To the Media - Protect Your Asses, Not Your Assets:
Starting tonight, Bill O'Reilly's Fox "news" show will feature an interview done by O'Reilly with President Bush. The thirty-minute interview will be stretched over three nights, no doubt interrupted by O'Reilly praising himself for how "hard-hitting" his questions are, as well as copious Scott Peterson updates and Dan Rather bashing. However "tough" O'Reilly's questions may seem, in the end, Bush will stay on script and O'Reilly will be wiping the presidential spooge off his lips, begging Bush to be balls deep in his face once again. Let's be clear here: the reason this interview is being broadcast the way it's being done is as a build-up to the debate on Thursday night. Fox dances the Rove rumba, shakin' their maracas whenever they get the order.

Meanwhile, across town, CBS has decided that the best way to get over the whole memo conflagration is to avoid any further criticism of the President until after the election. See, CBS was supposed to run a story on 60 Minutes about the Bush administration's use of the forged Niger documents as a pretext for war. Now, fearing its credibility has been damaged by the story that ran in its stead, Rather's Killian memos and Barnes interview, CBS is damaging its credibility to the breaking point by deep-sixing the Niger debacle story until after the election, at the least. CBS has it exactly, absolutely wrong when its spokesperson said, "We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election." No, in fact, and let's be clear again: it would inappropriate and possibly murderous to not broadcast the story. It's just more of the same, more of the same for this administration: no matter how many soldiers are dead and dying, it never has to be questioned about its actions (and a Bill O'Reilly hummer, however toothy it might be, doesn't count). To quash any stories that might mitigate or prevent any deaths means that one is complicitous in the continued slaughter.

There's not much time left here before November 2, so let's make something perfectly plain: a second Bush administration will engage in a serious abridgement of the freedoms of press and speech through law and intimidation. The thing is, with the Foxization of news, it won't seem like anything's changed to the general public, who will be told to blame dwindling numbers of Democrats on their ills. At some point, journalists need to understand that they cannot allow the administration to get to November 2 without answering for itself. Between the secrecy on meetings and documents to denial of access to reporters who would question to its discrediting of anyone who opposes them, real journalists have got to see the writing on the wall: play by our rules, says the administration, or you will not get to play.

Sometimes people in professions that affect the public at large have to take actions that are in their self-interest, actions that seem, on their surface, to be harmful to the profession itself, but actions that, ultimately, are good for everyone. A teacher's strike is an example of that. Teachers walking out of the classroom is not a good thing. But teachers have to feed their kids, and a satisfied, well-paid teacher is simply a better teacher.

So it's time for journalists, mainstream journalists on networks and large publications, to get selfish - by simply telling the truth about the Bush administration, by not letting them off the hook on answering about the war, the economy, and more, you will be protecting the future of your jobs and the future of a truly free press in America. It's a slippery slope from saying that John Kerry's honesty about the war gives comfort to the enemy to saying that any truthful reporting does the same. This ain't conspiracy theory. You know, and, c'mon, we've been down this road before - ask Walter Cronkite, fer fuck's sake. Ask anyone who challenged McCarthy until Murrow had the balls to take him down. Journalism is supposed to serve the public, not the powerful. The powerful have their messengers. Journalists are supposed to be the arbiters for the public good, not spokespeople for the powerful.

So this one is for the journalists or the ones who like to refer to themselves as such. It ain't for your corporate masters. Use whatever remaining shred of self-respect you have for the act of telling the truth to the public. It's time to get rid of the illusion of "balance" and report the facts. And confront those who oppose the facts. And fuck hedging on the facts. If you don't, then Fox "News" and Murdoch and Ailes win, and that way lies madness.

Joe Biden Will Fuck Your Shit Up:
Democratic Senator Joe Biden made the rounds of the gabfests yesterday, and on Fox "News," Biden bared those fuckin' teeth again and ripped out Chris Wallace's jugular vein and danced around in the shower of Wallace's spurting blood. Here's Biden:: "I find the way the opposition is dealing with this is really, really dangerous. They're telling everybody that basically if Kerry becomes president of the United States, he's not going to stick with Iraq . . . these guys so misrepresent things, it just is disgraceful." Every time Wallace tried to pin down Biden on some presumed inconsistency about John Kerry, Biden turned it back on Wallace, treating Wallace like a street whore who's skimmed too much from her pimp. Wallace couldn't end the interview fast enough.

Bring It On:
The Rude Pundit has received dozens of possible debate questions. We'll be posting the best on Wednesday. So keep 'em coming. The more the better. Rude, crude, or rational or some combination of the above - send it all: rudepundit@yahoo.com.