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Over the last two years, various government and congressional officials adroitly exploited leaks to the media to defame Wen Ho Lee, a Los Alamos nuclear scientist.

So ABC is arranging its convention coverage around an exhibition football game. NBC is giving us just the acceptance speeches.

Should the corporate owners of newspapers like the Los Angeles Times or the New York Post be allowed to own television stations in the same city?

On the final day of the Seattle demonstrations this past December, Peter Jennings of ABC's World News Tonight introduced the story with a sly aside: "The thousands of demonstrators will go

Once upon a time there was a struggling young California band. Its music was too loud and its image too unpolished for MTV.

AOL's buyout of Time Warner may have been this year's largest new media/old media merger, but in terms of sheer market consolidation, PlanetOut's purchase of Liberation Publications in late March

The hopes of many for the birth and sustenance of independent web journalism took a body blow recently when all 140 employees of the APBnews.com crime news site were let go with no warning, as th


"Biased" was the term used most often in the scores of letters sent
in response to John Dinges's "What's Going on at Pacifi

The pace of recent events made one of the most significant rulings in
the history of American antitrust law seem like an anti-climax.

What if First Daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush had been caught
lighting up a joint? Would the respectable media play down that story the
way they have the Bush children's illegal purchases of alcohol?

Hardly, because marijuana is an officially proscribed demon drug while
alcohol is a mainstay of the culture, promoted incessantly as an
essential ingredient of the good life.

Marijuana use, the drug war zealots insist, despite considerable
evidence to the contrary, leads inevitably to the harder stuff. That's
why the US Supreme Court won't risk the health of dying cancer patients
with a few tokes of physician-prescribed pot. But those margaritas that
the Bush girls grew up to prefer, heck that's just child's play,
something all college students do and soon grow out of.

Not so their father, unless you think abusing alcohol until the age of
40 is still child's play. Had he hit someone on that night when he was
arrested for DUI, it might have undermined George W.'s charmed ascension
to the presidency.

Sorry, but I'm with the tabloids on this one. It is big news that the
commander in chief of the drug war has not been able to control his own
daughters' illegal behavior.

Obviously, Bush has not followed his own advice, offered while
announcing the revving up of the drug war, that parents take more
responsibility for their children's conduct.

Should the Bush children have gone to church more often to be exposed
to those faith-based anti-drug and alcohol programs that the President
embraced? Did the Bush parents always know where their children were?
Perhaps the Bush twins were permitted to watch too many Hollywood movies.

Imagine the vituperation that would have been visited upon the Clinton
family if Chelsea, like Jenna, had used the Secret Service to pick up an
underage boyfriend, accused of public intoxication, from jail. But when
it comes to family values, Republicans' messed-up personal lives are
chuckled off as just another American-as-apple-pie growing up experience.

Did not the President's mother elicit howls of laughter from her
Junior League audience when she made passing reference to her son's
alcohol addiction on the very day that her granddaughters were charged
with breaking the law? "He is getting back some of his own," Grandma Bush
said, with more than a trace of wonderment that her son George W., the
underachiever and, by his own admission, often inebriated prankster, is
now the President of us all.

But alcoholism wasn't really funny for George W. or he wouldn't have
had to go cold turkey and work white-knuckle hard these past fifteen years at
staying sober. Alcoholism is one of the nation's leading problems and
when then-Gov. Bush signed a "zero tolerance" law in 1997 on underage
drinking, the reason offered was that Texas led the United States in
alcohol-related fatalities.

More than 100,000 people die each year from alcohol, so controlling
its use is of public importance. This guy as governor and President has
responded to problems of substance abuse by acting to throw even more
people into jail although that course has already given us the largest
per-capita prison population in the world. Yet, when his own daughter now
stands but one more arrest away from a possible six months in the slammer
because of the law then-Gov. Bush signed, the President is speechless.

"The President views this as a family matter, a private matter, and he
will treat it as such," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer huffed.

Not so fast.

Alcoholism is the social problem that this President best understands,
and instead of slinking off into silence, he should provide a public
example of what he has claimed parenting is all about.

This is the time to talk honestly to his daughters and the nation
about the lessons of substance abuse, and particularly, whether the tough
law and order approach is just dumb. Unless, of course, he really
believes that his daughter would benefit from six months behind bars for
ordering yet another margarita.

Maybe the drinking age should be dropped to 18 years old, as most of
the Bush daughters' classmates seem to feel. Why make criminals of the
young, most of whom are quite responsible in making their own decisions
about when and what to drink? But isn't that even truer of an adult
cancer patient who uses marijuana to ward off nausea?

Blogs

Civil rights groups seem willing to sell out their own members for a buck.

July 25, 2014

In Russia and in the US, the media play the blame game. 

July 22, 2014

In a world overwhelmed by violence and conflict, the news just gets worse and worse.

July 22, 2014

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on the media’s coverage of climate change. 

July 21, 2014

When protesters interrupted an interview with the Cheneys to call the former vice president a war criminal, C-SPAN’s feed mysteriously cut out. 

July 15, 2014

Israel's single and looking to mingle. 

July 15, 2014

Too much media has becomes fixated on finding “balance,” even if it means presenting fiction on par with fact.

July 15, 2014

Pundits and politicians agree: Edward Snowden did something naughty. But what do the people think?

July 15, 2014

The organization is calling out members of the CBC it believes are siding with the telecom industry over the interests of everyday Internet users.

July 14, 2014

“We should approach climate change with great skepticism,” says the king of the climate denial media machine.

July 14, 2014