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Blogging the WikiLeaks—Day 3

Once again, I seem to be almost "live-blogging" the latest news and views on the WIkiLeak release.  Updated below from the top, with ET stamp.  NOTE:   See the blog for Wednesday, Day 4, here.

11:50  As I warned: Experts now question N. Korea-Iran missile deal in Wikileaks that NYT and others in US media went nuts over,  Wash Post reports.  

10:00  State Dept. spokesman P.J. Crowley tweets: "Calls for Sec Clinton to resign are ridiculous. She has instructed diplomats to do jobs. Nothing more, nothing less." Do job = spying, with new aims, including getting credit card numbers, DNA samples, etc.?

8:50   Pentagon chief Robert Gates off the reservation: fallout from WikiLeaks will be "fairly modest" for foreign policy. 

8:40  Arianna Huffington sees the bright side—numerous leaks about Afghanistan may prove to be tipping point in us getting out and if so will make them worthwhile even if some downside.

6:30  Interpol issues warrant on "fugitive" Julian Assange.

5:05  Classic, from NYTHow Blackwater turned to pirate-hunting as a way to drum up new business. 

5:00  Bombshell from The Guardian? UK promised in 2009  to protect US interests in official Chilcot inquiry on Iraq war—now a "coverup" charged. 

4:20  Time magazine with "exclusive" Assange interview—love this, via Skype from an "undisclosed location." (A deep bunker I hope, to avoid drones.)   He says Hillary Clinton should resign over UN and embassy spying, which NYT and others here don't seem to really care about.   He reminds media (which usually gets this wrong) that these cables are being redacted "carefully"—hence the slow rollout—and confirms a bank is next big Wikileaks target.

4:15  Glenn Beck today on the radio confuses WikiPedia and WikiLeaks—seems to really not know difference.  In any case, finds nefarious link to George Soros.  Maybe he is Assange's real Dad? 

4:05  Politico has updated its good piece on "unprecedented" international press collaboration on, and with, WikiLeaks, and how it is a media "game changer." 

3:45  Scary stuff just up from The Guardian: "American and British diplomats fear Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme could lead to fissile material falling into the hands of terrorists or a devastating nuclear exchange with India. The latest cache of US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks contains warnings that Pakistan is rapidly building its nuclear stockpile despite the country's growing instability and 'pending economic catastrophe'." And much more there on Pakistan, such as: " The ambassador starkly informed Washington that 'no amount of money' from the US would stop the Pakistani army backing Islamist militants and the Afghan Taliban insurgency."

3:40  NYT launches its daily mid-afternoon WikiLeaks piece, this time on Pakistan. "Vexing." Six more days to come, they had earlier announced.

3:30  Via Dave Weigel: John Kerry says espionage laws might have be to be "tweaked" to nail WikiLeaks. 

 2:30  Bill Kristol wants to "neutralize" Assange and "whack" WIkiLeaks—clear enough for you? "Why can't we act forcefully against WikiLeaks? Why can't we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are? Why can't we disrupt and destroy WikiLeaks in both cyberspace and physical space, to the extent possible? Why can't we warn others of repercussions from assisting this criminal enterprise hostile to the United States?"

2:15  Great Guardian piece on US "u-turn" over former Gitmo detainee. Plus, blogger there says it shows how "ludicrous" US Gitmo policy is.

2:05  Glenn Greenwald tweets: "Do people in the media not know or not care that prosecuting WikiLeaks would endanger what they do? or at least what they do in theory..." And Marcy Wheeler on Twitter notes that Chuck Todd on NBC at least noted that if feds go after Assange for leaks they should also consider Bob Woodward.  

12:20  Don't miss Mike Isikoff on how no one cared when Amnesty International revealed US air strike with cluster bombs killed three dozen civilians, including kids, in Yemen. Now it's a big deal with cables showing Yemeni lied about no US involvement—and a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda? 

11:50  Michael Moore on the 5 biggest overlooked revelations in the release—some serious, some fun.

11:45  More from the Guardian on reactions from  "two poles"—Rick Santorum and Noam Chomsky.

11:20  The Daily Show tweets: "Tonight: Wikileaks proves diplomats do things even when we're not watching them. They're like the toys in 'Toy Story'! But cuter!"

11:05  Love the Guardian slamming Wash Post reaction with this lead item at their blog right now: Good morning from a damp Washington, where the US's bloggers and other media are still transitioning from their knee-jerk "this is old news" response to deciding that there is in fact some hot stuff amongst the cables. The Washington Post's neo-conservative leader writers today dismiss the cables as "embarrassing to their authors or subjects, but otherwise harmless", and save their attention for how the leak happened in the first place.

 10:55  On Democracy Now! this morning the investigations editor for the Guardian says  the worst  is yet to come in this released with some "terrible" disclosures, some related to Russia, corruption abroad, and more.   

10:45  Glenn Greenwald with strong column hitting media coverage—and those who hope for assassination of Assange—and more.

10:35  Administration Searches for Way to Arrest Julian Assange 

10:30   The great Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell on who is really putting lives at risk... Wikileaks gets the wacky Taiwan animation treatment.

Earlier today:

NYT editorial claims cables show "absence of skullduggery" by Obama diplomats... Jack Shafer at Slate: Hillary Clinton must quit after these revelations... Assange says next target will be a major US bank. Sat for cover story with Forbes, no less. See transcript. "It's like the Enron emails"...  Oh, boo-hoo: hawkish on national security Wash Post wonders why Wikileaks has frozen it out of its doc dumps.  Mike Calderone talks to the editor here... WikiLeaks did offer docs to WSJ—the paper declined. ....

