Countdown: Bush administration has zero credibility

Keith Olbermann ran a segment on the Bush administration's attempts to link Saddam to al Qaeda. He opened:


"If the Iraq debate seems especially exhausting, it may be due to the steady erosion of the foundation for any productive debate, facts."
After airing a montage of the administration's spin on the link issues, Keith has a fascinating discussion with Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter.

Some highlights:
OLBERMANN: Let's start with the basics. Americans, even media types, especially in crises, historically give top government officials a presumption of credibility until proven dastardly... How much of that presumption of governmental credibility remains?
ALTER: I'd say between zero and none, at least as far as the media goes, and I think any sentient American at this point, they've lost their credibility many, many times over. Does that mean they've lost the argument? No, because, as you've been indicating, facts often don't determine the resolution of the arguments. So they could end up winning in November by distorting the argument. But on credibility and the facts, they've lost.
They remind me of, you know, a politician who's caught in bed with a prostitute, and his wife comes in and sees him, and he looks up and says to her, Who do you believe, me or your cheating eyes? You know, they don't have any credibility anymore, so they just assert something that ain't so and hope that it plays....
It's a tremendous problem, because if you move from an evidence-based foreign policy, or domestic policy, to a--what you could call a faith-based policy, which takes you out of the realm of facts, out of the realm of rational policy-making that gone on in both Democratic and Republican administrations for many, many years, you're into a whole different place....
You know, the author Ron Susskind heard about three years ago from an official in the Bush White House, Hey, you guys aren't relevant anymore. You're in what he called the reality-based community....
We've moved to a different place. So they're recognizing that facts are for wimps, and that, you know, strength belongs to people who can craft the truth for their own purposes. The problem is, that way eventually lies tyranny... If you lose a common ground of facts on which to move forward as a society, nobody can agree on anything, and you can't pull together to solve problems.
Check out this video clip and pass it on.

Full transcript on the flip side.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.