The Dumbing Down of America

by Joshua Foust on 3/26/2007 · 36 comments

(HT: Eat the Press) I try not to judge too harshly regular people who don’t keep up with obsess over Central Asia. I also like to think that reading mainstream publications should give people a reasonable grasp of the world, especially when big magazines like Time run stories about the Talibanization of western Pakistan.

Time Hates America

Huh. This is along the same lines of how Newsweek was recently shown to treat its American readers with absolute contempt.

In other words, while it might be nice to learn about how American policy is failing in the country that actually attacked us on September 11, the mainstream glossies seem to think we’re more interested in lesbians who photograph celebrities and the Kansas Board of Education.

At this point, I don’t even want to critique the article (esp. its oversimplification of the fighting in Wana). There is a more immediate question. Why do these publications hate America? I can’t really say. But seeing how they treat us with such contempt is deeply illuminating, and probably good insight into why our leaders seem to make such puzzlingly bad decisions in “the broader Middle East.”

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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narcogen March 26, 2007 at 9:01 pm

I don’t think they hate America. I just think they love money more. It occurs to me that discussions of America’s foreign policy failures probably sell pretty well in Europe and Asia. Probably not so well at home– or perhaps it is believed they will not sell so well at home.

Retreat into isolationism, anyone?

Vincent March 26, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Is this a chicken and egg issue? True, magazines like Time and Newsweek are shirking their responsibility to inform the public – but these corporations, being corporations, are just giving the American public what they want to read… or not giving the American public what they -don’t- want to read.

If Americans at large (as ascertained by the profit analysts at Time and Newsweek) don’t give a crap about our intervention in Afghanistan, the onus for fixing this sorry state of international awareness extends farther than the magazine corporations. It certainly does includes Time and Newsweek, but perhaps they’re responding to a state of affairs that needs to be worked on more intensively elsewhere. Wherever zeitgeists can get fixed.

Disha March 26, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Fox News anchor recently got upset at people who were upset at the fact that there was wall-to-wall coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death.
“GIBSON: My complaint about this is what you’re listening to when you hear that guy lecture the audience, is you’re listening to news-guy snobbery. Essentially saying, “I’m better than you. I know what you want to hear about, but I’m better than that story. I’m too high class for that story. I won’t stoop to what you want to hear about.” I’m not playing that. People want to hear about the Anna Nicole story, I’m happy to tell them. ”

Why does Fox News hate America?

Laurence March 27, 2007 at 4:29 am

Great post, Nathan!

Nathan March 27, 2007 at 10:20 am

Thanks for the credit, but it goes to Josh on this one.

I agree with Vincent. I think these magazines give their readers what they want. Newsweek is not so much a news and issues magazine as it is a People that focuses on current affairs.

Brian March 27, 2007 at 12:21 pm

There’s all this talk about the death of print news because internet based news providers are a more convenient, and often better, alternative. So I don’t understand how paper magazines can compete in the long run with fluffy stories since the internet is the ultimate domain of fluffy stories. I’d think that the people who would buy a paper magazine would be those who believe that there’s some in-depth analysis inside that you can’t find online. So it strikes me as weird that they would go after the sensational story rather than the intelligent one.

I noticed that The Economist has been making inroads to America lately. It’s probably one of the most content-heavy weekly magazines out there, and based on how much I’ve seen it spring up over the past few years I think they got it right.

Joshua Foust March 27, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Thanks. And check the bylines on these things: I do write about things that aren’t Afghanistan!

Anyway, I’m with Brian. The success of The Economist, the Financial Times, and even the WSJ, all show that there is a sizable market for profitable, hard news publications. (Though it is interesting to note the fact that all of those are primarily financial and economic, generally conservative, and two of them are British.)

Frankly, I have less reason to subscribe to Time when they run fluff, and more reason when they run useful stories. Similarly, I’m not renewing my subscription to The Atlantic because of how they fawned over Andrew Sullivan in the midst of an editorial decision to move away from “dry, hard stories” to softer, more humanistic ones. That’s not why I subscribed to it, ya know?