David Brooks tweaks own paper for getting into bed with WikiLeaks... Marc Ambinder with an excellent look at exactly how one man, presumably Bradley Manning, may have been able to leak so much on his own...  NYT yesterday previewed cables on US "shopping" Gitmo prisoners around to other countries but just now comes out with full report... NYT keeps covering for Hillary: see this piece—you'd never know she ordered UN and other embassy spying.

 
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Tuesday DAYBOOK: Assange Targets Bank, Scarborough vs. Palin, DADT Survey, Warren Zevon, Much More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses  plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

MORNING COFFEE TO GO 

Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt  look at entrapment issues, after recent Oregon teen bomber sting case.

DADT survey report out at noon today, expected to find 70 percent feel lifting the ban no biggie.  Also expect it to be discredited by opponents even more release.

I was on Democracy Now! yesterday on WikiLeaks, with Dan Ellsberg, others.  Full show here. We won't live-blog WIkiLeaks' reaction and updates today,  as we did the past two days, but here's some of latest:  

Glenn Greenwald with strong column hitting media coverage—and those who hope for assassination of Assange—and more. .... NYT editorial claims cables show "absence of skullduggery" by Obama diplomats....  Jack Shafer at Slate: Hillary Clinton must quit after these revelations ... . Assange says next target will be a major US bank.   Sat for cover story with Forbes, no less.  See transcript.    "It's like the Enron emails." ...   Oh, boo-hoo:  hawkish on national security Wash Post wonders why Wikileaks has frozen it out of its doc dumps.  Mike Calderone talks to the editor here....  WikiLeaks did offer docs to WSJ—the paper declined. ....

David Brooks tweaks own paper for getting into bed with WikiLeaks.... Marc Ambinder with an excellent look at exactly HOW one man, presumably Bradley Manning, may have been able to leak so much on his own.....  NYT yesterday previewed cables on US "shopping" Gitmo prisoners around to other countries but just now comes out with full report.....NYT keeps covering for Hillary: see this piece—you'd never know she ordered UN and other embassy spying. 

The great Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell on who is really putting lives at risk..... Wikileaks gets the wacky Taiwan animation treatement.

Results of my fun poll to pick '30 Media Heroes': A few surprises.

Two more Iranian nuke scientists attacked on streets, one killed—are US or Israel behind it? 

HAITI CRIME?  Nick Kristof tweets this morning:  "Yes, Haiti elections were flawed, but that was always a given. Redoing them, as some suggest, wld be absurd."

FEDS FREEZE PAY  Republicans mad at Obama did not give them credit for that wonderful idea of freezing federal salaries for two years.

MOURNING PALIN  Joe Scarborough in Politico column:  GOPers need to take on Palin.  "The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private. Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up." 

EVER NOTICE?  Many of same people smashing Assange very happy to have Valerie Plame outed.

AFGHAN TRAGEDIES   Great account by NYT reporter who was with photographer Joao Silva in Afghan recently when a land mine shattered his legs.  Also, see the three pix he took after the blast....Eliot Spitzer's  response to WikiLeaks on CNN last night: Afghan gov't even more corrupt than we thought, we need to get out of "graveyard.".... Yesterday's  incident of Afghan cop killing 6 NATO troops is 5 such episodes in past year. 

EXTRA INNINGS FOR WOLFF Great sports announcer, and man, Bob Wolff turns 90—I interviewed him (and son Rick) for my "Joy in Mudville" book. 

TODAY's MUSIC

In honor of the millions of State Department cables suddenly coming up for air—you may have heard—how about Warren Zevon's always relevant "The Envoy"?

 

TODAY's LAFF

Bunch of comedians, including Sarah Silverman and Kevin Nealon, have some fun with "We Are the World" to benefit local food bank. 

 

 

 
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Results of '30 Media Heroes' Voting Announced: Maddow Takes Top Spot!

I've been having fun since Wednesday with a response to Salon's popular "30 Biggest Media Hacks" list, sponsoring a readers' ballot to pick "30 Media Heroes." The response was overwhelming, with over 1,200 votes pouring in via Comments at the end of the original story, via e-mail to me directly and at Twitter (via @GregMitch). Votes obviously came from regular Nation readers, but also from many others, and in any case this is not an official Nation survey. 

Now we're ready to announce the winners. But first a  "trend" comment:  Clearly, print got little respect in this vote, with a vast majority of top spots going to TV hosts, or very popular bloggers (who also appear on the tube a fair amount). Practically all of the MSNBC line-up, except Chris Matthews, made the Top 30 or Very Honorable Mention. Also: Jon Stewart rather comfortably topped stablemate Stephen Colbert. 

Now, the drum roll please and.... congrats to Rachel Maddow, who rather easily earned the top spot in this balloting.  In a close race, Amy Goodman beat out Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi for the #2 slot. The venerable Bill Moyers finished fifth. Julian Assange made a late move to crack the top 30, although he also drew many critics. 

See the full list below. The vote for those past the top 16 was extremely close.  What's most heartening: so many truly valuable people did not make the Top 30 or  the Honorables list.  But again: these are mainly my readers speaking, not the whole Nation nation.

