The Noble Scribes II
by DCDave

The Washington Post, April 26, 1999
Meet the Truly Dangerous Press
by Geneva Overholser (former Post ombudsman)

SAN FRANCISCO--The president spoke here last week before several hundred editors, following a year of impeachment coverage, amid self-examination by the press, during a deeply unsettling war in Europe--and he began with words of praise for a free press.

It was a moment only the United States could produce. And it was an affirmation that, however troubled the relationships among press, public and government have been, they are working still, a fact now made all the more dramatic by the war in Yugoslavia.

"Since I'm here, I can't help noting that one of the truly striking aspects of this moment is the stark contrast it illuminates between a free society with a free press, and a closed society where the press is used to manipulate people by suppressing or distorting the truth," said President Clinton.

Indeed, however low U.S. public opinion of press credibility, however deep the animosity between Clinton and the press, to look at Yugoslavia is to see how genuinely dangerous a press can be. When the goal has nothing to do with accuracy, fairness or independence and everything to do with advancing one aim, the story is entirely different. (merciful end of excerpt)

Oh, where to begin? Perhaps it is, indeed, the timing of the remarks that is most noteworthy. Here we are, night after night, watching this quite old-fashioned enemy-demonization going on, based upon the probably correct assumption that the American people are utterly ignorant about our current war, and we can't help exclaiming out loud, "This is the most propagandistic I have ever seen them." Our propagandists have been working overtime trying to convince us that this is, as Clinton would have us believe, a war to prevent war and a noble attempt to prevent another European Holocaust.

You have to put some kind of good face on it when you are, without the slightest threat or provocation, raining mayhem and homicide down from the skies upon a small country that threatens the well-being of the United States in no way, whatsoever. You need the same type of compliant, lapdog press that has permitted a president to get by with things that would send any average citizen to jail and would have ended the political careers of any of his predecessors when you are engaging in naked aggression. How do you really go about explaining why you are intervening in the sovereign affairs of another country on the side of a vicious, criminal, third-rate insurgency?

Boiled down to its simplest terms, we are bombing Yugoslavia because they would not agree to allow 28,000 NATO soldiers to be stationed indefinitely in their country. Listening to our news one would get the impression that we are at war with Slobodan Milosevic, and with him alone. But the fact of the matter is that no representative of the people of Yugoslavia could agree to the terms that we have been attempting to dictate to them. In spite of our curious protestations to the contrary, what we are up to is prizing the Serbs treasured province of Kosovo away from them, and the Serbs know it. They don't need propagandists to tell them that, but we ignorant Americans certainly need them to distract us and hide it from us. And the Serbs surely don't need propagandists to tell them that they are being bombed.

From reading our press, too, you would find it very difficult to learn that until we started bombing there was virtually no one fleeing from Kosovo. The fighting that was going on amounted to no more than a pin prick as civil wars go, and no one made a serious case that the Albanian people living in Kosovo were in any great danger.

Now, concerning what our noble president said about closed societies, by his measure we are certainly one. In a closed society, he said, "the press is used to manipulate people by suppressing or distorting the truth." Well, to take just one of many, many possible examples, what do you think our press was up to when they failed to tell the American people about the witness in the Vincent Foster case who was harassed and is suing agents of the government? We are talking about Patrick Knowlton, the man who was in the Fort Marcy parking lot when Vince was already dead in the back of the park, and Vince's car was not there. We are talking about the man whose lawyer's letter, destroying Kenneth Starr's case for suicide, was ordered included with Starr's report, but our "free" press blacked out the news of that fact. Read all about it at

For some more stories that our press won't tell you about check out the other links on my web site, particularly the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum and Parents Against Corruption and Cover-up.

And while you are checking web sites, you might have a visit to some of the following to see how our press is suppressing and distorting the truth about Kosovo:


David Martin
April 28, 1999

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