As for the revenue issues, I think rags like the New York Times have it backwards: they decided their true value is their opinion columnists, and they use their hard news as the hook to get people wanting the latest identical Kristoff or Friedman fluff. The WSJ, on the other hand, knows the values of its opinion columnists and gives them away for free, asking people to pay for access for its reporting. And amazingly, it’s doing okay, in stark comparison to the NYT and almost every other American broadsheet.

The lesson I draw from this is that, rather than abandoning actual news reporting to the Axis of AP (the AP, Reuters, UPI, AFP, Xinhua, and so on), doing original reporting creates value in a news publication, while running fluff makes it generic. Who would buy Time for its celebrity gossip, when the market is virtually saturated with such things? Good foreign reporting, on the other hand, is increasingly in the hands of a few American papers (the Post, NYT, WSJ, and CS Monitor), and the generic newswires.

It is a question of value, but most of the rags in this country are getting the answer wrong. I think even just going by the NYT’s “Web Navigator” section (which, full disclosure, approvingly links to The Registan), and linking some local stories in lieu of original foreign reporting, would drive the values of these papers up.

Nathan March 27, 2007 at 2:43 pm

There’s a backstory to the NYT navigator thing. I can’t share it, unfortunately, but it could be much more than it is and add quite a bit of value to the paper’s website. And some people there know that.

Nick March 28, 2007 at 2:20 am

If I can add my twopennethworth, the NYT is a far superior publication than its British equivalents (Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent), if a little dry in its reporting style, and the columnists are somnambulists. By way of comparison, a subjective survey reveals the NYT’s coverage of, say, Andijan, to be far more exhaustive than anything the Guardian did.

Of course, you can’t exactly precisely the national newspaper culture in the UK with that in the US, but from what I can tell, by having broken out of its purely New York metropolitan area mindset and adopted a nationwide strategy, the NYT has set itself up to take a lot of punches from all over the political spectrum. It’s perceived liberal bias is accentuated by the lack of alternatives (USA Today? puh-lease!)

But it all comes down to the fact that the MSM is increasingly judged on the grounds of political affiliation or bias. It’s impossible to read a British newspaper without feeling like you’re being coralled into voting for one party or another.

I appreciate that nothing in this comment pertains to Central ASia. Sorry, all.

Phoebe Love March 28, 2007 at 7:09 pm

Hi. This is the first I’ve seen of your site – I was linked here from Andrew Sullivan’s column! – and I notice there’s nothing here [on the site, not in the article] about the Central Asia Institute. Which seems weird. Am I wrong to think it’s weird? You’re the experts. I defer.

Nathan March 28, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Phoebe, are you talking about these guys? If so, it’s kind of funny because I was just looking them up today. There’s no real reason they’re not mentioned. They operate a bit outside of the area that I normally cover, and the bulk of the posts over the years have come from me. Also, since we tend to deal with policy issues, organizations like that sometimes slip through the cracks.

luisalegria March 28, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Time and Newsweek address a very different demographic slice in their foreign editions than in the US. The foreign audience of these magazines is often very upmarket in their local societies (top 5% maybe), whereas in the US these are mass-market middlebrow. A lot of these class discrepancies in marketing targets and media consumption are behind various foreign misunderstandings of the US.

This in addition to the general disinterest in foreign affairs by the US public of course. As an aside, perhaps its a good thing. Frankly, if the US public really were interested in foreign affairs, and foreign opinion, much of the world would have a great deal to worry about from the justified outrage of the US public.

David March 28, 2007 at 9:52 pm

At this time the U.S. is in a funk over a failed administration and it’s policy’s. In 1973 and 1974 Both Time and Newsweek nearly faltered because of public exhaustion over Watergate or the war in Vietnam. Truth is, Americans, even the less educated or seemingly disinterested have native intelligence and intuition. All of us are terribly aware of the Vice Presidents absurd comments. Karl Roves cynical antics. The presidents idiotcy at times and the tragedy of Iraq. News magazines must pay the bills. Thus there are times when fluff gets one through a dark season. Remember, the news junkies have access to online sites plus access to international editions by Internet or better news stands. I can assure you that once Bush and Co. are out of office, the national angst will come alive and the media will be full of recriminations. The after effect of this wretched presidency will linger for years. Enjoy the fluff, because it will pass and we will all miss it!

