US Media Issues
By Alex Lantier, 4 September 2008
Since shortly after the August 7 attack by Georgian forces on South Ossetia triggered large-scale fighting between Georgia and Russia, major US media outlets have overwhelmingly presented the crisis as a simple case of Russian “aggression.”
Hillary Clinton on Today:
27 January 1998
Hillary Clinton's appearance on Tuesday morning's Today show was the most explicit reference so far by a Clinton defender to the political forces which are seeking to undermine or oust the administration. Mrs. Clinton described the scandal-mongering over her husband's relations with Monica Lewinsky as "an effort to undo the results of the last two elections." She continued, "The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband.... I'm very concerned about the tactics that are being used and the kind of intense political agenda at work here." Referring to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, she added, "We get a politically motivated prosecutor who is allied with the right-wing opponents of my husband.... It is just a very unfortunate turn of events that we are using the criminal justice system to try to achieve political ends in this country." Even more important than these statements, however, is what Mrs. Clinton left unsaid. Nowhere did she refer to the substance of the "intense political agenda" which underlies the attack on the Clinton administration from the extreme right wing. Nowhere did she spell out the "political ends"--other than the removal of Bill Clinton--which are at issue. Nowhere did she identify any of these "right-wing opponents." On the face of it, this is an astonishing omission. The wife of the president of the United States decries a right-wing conspiracy of enormous proportions, one which surely poses a threat to the viability of democratic processes in America. Yet she refuses to discuss the matter any further. Instead, after raising the issue of political agendas, Mrs. Clinton was compelled to fall back on purely personal motives, concluding, "Now do I wish we didn't live in a time where people were so malicious and evil-minded? Of course." It is not, however, a question merely of subjective hatred, but of powerful and objective social forces which are finding their reflection in this degrading political scandal. The forces seeking Clinton's ouster want to press ahead more systematically and ferociously with the destruction of social programs, the elimination of all taxation on wealth, and the unrestrained use of American military power around the world. Such policies inevitably take on the character of a conspiracy against democratic rights, because they are deeply anti-popular and opposed by the vast majority of the American people. Mrs. Clinton had no choice but to flee this subject after raising it, because the Clinton administration has itself implemented much of the right-wing agenda, from elimination of welfare, to persecuting immigrants, to military confrontation with Iraq. Clinton's political posture from the time he entered the White House--and well before--has been to accommodate himself to the right-wing policies demanded by big business, while sugar-coating them with liberal rhetoric and tears of sympathy. For all the viciousness of the infighting, the conflict between Clinton and his right-wing opponents is a struggle within the ruling class over the political direction of the state. Even if it costs them the White House, the Clintons dare not raise issues which would begin to lift the veil on the real social and political structure of America and could arouse the masses of working people to intervene in the crisis as an independent force fighting for its own interests.