Monday, August 4, 2008

Roberto Rodriguez: Questions journalists never ask

Columnist Rodriguez asks hard questions on Iraq, torture, impeachment, border xenophobia and US spying

AUG. 4, 2008
Having recently returned from a national journalism conference, I was reminded how most national mainstream journalists nowadays fail to ask the most basic of questions of powerful corporate executives or government officials. This is especially true in regards to issues of war and peace, where many journalists and commentators seemingly continue to act as government stenographers at best, and cheerleader sat worst.
Since 911 of 2001, many journalists have begun to fear that being watchdogs of freedom will brand them as disloyal and anti-American.
Here are some questions you will most likely not hear in the next few months from mainstream journalists.
(Here are excerpts from the column)

Questions for President Bush:
• If everything you warned about regarding Iraq was demonstrably false, why should you – or anyone who has supported your policies – be believed about anything regarding Iran or anything else for that matter?
• If the United States is the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons in wartime against civilian populations, where does this nation get its moral authority on this issue?...
Questions for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
• By taking impeachment hearings "off the table," did you not unilaterally disarm Congress in your effort to end the Iraq War and to hold the president accountable for starting an illegal, immoral and unnecessary war? ...
Questions for John McCain:
• You voted to prohibit U.S. military personnel from utilizing torture ("enhanced interrogation techniques"), yet you sided with the president to exempt the CIA from this prohibition. Doesn't this loophole render the prohibition meaningless? ...
Questions for Barack Obama:
• One of your steadfast positions in the primaries was your opposition to granting immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the White House in spying on Americans without warrants. Why have you now changed positions?
• The president and vice president have amassed unprecedented executive power. Will you reverse this, including ceasing the practice of signing statements that thwart the intent of Congress?
• You appear to believe that the Afghan War is a "just war." How long are you prepared to stay there? How much money and how many lives are you prepared to lose?
Questions for CNN's Lou Dobbs & Other anti-Immigrants:
• You are always quick to point out that you have nothing against legal immigrants. However, on "the street," this disdain [and the accompanying hate crimes] is focused on brown peoples. How do you and the people you have stirred up, distinguish between "legal" and"illegal" immigrants without resorting to racial profiling?
• Every evening, you tie the notion of broken borders and illegal immigration to the future of this nation. Do you honestly believe that your nightly obsession is contributing to a more perfect union?
Read full column:

Rodriguez can be reached at or
Column of the Americas, PO BOX 85476 - Tucson, AZ 85754

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