Also, I'd like to thank the fairly large number of people who voted for yours truly, but I decided to take myself out of the running, for obvious reasons. Feel free to erect an statue, if you'd like.

Here we go, the ballots please:

  1. Rachel Maddow  (MSNBC)

  2.  Amy Goodman  (Democracy Now!)

  3.  Glenn Greenwald  (Salon)

  4.  Matt Taibbi  (Rolling Stone and more)

  5.   Bill Moyers (formerly PBS)

  6. Jon Stewart  (The Daily Show)

  7. Keith Olbermann  (MSNBC)

  8.  Jeremy Scahill  (The Nation)

  9.  Paul Krugman  (New York Times)

10.  Stephen Colbert   (Colbert Report)

11.  Chris Hayes  (The Nation, MSNBC)

12.  Seymour Hersh  (The New Yorker and more)

13.  Chris Hedges  (The Nation and more)

14.  Arianna Huffington  (Huffington Post)

15.  Jane Hamsher  (FireDogLake)

16.  Cenk Uygur  (The Young Turks)

17.  Naomi Klein  (The Nation)

18.  Dylan Rattigan  (MSNBC)

19.  Bill Maher  (HBO)

20.  Frank Rich  (New York Times)

21.  David Sirota (syndicated columnist)

22.  Thom Hartmann (radio)

23.  Julian Assange (WikiLeaks)

24.  Digby --  i.e. Heather Parton  (blogger)

25.  Greg Palast (writer)

26.  Ed Schultz   (MSNBC)

27.  Laura Flanders  (GRIT TV and more)

28.  Allison Kilkenny-Jamie Kilstein  (Citizen Radio team)

29.  Sam Seder (Huffington Post and Majority Report)

30.  Jim Hightower  (The Nation and more)

VERY HONORABLE MENTIONS: Markos Moulistas, Lawrence O'Donnell, Katrina vandenHeuvel, Eric Boehlert, Bob Herbert, Josh Marshall, Marcy Wheeler, Robert Scheer, Helen Thomas, Dean Baker, Yves Smith, Nick Kristof, Ezra Klein, Atrios, Mike Malloy, Max Blumenthal, Joe Conason, Melissa Harris-Perry, David Swanson, Nate Silver,  Ali Abunimah, Gail Collins, Dave Weigel, Eugene Robinson, Robert Fisk.

 

DAYBOOK for Monday: Special Edition—Live-blogging WikiLeaks, Day 2

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses  plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

SPECIAL EDITION

Normally we present at least a couple of dozen wide-ranging items, plus a music video and "today's laff" video but today will break the mold.  For one thing, I took time out for Democracy Now! this morning, talking about the WikiLeaks release.  

But I had planned a special WikiLeaks Day 2 anyway. After all, my live blog of the Sunday release drew massive traffic. So I will do some more of that. For today, here is the link to all of Sunday's coverage, and below some of the latest developments.

6:30   Jack Shafer at Slate : Hillary Clinton must quit after these WikiLeaks. 

6:00   Wikileaks' founder says next target will be a major U.S. bank.   Sat for cover story with Forbes, no less.  See transcript. 

5:45  Before leaving yesterday's release,  take a look at probing by FAIR's Peter Hart on an issue I raised: the NYT focus on North Korea selling those missiles to Iran is largely based on ONE new cable, it seems, and there is reason to be skeptical.  

5:40  Oh, boo-hoo:  hawkish on national security Wash Post wonders why Wikileaks has frozen it out of its doc dumps.  Mike Calderone talks to the editor here.

5:30 Marc Ambinder with an excellent look at exactly HOW one man, presumably Bradley Manning, may have been able to leak so much on his own.

4:45  NYT yesterday previewed cables on U.S. "shopping" Gitmo prisoners around to other countries but just now comes out with full report.

4:40   Day 2 of WikiLeaks release coverage emerges at  NYT -- again Times plays up North Korea.   So does The Guardian, with claim that China is ready to abandon spoiled child.

3:50 Palin on WikiLeaks via Facebook:  Yes, it's Obama's fault. Shoulda stopped Assange before he killed again.

3:40  Huff Post: Memo shows Hamid Karzai's brother used to love running a restaurant in Chicago's Wrigleyville.

3:35  The Guardian reports:  "Fox News's website asks its readers: 'Do You Think WikiLeaks Is a Terrorist Organization?' And it seems that 68% of them do. 'This is not a scientific poll,'  the site warns."

3:15  Press release just out from ACLU:   "The Bush administration pressured Germany not to prosecute CIA officers responsible for the kidnapping, extraordinary rendition and torture of German national Khaled El-Masri, according to a document made public Sunday night by Wikileaks. The document, a 2007 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, describes a meeting during which the then-deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Germany, John M. Koenig, urged German officials to 'weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.'  of issuing international arrest warrants in the El-Masri case.

"In 2003, El-Masri was kidnapped from Macedonia and transported to a secret CIA-run prison in Afghanistan where he was held for several months and tortured before being dumped on a hillside in Albania. The American Civil Liberties Union brought a case in the U.S. on El-Masri's behalf in 2005, charging that former CIA director George Tenet violated U.S. and universal human rights laws when he authorized agents to abduct and abuse El-Masri. Lower courts dismissed the lawsuit on state secrecy grounds, and in 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. In 2008, the ACLU filed a petition on El-Masri's behalf against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, but the government has failed to respond. To date, no top U.S. officials have been held accountable for their role in the Bush administration torture program."

