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WaPo plays phoney Jew Card

Congressman John Conyers, with a lot of help from his friends, has accomplished an amazing turn-around of corporate media's blackout on the Downing Street Minutes.

Following yesterday's event (hearing and rally in front of the White House), the Washington Post published a very disappointing article covering those monumentally important events. Conyers, as reported in blogs today, is very critical of the WaPo article -- particularly of the WaPo reporter playing of a phoney Jew Card to discredit the entire movement to expose the truth about how the invasion of Iraq was sold to the American people.
From Conyers' article at blogsite, DailyKos.com --  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/17/14206/1059

"Media Accountability" by Congressman John Conyers (Fri Jun 17th, 2005)

I hadn't seen much discussion here about today's Washington Post article about the hearing. I am very disappointed that this ridiculous article was the Post's only coverage of yesterday's events. Today, I wrote a letter to the Post outlining my objections to the piece, which I have attached below. If you share my views, I would suggest letting the Post know about it.
________________
June 17, 2005

Mr. Michael Abramowitz, National Editor
Mr. Michael Getler, Ombudsman
Mr. Dana Milbank

The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20071

Dear Sirs:

I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank's June 17 report, "Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War," which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post's only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious.

In an inaccurate piece of reporting that typifies the article, Milbank implies that one of the obstacles the Members in the meeting have is that "only one" member has mentioned the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of either the House or Senate. This is not only incorrect but misleading. In fact, just yesterday, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, mentioned it on the Senate floor. Senator Boxer talked at some length about it at the recent confirmation hearing for the Ambassador to Iraq. The House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently signed on to my letter, along with 121 other Democrats asking for answers about the memo. This information is not difficult to find either. For example, the Reid speech was the subject of an AP wire service report posted on the Washington Post website with the headline "Democrats Cite Downing Street Memo in Bolton Fight". Other similar mistakes, mischaracterizations and cheap shots are littered throughout the article.

The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats "pretended" a small conference was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.

*****

In what can only be described as a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing, Milbank quotes one of the witnesses as making an anti-semitic assertion and further describes anti-semitic literature that was being handed out in the overflow room for the event.

*****

That said, to give such emphasis to 100 seconds of a 3 hour and five minute hearing that included the powerful and sad testimony (hardly mentioned by Milbank) of a woman who lost her son in the Iraq war and now feels lied to as a result of the Downing Street Minutes, is incredibly misleading. Many, many different pamphlets were being passed out at the overflow room, including pamphlets about getting out of the Iraq war and anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement, and it is puzzling why Milbank saw fit to only mention the one he did.

In a typically derisive and uninformed passage, Milbank makes much of other lawmakers calling me "Mr. Chairman" and says I liked it so much that I used "chairmanly phrases." Milbank may not know that I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee from 1988 to 1994. By protocol and tradition in the House, once you have been a Chairman you are always referred to as such. Thus, there was nothing unusual about my being referred to as Mr. Chairman.

To administer his coup-de-grace, Milbank literally makes up another cheap shot that I "was having so much fun that [I] ignored aides' entreaties to end the session." This did not occur. None of my aides offered entreaties to end the session and I have no idea where Milbank gets that information. The hearing certainly ran longer than expected, but that was because so many Members of Congress persevered under very difficult circumstances to attend, and I thought - given that - the least I could do was allow them to say their piece. That is called courtesy, not "fun."

By the way, the "Downing Street Memo" is actually the minutes of a British cabinet meeting. In the meeting, British officials - having just met with their American counterparts - describe their discussions with such counterparts. I mention this because that basic piece of context, a simple description of the memo, is found nowhere in Milbank's article.

The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn't make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.
Dissing Conyers Reveals Truth: Invasion was for Israel 17.Jun.2005 17:21

kn

In his attempt to dismiss and render childish those of us who are rightfully concerned about Bush's plot to invade and occupy a sovereign nation—and violate international law, including the Geneva Conventions—[Washington Post reporter, Dana] Milbank said a bit more than he probably should have.

In an effort to slam Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst,

Milbank writes:

"[McGovern] declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration 'neocons' so 'the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world.' He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon."


having read the w.p. article... 17.Jun.2005 17:27

this thing here

... i would have to say that i have not seen a more obvious attempt to discredit and destroy the story of what the downing street memo means than this piece of work by dana milbank.

the bias was simply right there, in your face. it was an editorial, BUT IT WASN'T IN THE EDITORIAL SECTION OF THE NEWSPAPER.

it clearly shows who the reporter is working for, and who the washington post is ultimately protecting.

these are the forces arrayed against us.

don't believe me? read it:
 http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5461725.html

That's funny 17.Jun.2005 21:12

Tree

I guess Dana Milbank is no more than a freeper. And too bad for WaPo.


Just saw the Downing Memo Hearings for the second time. Better than a Blockbuster Movie. Invigorating, I tell ya.

Washington Post downplay on DSM 17.Jun.2005 22:59

Upfront

Washington Post's action is just another example of the media and everyday newspapers protecting Bush and attacking anyone who disagrees with him. Once becoming knowledgeable of the DSM it is Congress responsibility to let the American public know of its implications. Congressman Conyers did his job. I thank Congressman Conyers, Congressman Miller, Congressman Randle, and all the other Congressman/women who are in agreement with the implications of the DSM and its impact on America. The DSM can and should be used to call for impeachment of George Bush.

SEND MORE LETTERS to WaPo, Milbank 18.Jun.2005 12:00

dogpile webnews@washingtonpost.com

[sample header]
------------------------------------------
June 17, 2005

Mr. Michael Abramowitz, National Editor;
Mr. Michael Getler, Ombudsman;
Mr. Dana Milbank;
The Washington Post,
1150 15th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20071

Dear Mr. Milbank:
------------------------------------------

To reach Milbank and the Post:
mailto: milbankd@washpost.com
 webnews@washingtonpost.com
Main Phone: 703-469-2500

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0618-23.htm
703-469-2500
milbankd@washpost.com