Andrew March 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm

This complaint is almost entirely without merit. All one has to do is look further back in the cover archives, and you’ll see that on February 19th the US and South Pacific regions have a cover dealing with Afghanistan, and the Europe and Asia regions do not. At no point did they use that Afghanistan cover in those two regions either. To me it seems likely that Time didn’t want to run another cover dealing with the same area of the world so soon after that one. Variety in covers is an aesthetic choice that I’d find hard to take issue with.

And the notion that there’s any dumbing down going on is on shaky ground as well. Check the covers for March 19th. The US cover is of much greater importance than the others. Does that mean the magazine was dumbed down for foreign editions that week? It doesn’t seem likely.

Phoebe Love March 28, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Yes them. They are all I know about Central Asia, being as I’m an ignorant American, forsaken by Time and Newsweek. The reason I know about them is I read an interview with the founder in Parade [!] Magazine, and then saw his book, Three Cups of Tea, in a bookstore and impulse purchased it. I found it to be quite a page turner. When you say they operate outside the area you normally cover, do you mean geographically or subjectwise?

Phoebe Love March 28, 2007 at 10:35 pm

oops, that is what happens when you are at work and start a comment, then abandon it for hours before posting it. I meant “yes, Nathan, that is the Central Asia Institute to which I refer”

mark March 28, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Honestly, what I think it comes down to is negative controversy, if they posted those covers in america, the magazines would get utterly slammed for being ‘unamerican’ and ‘loser mentality’ by one side, and the other side being too damn busy patting themselves on the back saying ‘see see, we’re right’… all the while completely ignoring the bigger issue.

For whatever reason, The far ‘right’ and to a lesser extent, the far ‘left’ no longer really cares about what reality is, and I think the only reason the far ‘left’ cares is because they just got a foothold back in congress and spent the last decade licking their wounds and having a rather harsh reality check. maybe that will keep the left tempered and working with moderates, maybe not, but certainly the far ‘right’, in particular the radio and bloggy media are very aggressive and belligerant against anyone who runs cross purpose to their desires and goals.

The far ‘right’ have so effectively stifled debate since 9/11 that we’re just now coming out of the fear mentality that has dominated society for the last five and a half years. and I say it’s about time, maybe we’ll have some rational debate about the best course of action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

and as a total aside, I think Bush should be impeached for his actions, but that we should increase troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (with the logic, that we have to finish what we started, and accept the price of blood that people I know and care for have given, and will give for the actions of the President).

Sorry that I’m all over the map on this post. serves me right for writing it at 2am.

Joshua Foust March 29, 2007 at 4:18 am


Considering what we cover here, and the content of even the highly provocative cover story, I’d say there’s still dumbing down. Time has seen nothing wrong with running multiple covers about what’s going wrong in Iraq. And the Feb. 19 cover was about a domestic drug sting, not anything about the Taliban resurgence. The notion of not being too specific with covers is fine, but when it deals specifically with a major U.S. strategic problem, and Time runs identical stories everywhere but the U.S., it’s not unfair to ask why they do that—especially when it’s an apparently common practice (Newsweek has done so for multiple editions).

Phoebe Love, your comment reveals more personal interest in Central Asia than the average American. I’m certainly happy you have that, but most people rely on whatever rags they get in the mail to tell them about what’s going on, and selectively covering it (for whatever reason) is not a defensible position.

Mark, you’ll get no argument from me about the bad influence of partisan politics, and I think you make a good point that Time, especially given its major financial problems, probably didn’t want to spark a controversy. Well, woops on them.

Cathy March 29, 2007 at 7:27 am

Look no further than “No Child Left Behind”, the dumbing down of America has been institutionalized by the necessity to teach to the lowest common denominator. Main stream media has jumped on board and now court those marginal students who have morphed into a vast uninformed population. Critical thinking has been tossed out in order to teach kids to parrot facts and figures that will appear on the various tests used to rate proficiency. We are not providing the skills that allow one to understand and analyse stories and situations that are multi-demensional and complex. This will only get worse.

