in the U.S. press, although Bob Herbert in today’s New York Times expresses shock and outrage. 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths since our invasion, many of them women and children. The figure is backed by heavyweight credentials: it’s the result of a Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health study, as reported in the premiere British medical journal, The Lancet.2 100,000 deaths, the study’s authors say, is a conservative estimate. Perhaps a stunned silence is the only appropriate reaction to the enormity of this report, but not, surely, on the part of the press.
©J.C. Nossiter, 2004
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