2:35  United Nations wants answers from U.S. on "spying."

2:20  WikiLeaks offered docs to WSJ—the paper declined. 

1:40  More from Hillary:  "I would also add to the American people and to our friends and partners that we are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those to account."

1:30  Hillary Clinton at presser just now:   

 Let's be clear: this disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests.... I am confident that the partnerships that the Obama administration has worked so hard to build will withstand this challenge.  I will not comment on or affirm on what are alleged to be stolen US state department cables. But I can say that the US deeply regrets the disclosure of discussions that were meant to be confidential.... I want to make clear that our policy is not set in these messages but here in Washington.

1:25  New NYT wrap-up on global leaders' reaction. Guess what: not happy.

1:15  Hillary Clinton press conference—analysis to come.

12:50  NYT resumes its blogging, with items on foreign reaction, including Moscow. One: "A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan said on Monday that the leaks of diplomatic documents, including those calling Mr. Karzai 'extremely weak,' would not damage relations between the United States and Afghanistan, Reuters reported."

12:40  Obama met the press briefly, to announce two-year federal pay freeze, reporters shouted out, "What about WikiLeaks," he kept walking.

12:30 PM  The Brits, of course, are having some fun (or not) with Prince Andrew's antics, as depicted in the cables. Here's one report.

11:35  NYT executive editor Bill Keller and others there answering readers' questions on why they went ahead with publishing (some of the) cables. And what about the TImes's emphasis and spin on them? 

11:30  Two more items from the Guardian.  "A quick survey of the US cable news networks this morning suggests that Fox News is giving Wikileaks the most airtime, especially over the revelations involving Iran and North Korea, which appears to be red meat to several of its commentators." And:  Reuters has more on that security crackdown ordered by the US government.  The new procedures would ensure "that users do not have broader access than is necessary to do their jobs effectively, as well as implementation of restrictions on usage of, and removal media capabilities from, classified government directives."

 11:25:  More genius tweeting from Sarah Palin: "Inexplicable: I won in court to stop my book leak, but US can't stop Wikileaks treasonous act?"

11:20  Given the many revelations now and to come on Afghanistan, we should pause to note reports of six more NATO troops killed there today.  Not to mention civilian casualties.

11:05  Full report on Admadinejad press conference.  He "dismissed the documents as American psychological warfare that would not affect his country’s relations with other nations, news reports said." 

11:00  This just in: Attorney General Eric Holder responds to senators calling for action. He said there is an "active and ongoing criminal investigation" into the latest leaks. Still, no word of pressure on news outlets to stop publishing (à la Pentagon Papers). 

10:50   The Guardian, as usual, with best live-blog of reactions. Sample: "The White House has just ordered all US agencies to review safeguards on classified information, according to AP.  A security review is already underway at the US state department, its spokesman told the Guardian."

10:45: More global reactions set in: The Chinese media has been banned from reporting the revelations, according to Al Jazeera English's correspondent in China. Iran's leader Ahmadinejad claims the leaks were deliberate and from US government to put pressure on Iran. Italy's leader Berlusconi reportedly just laughed about it all. Here is Der Spiegel's roundup.

10:40  The Hillary Clinton press conference, for some reason, has been postponed to about 1 pm.

10:30 AM:   Yahoo! has picked its ten top revelations in the leaks.  Not my list, but good for starters.

Here my appearance on Democracy Now!  today, with Dan Ellsberg and others.

6:20 AM  Latest this morning from the Guardian.

6:15   Sen. Lieberman calls for full prosecution of WikiLeaks and shutting it down as "national security" threat.

6:00 AM   Salman Masood of the NYT reports from Islamabad on reaction in Pakistan: "Local television news networks late Sunday night prominently highlighted a cable released by WikiLeaks that mentioned the Saudi King's damning assessment of Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari. On Monday morning, leading newspapers ran front-page coverage of the WikiLeaks documents."

12:30  AM   Juan Cole says one cable proves what he has long said—that stories about Iran funding or supplying Taliban are bunk, thanks to Robert Gates, no less.

12:05  Note completely different tone and angle of the Guardian's look at US diplomatic "spying" around world and at UN, and the NYT's revised, gentle version. Pretty amazing.

11:45 PM  Just noticed that original lead NYT story online earlier today said documents showed that US and South Korea had been "gaming" the collapse of North Korea. Not reads "thinking about." 

10:25  Interesting Q&A from Australia today with NYT's Scott Shane on paper's handling of docs. Shane points out: "Perhaps if we had had more information on these secret internal deliberations of governments prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, we would have had a better understanding of the quality of the evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Secrecy is not always in the interests of governments or people."

10:15 Mike Calderone at Yahoo reported earlier today that NYT mysteriously said it did not get its WIkiLeaks docs from... WikiLeaks.  So—from where? Now he reports that a top Guardian editor says his paper gave them to the Times...

10:05  The great Nancy Youssef of McClatchy with some perspective: "American officials in recent days have warned repeatedly that the release of documents by WikiLeaks could put people's lives in danger. But despite similar warnings before the previous two releases of classified U.S. intelligence reports by the website, U.S. officials concede that they have no evidence to date that the documents led to anyone's death."

