Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Scott Ritter getting covert funds from Saddam"

Jeff Cohen was on democracynow:
And in the last months of Donahue, we were ordered by management at MSNBC: every time we booked one guess who was antiwar, we had to book two that were pro-war. If we booked two guests on the left, we had to book three on the right. One meeting a producer suggested booking Michael Moore and was told, for ideological balance she would need three right-wingers. And, you know, I used to think about proposing Chomsky as a guest but our stage couldn’t accommodate the 38 right-wingers we would have needed for balance.

I mean, when you see this kind of suppression -- when we would talk about booking Scott Ritter, one of the most articulate dissenters, a skeptic of the WMD evidence, because we had a steady parade of weapons experts that got everything wrong and they were unrebutted. On MSNBC, I was a pundit, I couldn’t have discussed the weather without being balanced by at least one fire-breathing right-winger. But the weapons experts got on all by themselves, and everything they said was wrong.

And we tried to book Scott Ritter. And it was like clockwork. We’d hear in the building at MSNBC, “Oh, we hear he’s covertly -- he’s getting covert funds from the government of Saddam Hussein.” It was completely false, a smear aimed at getting an articulate dissenting voice off of mainstream TV. I’m sure it wasn’t just being heard at MSNBC. It was being heard at other channels.

And the irony is, I learned years later that one of the experts, one of the advocates I was always debating on MSNBC, was in fact a recipient of covert government funds. The covert government funder was the Bush administration. I’m talking about Armstrong Williams, who got all that money to push No Child Left Behind. No one invited me into the “No Pundit Left Behind” program.

So, yeah. I mean, the spectrum that I saw in TV is enforced. There’s always exceptions. I was at FOX News on weekends every week for five years. There’s always exceptions to the rule, but the rule is a general parade of a narrow center-right, GE-to-GM spectrum.
simon thinks i should try to interview scott ritter. I'm a bit scared, but i don't think i'd have to say too much.


calipendence said...

Luke, if you can get ahold of Scott, tell him hello from a fellow George C. Marshall HS alum in Turkey. Forward him my email address if he's interested in talking. I'd sure be interested in talking to him. Perhaps if you're afraid to talk to him, but get ahold of his contact info, let me know and I'll try and talk to him initially, since we did go to the same H.S., and I could start on a different personal level first to start with and maybe persuade him to talk to us here later.

lukery said...

lol - i'm not really afraid, but his email is apparently,3604,805841,00.html

rimone said...

Luke: DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! interview Ritter!

lukery said...

my only thing about interviewing him is that i don't really know everything about everything. i can interview larisa and sibel cos i'm an 'expert' - but i felt a bit weird interviewing barton - cos i hadnt even read his book.