Keith Gatling March 29, 2007 at 10:31 am

You know, back when I was a freshman in journalism school, we learned that a kid stuck in the well in your own neighborhood “outranks” a devastating fire somewhere else in the state, which outranks a tornado in another state, which outranks a flood in a country you’ve never been to. In other words, to paraphrase Tip O’Niell, “All news is local.”

While this doesn’t in any way say that the people elsewhere are suffering less or are less important than the people nearby, the simple fact is that for all of us, our first focus is *local*, and that it takes a *huge* event outside of our normal sphere of influence to really get our attention and nudge the kid in the well out of first place.

Similarly, the kid in the well in your neighborhood ain’t exactly big news across the state where the fire’s going on.

That being said, it’s worth noting that the magazines shown here all had both International and US editions. I think it’s fairly safe to say that people who read the International editions of what are basically US magazines are looking for an *international* perspective, and don’t really care about things going on in the “local” US scene. As a result, they have a different focus for their articles to appeal to that audience.

Likewise, it’s not that the local US editions of those magazines *don’t* care about the international perspective, or that the readers don’t care; but rather, that they’re *US* (and *not* International) magazines. They cover things that are important in our “neighborhood” so to speak.

This isn’t to say that they totally ignore the Middle East, for in fact, they don’t. There are articles in there every week, just like clockwork. But let’s face it, both Newsweek and Time are *general news* magazines, not journals totally devoted to the intense study of foreign affairs. General news includes things political, social, cultural, and who knows what all else.

So when Newsweek runs a “local” cover on Annie Liebovitz or Time runs one on Biblical Illiteracy, while running International covers on the Middle East, it’s not that they’re selling the American readers short and dumbing things down for them, it’s that they understand that our *local* news isn’t what the *international* audience is interested in reading. In other words, they didn’t “dumb down” the US editions, which were probably conceived first, they refocused the International ones so that they would sell *there*.

There are those who want the covers of all of our newspapers and magazines to prominently feature nothing but the Middle East situation until it’s resolved, and I feel that that’s totally unrealistic. Life goes on, and you have to talk about other things too. Even the people who have loved ones in harm’s way don’t want to see the news plastered on every news source they turn to. They too, want to learn about the latest in culture, entertainment, and humanities – along with being updated on the political situation.

Before we throw stones at our local magazines based on how much better we perceive the coverage of their International editions to be, we should check to see what the situation is with the local magazines of *other* countries, which also put out International editions – if, indeed, such beasts exist.

With that in mind, I believe that both Newseek and Time do a pretty good job of providing a *balance* between “all political, all the time” and the rest of the stuff we might be interested in knowing about.

Joshua Foust March 29, 2007 at 11:06 am

I hate to nitpick, but… Afghanistan is not part of the Middle East. At all. The reference to “broader Middle East” was a link to post (a series of posts, actually) in which Nathan specifically criticized Senator Joe Biden’s inclusion of Kazakhstan — like Afghanistan, a Muslim country utterly dissimilar to, say, Syria — with the rest of the Middle East. I wrote another post today about some problems with lumping Central Asia in with the Middle East (among other adjacent regions). Anyway, the term “broader Middle East” is usually another way of saying “The Middle East and North Africa,” (MENA), which is itself a way of avoiding describing a region by its race & culture — namely, Arab Muslims While all Central Asian countries maintain Muslim majorities, they have very little in common with Arab culture. The equivalent is assuming that because most of Latin America and the U.S. are nominally Christian-majority, they can be considered part of the same culture.

That being said, neither Newsweek nor Time were discussing some interesting but unrelatable story of foreign tragedy (like a famine, or, frankly, Darfur), in which case I could see your logic applying. These were stories about a war we are fighting, where bad policy is leading to a dramatic reversal of fortune that is literally killing American and European soldiers. Frankly, we have much more at stake in Afghanistan than either Europe or the Pacific Rim, yet both publications thought those regions cared more about it than Americans do.

That is the inconsistency I’m pointing out. It’s not a fuzzy-headed, “but people are dying” complaint. It is a direct, “why are you not reporting on the failures of American policy” complaint.