 

 

 

 

 
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Blogging the WikiLeaks Release: Day 1

Media coverage of the massive new WikiLeaks release began about 1:00 PM ET Sunday as an embargo ended.   We'll be following this important story and controversy from now until the end of the night, and will add the latest at the top, with an ET stamp. My email: epic1934@aol.com.    UPDATE   I am live-blogging the WikiLeaks on Monday, or Day 2, here.

12:05  Note completely different tone and angle of The Guardian's look at U.S. diplomatic "spying" around world and at UN, and the NYT's revised,  gentle version.  Pretty amazing.

11:45   Just noticed that original lead NYT story online earlier today said documents showed  that U.S. and South Korea had been "gaming" the collapse of North Korea.  Not reads "thinking about." 

11:00  David Frum tweets:  "If Julian Assange's goal is to protect Iran, as seems the case, I don't think he's done his cause much good." Well, certainly the NYT, and some others,  focused a lot on  the Iran-bashing aspect of the release, and allegedly getting missiles from North Korea. 

10:40  Unless something changes, I  will be on Democracy Now! tomorrow morning talking about all, or at least some, of this.

10:25  Interesting Q & A  interview from Australia today with NYT's Scott Shane on paper's handling of docs.  Shane points out:  "Perhaps if we had had more information on these secret internal deliberations of governments prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, we would have had a better understanding of the quality of the evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  Secrecy is not always in the interests of governments or people."

10:15 Mike Calderone at Yahoo reported earlier today that NYT mysteriously said it did NOT get its WIkiLeaks docs from...WikiLeaks.  So--from where? Now he reports that a top Guardian editor says his paper gave them to the Times....

10:05  The great Nancy Youssef of McClatchy with some perspective:  "American officials in recent days have warned repeatedly that the release of documents by WikiLeaks could put people's lives in danger.  But despite similar warnings before the previous two releases of classified U.S. intelligence reports by the website, U.S. officials concede that they have no evidence to date that the documents led to anyone's death."

9:55  A full-text search engine for the WikilLaks docs posted so far -- just a couple of hundreds cables, it turns out -- has just gone up.

8:55  U.S. ambasador to Pakistan writes op-ed in Monday edition of a Pakistani daily on the Wikileaks release, i.e., damage control.

7:30  The Guardian says an ironic reason why Wikileaks docs were reachable -- after 9/11 we decided to ease sharing between agencies....

7:10  Democracy Now! on Twitter claims:  "Leaked State Dept memo: 2009 coup in Honduras was 'illegal and unconstitutional." 

7:00  Bradley Manning, arrested for earlier WikiLeaks and a suspect in this one, had said back in June "Everywhere there’s a U.S. post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed." 

6:35    Whatever the impact in the U.S., the fallout in the Arab world is likely to be monumental, writes Kevin Drum.  He also links to key assessment at The Arabist:  "There is so much information flowing around about US policy — and often, a good deal of transparency — that a smart observer with good contacts can get a good idea of what's happening. Not so in the Arab world, and the contents of the conversations Arab leader are having with their patron state are not out in the Arab public domain or easily guessable, as anyone who reads the meaningless press statements of government press agencies will tell you. Cablegate is in important record from the Arab perspective, perhaps more than from the US one."

6:00 Taking a little break after 6 hours.  Please no jokes about leaks.

5:45   Rep. Peter King  (R-NY), as per norm, calls WikiLeaks release "worse than a military attack" and wants org labeled "terrorist."

5:30   Wash Post, out of loop (again), finally says nothing "surprising" in WikiLeaks, calls our spying "low-level," and so on. Pathetic.

5:10  WikiLeaks site, surprisingly, says high number of  cables--over 6000--come from Iraq.  And Iraq is "most discussed" subject.  That has not been focus of reporting so far. Also suggests #cablegate hash tag for Twitter and offers other ways to spread word.  You can search cables by dates or countries of origin or subject.  

5:05   The WikiLeaks feed at Twitter notes:  "Tomorrow we will provide information on how other media groups can apply for embargo access to Cablegate info."

4:55  After being down all day -- hacked or compromised by some sort of official attack -- the WikiLeaks' site for what it calls "cablegate" is finally up.  Slow, but working, at the moment, and searchable.   Surprise: It says the embassy cables "will be released in stages over the next few months. The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice."  Main statement: 

The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in "client states"; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.

This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington – the country’s first President – could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today’s document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US Government has been warning governments -- even the most corrupt -- around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures.

4:50  NYT posts full letters from Assange to gov't officials defending release, says risks are "fanciful" and U.S. just wants to cover up human rights abuses and more.

4:30  Mike Calderone at Yahoo:  A top NYT editor tells him WikiLeaks was NOT source for documents it got.  Won't say how received.   Bradley Manning still top suspect (again).  Times also says White House did not tell them not to publish.

4:20  Editorial from tomorrow's Guardian: " Before US government officials point accusing fingers at others, they might first have the humility to reflect on their own role in scattering 'secrets' around a global intranet."

4:05  More from Haaretz:  The Israeli paper  focuses on the June 2009 memo.  It quotes Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, telling  American officials a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities was viable until the end of 2010, but after that "any military solution would result in unacceptable collateral damage."

4:00  Spencer Ackerman weighs in here from Wired, most troubled by N. Korea-Iran missile  sale.

