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Between The Lines

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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Aug. 1, 2003


ANNOUNCEMENTS: Our archive server is undergoing an upgrade and several programs may not yet be re-installed.

  • Corporate Media Must Widen
    Their Iraq-Gate Investigation
    Beyond the "16 Words"

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Bush Nominee to Federal Bench
    May Have Lied about His Participation
    in GOP Attorney General Scheme
    to Shake Down Companies They Regulate

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • House Passes White House Plan
    To Deprive Millions
    of Workers Overtime Pay

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Underreported News Summary
    from Around the World

    For full summary, Click here!
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Aug. 5, 2003.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Corporate Media Must Widen
Iraq-Gate Investigation
Beyond the "16 Words"

Interview with Steve Rendall,
senior analyst with
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Sixteen words in President Bush's State of the Union Address last Jan. 28, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," are becoming as well-known as the 18-minute gap in former president Nixon's White House tape made famous in the Watergate scandal. Whether the latest questions on Bush's Iraq policy will lead down the path of impeachment or resignation is far from clear.

One critical element in the evolution of the Watergate scandal was the lead role of the mainstream press, some of whose reporters pursued the story with dogged determination and provided the public with critical details about the lies and coverup coming from the White House. But the U.S. media has undergone dramatic changes over the past three decades, with just a handful of conglomerates now controlling virtually all television networks, radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Instead of journalism being the primary mission in many newsrooms, profit for shareholders is now the bottom line. In the current media climate, very few corporate reporters are willing to ask the tough questions that, in the past, had helped topple a president.

Over the last few weeks the press, has however, focused on the Africa Uranium story in great detail. In an interview recorded on July 14, Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Steve Rendall, senior analyst with the group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, about what the media should be investigating in this unfolding scandal.

Call FAIR at (212) 633-6700 or visit their website at

Related links

Bush Nominee to Federal Bench
May Have Lied about his Participation
in GOP Attorney General Scheme
to Shake Down Companies They Regulate

Interview with Elliot Minceberg,
vice president and legal director, People for the American Way,
conducted by Scott Harris

Since coming to office, the Bush administration has put forward a long list of staunchly conservative nominees for the federal bench. The Democrats in the U.S. Senate, where confirmation hearings are conducted, have approved 133 of the White House nominees and employed the filibuster to block two individuals for what they consider extremist judicial views.

But a wider controversy has now erupted around the nomination of Alabama state Attorney General William Pryor Jr. to the federal appeals court for the 11th circuit. His rigid opposition to abortion, civil rights and individual liberties make it likely that Senate Democrats might once again filibuster the nomination. But documents provided to the Judiciary Committee shortly before a scheduled vote on the nominee, revealed that Pryor may have lied in previous testimony regarding his participation in a scheme by GOP attorney generals to seek campaign contributions from companies they regulate. The Republican Attorney's General Association or RAGA, had successfully solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from corporations in six states, which were then sent to the Republican National Committee without a paper trail.

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who as a former attorney general participated in RAGA fundraising himself, accused a former employee who leaked the documents of stealing evidence and threatened legal action against her. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Elliot Minceberg, vice president and legal director with People for the American Way, who examines the Pryor nomination and the serious ethical issues involved in a system where political payoffs were solicited from potential targets of investigation.

Contact People for the American Way by calling (202) 467-4999 or visit their website at

House Passes White House Plan
to Deprive Millions
of Workers Overtime Pay

Interview with Jared Bernstein,
senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute,
conducted by Scott Harris

With the backing of powerful corporate lobbyists, the Bush administration is successfully pushing to change federal work regulations that could deprive over eight million white-collar employees overtime pay when they work more than a 40-hour week. The Labor Department has proposed new regulations that would give employers the right to reclassify workers from hourly wage earners to administrative or executive status, thus depriving them of the right to earn time-and-a-half pay for overtime hours.

These changes to labor guidelines that have been on the books for over 50 years, would downgrade standards now governing the educational background and supervisory authority necessary to exempt employees from overtime pay requirements. Some economists have predicted that if enacted, these revisions would force increasing numbers of companies to shuffle job titles in order to remain competitive by paying workers less.