Phoebe Love March 29, 2007 at 12:44 pm

dude dude dude, I’m with you all the way, did you think I was being sarcastic?
I’m the ignoramus here, so from my point of view:
1. Yes, this is hugely important to Americans – we’re fighting a war in Afghanistan, which was started in response to an attack on our country, and the Taliban is the ongoing threat there, and
2. Time and Newsweek are the rags up at the checkout counter, not the Economist [which we ignorami are frightened of anyway] so yeah, what’s on the cover counts, and
3. My tiny knowledge of the area comes from a Parade Magazine human interest story for crying out loud, so it’s not impossible to suck us in. That story, btw, made a huge impact on the Parade readership, and the Central Asia Institute owes much of its succe$$ to the publicity it brought.

amberglow March 29, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Annie Liebowitz is not a well-known figure at all–in America or outside of it. Newsweek’s choice to use a different cover wasn’t made because they thought she would sell more copies–it was pure cowardice.

Keith Gatling March 29, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Actually, in the letters section, two weeks after the Liebovitz cover, one writer questioned why a feature on her and not Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, or three other photographers she maintained were better known than her. Of those six photographers, the only ones I’d ever heard of were the two whose names I just mentioned, and Liebovitz.

Adams I know only because I heard so much about him later on in my life, Avedon I knew only because of the Beatles portraits he took when I was a kid (and those are still the only works I can identify as being his), but Liebovitz’s work was very familiar to me from all those “Rolling Stone” covers and other places where I’d see her name appear as the photographer credit. In fact, I’m betting that for “people of a certain age” Liebovitz is the one *living* photographer they can name. I’m also betting that she is the one living photographer whose work most Americans have seen, whether they recognize her name or not – and this is at least why they chose her over Avedon and Adams: she’s still alive and producing work.

That having been said, the fact that she’s not at all well-known *outside* of the US is probably the reason why she wasn’t the cover on the International editions – she was our *local* story.

Of course, no argument will convince those who are already certain of the reasons why Newsweek made its choice, but the simple fact remains that deciding the cover story for a national newsweekly is an impossible task, and no matter what you choose, you’ll get thousands of letters from people complaining that it wasn’t important enough, that you’ve done that already, that it shows your obvious bias, that you’re just following the trend now and didn’t cover it when it was developing, and a litany of other possible complaints. I suppose the only recourse an editor has is to develop a thick skin and accept the fact that over the *long run* when people look back, they’ll see an incredible amount of balance.

And yes, I misspoke when I said the Middle East instead of Central Asia. Don’t we all make little mistakes when we’re in the middle of doing a million things at once?

tc March 29, 2007 at 6:53 pm

While I’m glad to see this issue discussed at length I feel one point must be corrected. I hope it doesn’t sound nitpicky, I just feel this is important.

“In other words, while it might be nice to learn about how American policy is failing in the country that actually attacked us on September 11”

“Afghanistan” (whether you want to think of that as the government, the people, or something more nebulous like the “country”) didn’t attack the US. None of the alleged hijackers were Afghani. That the alleged hijackers may have trained in Afghanistan does not mean that the “country” attacked the US. I find the conflation between the Taliban and Al Queda in US discussions of Afghanistan to be deeply troubling. I was against the US support of the Taliban and I remain against the US support of the Northern Alliance, but I do not see “Afghanistan” as an enemy of the US.

Johnny Bravo March 29, 2007 at 8:11 pm

It isn’t so much dumbing down as it is hating to be wrong and being reminded of it at every turn. And on the European and Asian fronts, it is “Schadenfreude” – a German word meaning ‘pleasure taken from someone else’s misfortune’.

Joshua Foust March 30, 2007 at 4:30 am

Kieth – sorry, you’re not going to get me to think that a celebrity photographer or the stale old debate about the bible in public school is a more important story than losing Afghanistan.

tc – I must have missed the time we established diplomatic and economic ties with the Taliban and Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton didn’t publicly condemn them for their horrible treatment of women.

Johnny – we Americans love schadenfreude as well. That doesn’t mean a story must be only schadenfreude: losing Afghanistan might please the Europeans who enjoy seeing us humbled, but it is of rather significant strategic import.