3:50  Not many have stressed that this WikiLeaks event different from past ones -- not a one-day story but docs and analysis rolled out over next week.  Love this:  The Guardian, for example, notes, "There's plenty more to come, including 'claims of inappropriate behavior' by a British royal.'"

3:45   Sen. John Kerry rejects a certain comparison:  "This is not an academic exercise about freedom of information and it is not akin to the release of the Pentagon Papers, which involved an analysis aimed at saving American lives and exposing government deception."

3:40  Amazing story of how a 75-year-old American rode a horse over a mountain range to Turkey to finally get home from Iran.

3:35  Bill Kristol at Weekly Standard hits Der Spiegel calling the latest release a "meltdown" for U.S. foreign policy.  Sez Bill:   "From now on, a policy of no comment about anything in any of these documents should be the absolute rule. No apologies, no complaints, no explanations, no excuses."

3:20  Glenn Greenwald tweets: " that old 1-2 punch is coming within minutes: (1) Wikieaks endangered everything!!! ; (2) there's nothing new here; move on."   Ben Smith of Politico:  "So is this--as Guardian says--a 'worldwide diplomatic crisis'  or just -- as NYT plays it -- some interesting stories?"

3:00  Some wags on the Web noting that the U.S. is now experiencing a TSA-style nudie "porn scan,"  perhaps even getting its "junk" touched.

2:55   The BBC highlights issues here.    NYT finds a lighthearted dispatch:  "In a 2006 account, a wide-eyed American diplomat describes the lavish wedding of a well-connected couple in Dagestan, in Russia’s Caucasus, where one guest is the strongman who runs the war-ravaged Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.  The diplomat tells of drunken guests throwing $100 bills at child dancers, and nighttime water-scooter jaunts on the Caspian Sea."

2:45  El Pais also in on doc dump.  Even have a video of editor explaining what's up.   Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald tweets that the site he is visiting least often, "sadly," is the NYT.   Here's the Der Speigel site.

2:35  Scroll down a bit here for full Hillary Clinton -- who ordered spying at UN, the documents reveal -- reaction to the leaks.

2:30  The Guardian with fascinating full cable on Saudi King's advice to Obama, including he should plant chips in Gitmo detainees.

2:10  WikiLeaks' own site still down, under cyber attack.  But they keep tweeting on what they call "Cablegate."

2:05  Here's The Guardian's different take on U.S. spying on the UN -- involving FBI, CIA, Secret Service -- and more around the world, questions raised about "legality."  Also, all the Guardian coverage highlighted on one page for easy use.

2:00  Good Simon Jenkins column in The Guardian defending reporting.  Includes tantalizing detail of alleged U.S. bombing of refugee camps.

1:55  Robert Gibbs at White House:   "We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information."  Pentagon condemns "this reckless disclosure of classified information illegally obtained."

1:50  The Guardian on how the latest Wikileak occurred:  "From a fake Lady Gaga CD to a thumb drive that is a pocket-sized bombshell."    The paper's site has full data area for the cables which you can search and download.  It's also blogging the reaction -- not much so far but you can go here as day goes on.

1:45  Amazing from NYT on Yemen and U.S.:   "Even when they recount events that are already known, the cables offer remarkable details. 

"For instance, it has been previously reported that the Yemeni government has sought to cover up the American role in missile strikes against the local branch of Al Qaeda. But a cable’s fly-on-the-wall account of a January meeting between the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the American commander in the Middle East, is nonetheless breathtaking. 'We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,' Mr. Saleh said, according to the cable sent by the American ambassador, prompting Yemen’s deputy prime minister to 'joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling Parliament'” that Yemeni forces had carried out the strikes."

1:40  NYT note to readers The Times shared its planned redactions with other news orgs, WikiLeaks and the administration   Elsewhere, it calls today's stories just "day 1 of 9."

1:35  NYT confirms no WIkiLeaks cables are TOP secret, but it has removed certain names and withheld entire cables due to safety.  Go page two here.   

1:30  The Guardian's coverage now outHighlighting: "Saudi king pressed US for military action on Iran and Washington used diplomats to spy on UN."

1:25  More from NYT: Mark Mazzetti on cables showing that line is blurred between diplomacy and "spying." Must-read. 

1:20:   NYT posts its first report on leaks, titled "State's Secrets."  Cables dates from as recently as February, so much danger for Obama.   It says it will highlight over next few days:  A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel; Gaming out an eventual collapse of North Korea; Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government."  And much more.  

Such as:  "Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the 'worst in the region'  in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was 'hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,' the cable said."

12:45  Apparently Der Spiegel is first out with something -- it prepared a print cover story that has appeared online  (scanned by readers),  with some basic facts and not too shocking U.S. assessments of Merkel as "teflon," and so on.  A review here.   Much more here from the Israeli daily Haaretz,  with cables calling  Ahmadinejad "Hitler," while French President Nikola Sarkozy is “an emperor without clothes.”   Hamid Karzai is described as "driven by paranoia."   Also,  "Obama prefers to look East than West.”

12:20   Italy calls Wikileaks release "9/11 of diplomacy."   On the other hand, Benjamin Netanyahu has downplayed, saying Israel doesn't think will be a big deal for them.

12:15  Already there's a new twist: WikiLeaks tweeted that its site, where it planned to post documents, is now "under attack," presumably by hackers or perhaps a government entity.  Here's the BBC report.  It also suggests that in the cables the U.S. offers a negative view of Prime Minister David Cameron.  The Guardian's investigative chief, David Leigh, tweets:  "The Guardian will publish US embassy cables tonight, even if Wikileaks goes down."  WikiLeaks says others that will publish and analyze tonight are LeMonde, Der Spiegel, NYT, ElPais.