The Republican-controlled House recently approved the measure by a narrow 213 to 210 margin while the Senate has not as yet scheduled a vote. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jared Bernstein, senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute, who discusses the Bush administration's drive to change these labor regulations and the consequences for millions of lower-paid workers.

Contact the Economic Policy Institute by calling (202) 775-8810 or visit their website at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Pakistani national Mohammed Sagheer, released from detention at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base last November is filing a $10.4 million lawsuit against the Bush administration for mistreatment while in U.S. custody. ("Ex-Guantanamo inmate to sue U.S.," BBC, July 10, 2003)
  • Child soldiers, known as the Union of Congolese Patriots, are terrorizing local population of Ituri region after Ugandan soldiers retreat as part of a Congo peace treaty. ("In Hell's Waiting Room," World Press Review, Aug. 2003; "Ituri: Bloodiest Corner of Congo," Human Rights Watch press release, July 8, 2003).
  • Right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch on verge of expanding his global media empire with contract negotiations to acquire Direct TV, America's biggest direct broadcast satellite service allowing Fox-like programming to be beamed into homes nationwide. ("Murdoch's extended reach," by Jeff Chester, The Nation, July 10, 2003)

DOWNLOAD this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Note: Make sure your browser is set for streaming or download depending on your connection speed. MP3 files available until Aug. 5, 2003.

Note to our broadcast subscribers: We are now offering FTP access for faster, more reliable download of our broadcast quality files. Please call Anna Manzo at (203) 268-8446 ext. 2, to register for FTP logon access or send feedback to us at

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates, Bill Cosentino
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo and Bill Cosentino
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 7/25/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"The Next Debate: Al Qaeda Link," The New York Times, July 20, 2003

"Tenet Says White House Official Insisted Questionable Information Be Included in Speech", The Associated Press, July 17, 2003

"20 Lies About the War," The Independent/UK, July 13, 2003

"White House Admits Bush Lied About Iraqi Nukes," Capitol Hill Blue, July 8, 2003

"Congresswoman says Bush lied; Demands probe," Press release from Rep. Jan Schakowsky, July 8, 2003

"Republican Enviros Blast Bush for Withholding Information," Environment News Service, July 2, 2003

"The Selling of the Iraq War: The First Casualty" The New Republic, June 30, 2003

"Distorted Intelligence?" Newsweek, June 23, 2003

"Impeachable Offense," Seattle Weekly/, June 18, 2003

"Reason to Deceive:WMD Lies Could Be the New Watergate," The Village Voice, June 18, 2003

"Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?" by John W. Dean, FindLaw's Writ, June 6, 2003

American Empire/War Profiteering in Iraq

"Group: Cheney Task Force Eyed on Iraq Oil," Associated Press, July 18, 2003

"Public Citizen Report Exposes Contractor Bechtel as Threat to Iraqi Environment, Human Rights and Basic Services,"

"Post-War Booty Call," Toward Freedom, Spring 2003

"Imperial America and War," Monthly Review, May 28, 2003

"Pentagon Hands Major Iraq Deal to Scandal-Ridden WorldCom," The Star Online, May 22, 2003

"War Profiteering," by The Nation editors, April 24, 2003

Postwar Occupation of Iraq

"Cleric Calls for 'Islamic Army'," Washington Post Foreign Service, July 19, 2003

"Warning of Toxic Aftermath from Uranium Munitions," The Buffalo News, July 22, 2003

Civil Liberties

"Lawyers Furious as US Builds Death Chambers,", Times UK Online, July 5, 2003

"Fascism Anyone?" 14 Signs of Fascism, Free Inquiry Magazine, Volume 23, No. 2

"Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism," The Crisis Papers, June 9, 2003

Between The Lines Special Reports in RealAudio

"Allegations of War Profiteering Leveled Against Halliburton and Other Companies With Close Ties to White House," Charlie Cray, corporate reform campaigner at Citizen Works, Week Ending 5/23/03

"Campaign to Impeach President Bush Will Require Broad Public Support," law professor Francis Boyle, March 7, 2003

Multi-Ethnic Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report
and in Audio (needs RealPlayer)


Between The Lines
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