Final thought: It would be one thing if these rags never covered the area in the first place. I could honestly see why, as “it’s simply too complicated and remote for our readership,” though puzzling considering both have pretensions of Serious News, is at least defensible. There is no excuse to send the rest of the world cover stories about American failures while covering up the same in the States. None. It is absolute condescension.

tc March 30, 2007 at 5:46 am

Perhaps I wasn’t clear. The point is that the Taliban, as odious as they are, did not attack the US. The Taliban were not removed from power because of their human rights record as much as I might wish that were the case. They were removed because they were not sympathetic enough to UNOCAL. And they have been replaced by the Northern Alliance, a group with an equally atrocious record on human and women’s rights. But the evils of current and past regimes aside, none of them were among the alleged hijackers, who were primarily Saudi, which doesn’t mean that Saudi Arabia attacked the US either. I don’t believe it’s fair to blame a country for the actions of a small group of people that lived for some time within the borders of that country. If that were the case it would be equally factual to say that “the US actually attacked the US on 9/11” because the alleged hijackers were living in the US.

The point of this post is that people in the US should be educated and articulate about foreign policy concerning Afghanistan right?

Joshua Foust March 30, 2007 at 5:59 am

It is, and if you think Unocal had anything to do with the invasion, then you really have no business commenting here further.

The plain and simple fact of the matter is: the Taliban and al-Qaeda were intricately intertwined, and continue to be so in Pakistan. That is the source of much of the violence in Wana: clashes between the Taliban and their Arab al-Qaeda allies, and the Uzbek extremists who take advantage of the lawless expanse of mountains.

Remember, even after September 11 (and for years beforehand), the U.S. was trying to get the Taliban to give up bin Laden. The two were allies, and bin Laden’s camps trained all of the Taliban’s fighters. They were virtually indistinguishable in that sense. So, yes, saying “Afghanistan” attacked us on 9/11 is a simplification, perhaps even an over-simplification, but it isn’t inaccurate.

Those hijackers were funded, trained, and supported by Osama bin Laden, living under official sanction of the Taliban in Afghanistan. This isn’t hard. It is basic history. Maybe if you didn’t read Time you’d have realized this.

Brian II March 30, 2007 at 6:27 am

“The Taliban were not removed from power because of their human rights record as much as I might wish that were the case. They were removed because they were not sympathetic enough to UNOCAL”

Classic internet fiction. By the way, do you think that the Taliban were not well compensated (arms, money) by OBL for letting them train in AF? So you would rather that the Taliban get paid by OBL than have an oil company come in and diversify the economy away from heroin? Love those armchair QB’s!

James Taylor April 4, 2007 at 9:08 am

Unbelievable. Now I feel completely justified in reading the Guardian website ( instead of Time or Newsweek. What nonsense – who are they to say that American’s want tripe instead of news?

Ken D April 4, 2007 at 9:54 am

What do you expect? Time magazine is the USA Today of magazines and appeals to the lowest common denominator. It generates revenue by spreading fear and rumors while avoiding thoughtful analysis. If you want analysis, read the Economist, if you want light weight things to scare you read Time and watch Fox.

Milander April 18, 2007 at 9:00 am

Bottom line is that anyone who reads these publications and thinks that they are geting balanced, informed news reportage is very, very, very sadly misguided… they may as well place their trust in FOX news. Nuff said.

Barnegat Blummis April 18, 2007 at 9:50 am

Newsweek and Time and US News & World DamnedLies are all propaganda, crap and abunchahooey. So, what did you expect? The network “news” (what a joke when they call themselves “journalists” when they are simply non-entertaining entertainers. Katie , Meredith , Matt are just corporate whores and poseurs. So Americans continue to slumber. The phony controversies they create and project and their focus on death and “how did you feel when you heard the news of your son’s murder?” are their substitutes for taking a hard clear look at the lies, crimes and tasteless felonies of the Bush Gang. The hell with them all.

Barnegat Blummis April 18, 2007 at 9:51 am

also: a pox on fox!

Ugly American May 30, 2007 at 9:33 pm

As someone born and raised in the USA I can say without reservation that our mainstream media is bought and paid for.

The purpose of ‘news’ is not to tell the truth but to sell advertizing.

What people in other countries need to realize is that their media is also being manipulated.

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