"Burying the Lede"
Mar. 3, 2003 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (APJP) -- Molly Ivins mentioned recently that, according to a recent nation-by-nation study of the the freedom and accuracy of the world's media, the US press comes in at -- guess where?
Not first, not second, not even in the top ten...
... but seventeenth place. Seventeenth!
Several former Soviet client states score better than we do.
Pitiful, but, alas, in this era of corporate Media Borgs swallowing up each other, all-too-predictable. As I've mentioned a gazillion times before, most Americans get their news from either TV or the radio. If something only appears in a newspaper, Joe and Jane Average will never hear about it unless a miracle occurs.
Even in the print media, the really big news tends to get hidden away, obscured by misleading headlines and/or mentioned in passing:
The headline is "The Political Mind Behind Tort Reform", which would lead you to think that this is a piece mostly about Karl Rove's role in promoting 'tort reform', a role which he now proudly acknowledges.
However, the salient part -- the Real Story, or "lede" -- is found in these two paragraphs, buried in the middle of the article:
Karl Rove lied under oath.
Blatantly and obviously.
And he did so knowingly, and in answer to a question that was germane to the case being tried.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's perjury.
But since it's about tobacco and not sex, and since Karl is a Republican with the power to ensure that Dana Milbank or anyone else on the Post staff never has access to anyone in the Bush Junta ever again, that's not exactly emphasized.
This is what's known as "burying the lede".
Back when we still had a free press, burying the lede was one of the biggest sins a journalist could make. Nowadays, when openly and directly mentioning the truth is verboten in Corporate Media Land, the only way to get a hot "lede" into print is by literally smuggling it into a story and hoping your editors won't notice. Unfortunately, this usually means that your readers won't notice it, either.
Milbank, though he describes Rove's behavior with enough precision to show the reader what Rove did, doesn't dare call it perjury, or lying under oath, or even just plain old lying. He never felt the need to show such restraint when talking about Bill Clinton's efforts to hide minor hanky-panky between consenting adults.
This isn't the first time that Milbank has felt the need to back off from using the words "liar", "liars" or "lying" to refer to the Bushies and their actions.
As the good doctor Gonzo says, "'Nuff said."
ISSN No. 1523-1690