The right wing Republican Noise Machine has jumped into hyperdrive this last week. The hysteria is foaming. Like the rapist accusing his victim, they have mounted an assault on the New York Times that explodes with venom and war time hysteria. They are attaching the very idea of a free press as unpatriotic.
Several others have done excellent posts on the issue and I recommend them to you.
Dave Neiwert of Orcinus – The Drums of Elimination
“Documenting the mounting drumbeat of eliminationist rhetoric from the American right has long been a staple of this blog. But even I have to shake my head in wonder at the turn of events this past week — most of it in the wake of the New York Times’ publication of stories detailing the Bush administration’s use of banking data in its search for terrorists.The upshot has been a significant escalation in this rhetoric, coming not just from the usual rabid quarters but coming over the national airwaves from figures who supposedly represent mainstream conservatism — and it is aimed not just at the usual “liberal” targets, but at the entire institution of the free press.”
Paul Waldman at Media Matters – “A Declaration of War”
“This week, the conservatives declared war.
Not on The New York Times.
Not even on the media in general. No, this week the entire conservative movement — from the White House to Republicans in Congress to Fox News to right-wing talk radio to conservative magazines — declared war on the very idea of an independent press.
They declared war on the idea that journalists have not just the right but the obligation to hold those in power accountable for their actions. They declared war on the idea that journalists, not the government and not a political party, get to decide what appears in the press. They declared war on the idea that the public has a right to know what the government is doing in our name.”
This is a profound threat to our democracy, and we underestimate it at our peril.
Glenn Greenwood at Unclaimed Territory – “Conservative Pundits reveal murdeous plot by the Travel Section of the NY Times”
“I learned today from Michelle Malkin, Powerline’s John Hinderaker, Red State, and David Horowitz, among others, that The New York Times not only wants to help Al Qaeda launch terrorist attacks on the United States, but that newspaper also want to do everything possible to enable The Terrorists to ssassinate Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. That is the conclusion which these sober leaders of “conservative” punditry drew after reading
this article in the Times’ Travel section, which features the tiny, charming village of St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where both Cheney and Rumsfeld have vacation homes.”