12:05  Finally some bi-partisanship!  This morning senators Claire McCaskill and Lindsey Graham agree--we should aggressively try to prosecute Wikileaks and the original leakers.  Last night came reports that the U.S. had rejected talks with Julian Assange over redacting names of any personnel possibly endangered by the new WikiLeaks.  

A new edition of Greg Mitchell's award-winning book "The Campaign of the Century"  (and the birth of media politics) has just been published.  

Leaders in '30 Media Heroes' Announced—Voting Ends Here Tonight

We've been having fun since Wednesday with a response to Salon's popular "30 Biggest Media Hacks" list, sponsoring a readers' ballot to pick "30 Media Heroes." The response has been overwhelming, with votes pouring in via Comments at the end of the original story, via e-mail (epic1934@aol.com) and at Twitter (via @GregMitch).

Voting ends late tonight—you can now do it in Comments below, as well—and final results will be tabulated over the weekend and announced Monday morning. Already it's clear that TV and web journos and pundits dominate, with little love shown for longtime print stars.

Here's the current Top 30, which naturally could still change quite a bit.

Leaders in approximate order (as of Friday morning):  

1 thru 10:  Rachel Maddow, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Jon Stewart, Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert, Cenk Uygur, Jeremy Scahill.

11-21:  Chris Hayes,  Arianna Huffington, Dylan Ratigan, Jane Hamsher, Paul Krugman, Bill Maher, Chris Hedges, Greg Mitchell, Digby, Frank Rich

Others contending: Julian Assange, David Sirota, Thom Hartmann, Greg Palast, Naomi Klein, Seymour Hersh, Ed Schultz, Marcy Wheeler, Duncan Black, Markos Moulitsas, Laura Flanders, Sam Seder, Yves Smith, among others.   

A new edition of Greg Mitchell's "The Campaign of the Century" (and the birth of media poltiics), winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize, has just been published.

Music for Thanksgiving: Let 'All Men Become Brothers'

Last year, at this time, in a different  space, I highlighted what I consider the greatest "thanks-giving" music ever, the third movement of Beethoven's opus 132 string quartet, which he labeled a Hymn of Thanksgiving, or "Heiliger Dankgesang," on overcoming a serious illness. It proved very popular, so I've posted it again at the very bottom of this page—but now I'd like to offer for this day (also below) Beethoven's wish for universal brotherhood, at the close of his epic NInth Symphony.

The composer opened the earlier "Ode to Joy" section by offering advice that many political or media bloggers might want to heed today:  "Oh friends, not these tones! / Rather, let us raise our voices in more pleasing / And more joyful sounds!" 

While much of the finale is based on Schiller's poem, those words are from Beethoven himself. He also added this crucial urging: "All men become brothers!"  (Alle Menschen werden Brüder)

It's one reason that when Leonard Bernstein led the playing of the Ninth to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall the title was changed from "Ode to Joy"  to "Ode to Freedom." And it's why it might be called the only universal anthem, embraced all over the world.

If there's a more beautiful, profound, spiritual, piece of serious music, please let us know about it in Comments. 

'Salon' Picks Media's '30 Biggest Hacks'—But Now YOU Can Choose '30 Biggest Heroes'

Alex Pareene at Salon has had some fun this week counting down what he calls media's "30 Biggest Hacks," or his "Hack Thirty." It's an impressive, or depressing, list, depending on how you look at it, and competition was so fierce, Michelle Malkin didn't even make it. 

You'll find some of your least favorites there, from Marty Peretz and Jonah Goldberg  to, at the very top, Richard Cohen and Mark Halperin. The Washington Post grabs eight slots and the New York Times contributes David Brooks and even those alleged liberals Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman. 

Anyway, for much-needed balance, and to remain positive (for a rare time?), allow me to propose that you, dear readers, vote for a 30 Biggest Heroes of the media, using the Comments section below, or e-mailing me at  epic1934@aol.com, or filing via Twitter  @GregMitch. Of course, you can and should include bloggers and social (network) misfits, plus TV hosts and satirists and pundits, and even print legends!

Keep it to those still alive and active. Yeah, we know I.F. Stone and Molly Ivins would make any all-time list.

Of course, I mean "hero" loosely—we know there are few media types, or any types, you would endorse fully but do the best you can.  Obviously, you don't have to vote for thirty, you can leave it at one if that's all you can really get behind. Voting ends late Friday, and  I will tally votes by the end of  the weekend.  Join in!

UPDATE: Thanks to the hundreds who have voted so far. Keep them coming, through Friday night, but please, for Thanksgiving just stuff yourself, not the ballot box. See my "Leader Board" as of Friday morning here.

A new edition of Greg Mitchell's "The Campaign of the Century" (and the birth of media poltiics), winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize, has just been published.

Wednesday DAYBOOK: Primary Challenge for Obama, Afghan War 'Worse Than Vietnam,' Sarah Silverman's Thanksgiving, More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses  plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on a wild left-wing campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

MORNING ROAST

Robert Wright column in NYT:  No, Afghan war is NOT another Vietnam. Actually, it's worse.  "For starters, though Vietnam was hugely destructive in human terms, strategically it was just a medium-sized blunder. It was a waste of resources, yes, but the war didn’t make America more vulnerable to enemy attack.  The Afghanistan war does."

