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Commentary :: Politics
BTL:Progressive Activists and Legislators Challenge Corporate Media's...
27 Jun 2005
..Failure to Cover Downing Street Memo ~ Interview with Danny Schechter, journalist and filmmaker, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Progressive Activists and Legislators Challenge Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Downing Street Memo

Interview with Danny Schechter, journalist and filmmaker, conducted by Scott Harris

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, (D-Mich.) delivers 560,000 petition signatures demanding an investigation of the Downing Street memo to an unidentified aide at the White House June 16.

The Downing Street memo, first published by the Times of London on May 1st is a document that records the minutes of a July 2002 meeting of British government officials that indicates that the Bush administration had already made a decision to invade Iraq, justified by intelligence and facts that were being fixed around the policy.

Although the document had been released just before Britain's May parliamentary election -- generally believed to have reduced the margin of Prime Minister Tony Blaire's victory, most major U.S. corporate media outlets have either refused to cover the memo, or relegated the story to the back pages. But after a surge of grassroots activism pressuring government officials and media companies to pay more attention to the story, the document that many observers believe is a smoking gun in a potentially damaging scandal has begun to command a little more attention. Reporters are beginning to ask more questions of Bush administration officials, while Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan has collected more than half a million signatures demanding that President Bush answer questions about the memo. Conyers also conducted a June 16th un-official hearing on the Downing Street Memo that heard testimony from administration critics who maintain the document confirms that President Bush was dishonest in his justification for launching the Iraq war.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with author and film maker Danny Schechter of Media Schechter, whose documentary film, "Weapons of Mass Deception," examines how the media failed to challenge the government's dubious rationale for the Iraq war, discusses why U.S. corporate media has thus far failed again to cover a critical news story damaging President Bush and his administration.

Danny Schechter's latest film, "Weapons of Mass Deception,"examines the media's coverage of the Iraq War. See a trailer of the documentary at

Related links:

"Why the Memo Matters," by Mark Danner,, June 20, 2005

"What the Hell is the Downing St. Memo -- and Who Cares?" by David Benjamin,, June 19, 2005

"Mocking the Downing Street Memo," by Robert Parry, Consortium News, June 18, 2005

"Democratic Members of House Judiciary Committee: Meeting on Downing St. Memo and Iraq War," C-SPAN3, June 16, 2005 (Needs RealOne Player or RealPlayer)

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2005 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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