Jeremy Scahill, back from Afghanistan, with Chris Hayes last night on Maddow show, on the war.

New poll: 45 percent of Dems want primary challenger for Obama.  ....Stan Greenberg: Afghan war likely spark for such a challange 

Massive day of UK student protest today. Last one turned violent at end, as anarchists took hold.  Seems to be happening again.  Follow The Guardian blog here, and reporter  @paul__lewis.

Tom Friedman: US students sinking partly because of too much texting.   And look at that list of Rhodes Scholars.  

Much more from WSJ on the new American Bridge campaign funding group related to Media Matters.

BUM RUSH  Wonderful blasting of Rush Limbaugh by Motor Trend for his Chevy Volt remarks.

ARREST BUSH  MSNBC:  Bush warned to keep book tour domestic—or face war crimes charges abroad, perhaps.

RUBIN IT IN  Just what they needed: Wash Post hires another pro-Israel, bomb-bomb-bomb Iran hawk, Jennifer Rubin, from Commentary.

THE FOREVER AND EVER WAR  Another likely soldier suicide in Afghan—he did 2 tours there, after 2 tours in Iraq.... CNN: Pentagon report: Afghans believe Taliban victory inevitable.  But report sees some gains for US, some discouragement.

PLUS ARLO  Pastors of Plenty: my piece on a rightwing attack on Woody Guthrie and an ecumenical Thanksgiving.   Plus video of a "massacree."

THE PALIN CURSE?   Bristol loses in Dancing With the Stars finale ....  A steep drop in ratings for 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' ..... Will Christine O’Donnell dance with the stars next season? Yes, if Sarah Palin has her way.

THE BUSINESS PAGE Econ blogger Yves Smith's five reasons Treasury Dept.'s 11-agency, 8-week review of bank servicer practices will yield little. (h/t Barbara Bedway)

THE BEAR TRUTH  Deanne Stillman on how Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" will threaten the real ones, or: "Does a bear vote in the woods?" . 

BITS & PIECES   US priest charged w/ abusing boy; now charged with hiring hitman to whack the boy.... Joe Lieberman in a jam winning re-election next year.  Oh, boo-hoo....    Recount ordered in Minnesota Gov's race....You may disagree with some of this, but lengthy and interesting analysis by Andrew Tyndall of Stewart & Maddow,  Ted Koppel & Jay Rosen,  FNC & MSNBC.

GIVING YOU A SIGN  Okay, fans, you are hereby invited to take part in fundraising auction for The Nation featuring whatta deal on autographed copies of not one, not two, but FIVE of my books, here.

TODAY's LAFF

Sarah Silverman recalls the day she allegedly picked out a cute turkey—for slaughter—at age 6.  Her seems to remember it was a cow.  Sarah notes that the killing of turkeys symbolizes the first Thanksgiving—when we shot Indians.

 

TODAY's MUSIC

The Ives has it, if you are in the mood for some great early "Thanksgiving" music with Thoreau, Emerson and in this case, the Alcotts, in Concord.

 

 
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Pastors of Plenty: A Right-Wing Attack on Woody Guthrie, 'NYT'—and an Ecumenical Thanksgiving

Leave it to Tim Graham of the right-wing Media Research Council to have a problem with the New York Times's coverage of  an ecumenical Thanksgiving church service in the suburbs last weekend that ended with Jews, Christians and Muslims raising their voices in "This Land Is Your Land," along with Woody Guthrie's daughter.

Longtime Times writer Peter Applebome had covered the service in Pleasantville, NY, the Westchester village once known as the site for Reader's Digest but now the home of one of the great movie theater/educational operations in the region, the Jacob Burns Center, where I happened to be attending a film the same day.

What Graham seemed to find most objectionable was the reporter's observation that a popular recent book claims that  "Americans are not only deeply divided and polarized along religious lines, but also increasingly tolerant and more likely to intermarry, change religions and accept the faith of others. The message seemed obvious, that the more people of different religious backgrounds shared their experiences, the more they understood each other and transcended what Mr. Phillips [a Methodist minister and organizer] called religious exceptionalism: the belief that there's only one path to God and that one's own religion has it.  And so evolved this year's interfaith service, with the idea of ending with 'This Land is Your Land.' "  

Graham: "[T]he Times writer was so delighted by this harmonic convergence that he didn’t go walking on any jagged-edged Plymouth Rocks of Protestantism for disapproval of the 'interfaith' ethos. There was only a refreshing lack of discord.... One always achieves liberalism by transcending and evolving."

The Times piece closed with:  "Afterward, there was cider and pumpkin pie, a small moment of American grace in a world often searching for just that."

Graham: "Liberals actually get thrills up their leg when someone answers the what's-your-faith question with 'All or none,' and they find 'moments of grace' when people insist that their own traditions of faith (or theologies of grace) are easily dismissed or supplanted by someone else's." 

What Graham is most upset with, obviously—though he mentions it only in passing—is that Thanksgiving started out "as a Christian event,"  and now it's been usurped by Unitarians, Jews and even, Muslims!

Well, the only way to end this is to really bug Graham by paying tribute to another famous Thanksgiving event—Arlo Guthrie's "massacree" at Alice's Restaurant, 1965.

 

 
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