Impeach Bush Coalition
A United Coalition of Bloggers for the Impeachment of George W. Bush

IBC's Rudicus Interviews the Zogby "Chaser"

Friday, September 23, 2005
[As posted previously on the IBC site, Lukery, an Australian blogger (IBC member) at Wot is it Good 4 has been on a campaign to get Zogby International to poll the American public (again) on the issue of impeachment.

In his post, he discusses the entire issue at length. Specifically, he highlights an important side issue of the impeachment debate, namely, the question of why the mainstream media is not touching the impeachment story. But here at the Impeach Bush Coalition, we’re more than happy to oblige.

The Rudicus Report caught up with Lukery to get his thoughts on Zogby, the foreign perception of the U.S., and the power of blogging.

Rudicus: As an Australian, what made you want to take up the charge on the issue of Bush's impeachment?

Lukery: The Bush administration is dangerous to everyone. They are dangerous when they start wars, they are dangerous when they destroy the environment, and they are dangerous because they provide cover for other governments to mimic US policies - for example, stripping civil liberties, ignoring science, or justifying torture.

Rudicus: What do you think the impact of your activities will be? What would you like them to be?

Lukery: It looks as though we've already had an impact with this latest episode. Zogby wasn’t going to ask the question[about impeachment], and it appears that they've caved. Its going to cost us a few thousand dollars to get the impeachment questions asked again - but from the feedback I've received, it seems as though we should be able to raise that in $20 and $50 and $100 increments. If we can get the poll done, the next challenge will be to get the appropriate media coverage of the poll results. With luck, the coverage of the poll results will shift the narrative in the general media away from 'a president with some popularity problems' to 'a failed presidency'

I want the impact of all of our activities to be that America banishes crazy right-wing notions forever and that we see a true progressive movement - and that includes the Democrats. The Bush administration has been such a failure that I hope that I hope we also destroy the so-called 'centrist' notions of the DLC. I want America to be the light on the hill again - life liberty and ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and all that. I used to live in America - but now I wouldn’t travel there for fear of being arrested.

Rudicus: How do you feel Bush and his administration has impacted Australia?

Lukery: The Bush administration had been terrible for Australia (and similarly Britain where I also lived). Our Prime Minister is a Bush wanna-be - he loves the whole war thing and was one of the first to sign up for the “Coalition of the Willing”, and I think Australia has been the only country to keep increasing troop commitments in Bush's wars. Australia has also become a lot more racist, and there is a massive assault on civil liberties (much the same as Britain). We've also become a target - with the bombings in Bali which seem to have been largely directed at Australians, and an attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and there was a recent 'Al Qaida' video threatening both Los Angeles and Melbourne. Similarly, we've also seen the rise of the religious crazies - with the associated threats to Women’s rights and the ID movement.

Rudicus: Do you think there is a conspiracy or coordinated effort in mainstream media to downplay or outright ignore potentially serious negatives regarding the Bush Administration? If so, do you think it is limited to U.S. based media?

Lukery: There is no doubt that there is a media 'conspiracy', although the exact mechanisms aren’t entirely clear - its a combination of both explicit and implicit elements. One of the most egregious examples (which didn’t get any attention) was when CNN printed Hans Blix's 'transcript' in his speech to the UN after Powell's disastrous pre-invasion speech. CNN purported to carry Blix's entire testimony, but they removed all of the paragraphs where Blix criticized Powell's 'evidence'.

[The media conspiracy] is not restricted to the US. [Rupert] Murdoch owns something like 50% of the press in Australia, and a similar amount in the UK - I think he also has significant holdings in China, India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, he seems to be really good at what he does. One of the other main problems, that is rarely mentioned - even in the context of media consolidation - is the concentration of the wire services. I would argue that the AP is more dangerous than Murdoch.

Rudicus: What do you think about the power of blogging and bloggers to force attention to be paid to issues that are ignored or swept under the rug by MSM.

Lukery: Blogging can be important - but mostly to the extent that journalists and politicians read blogs. Blogs are only useful to the extent that they can actually influence the other two - Bogs can exert a terrific influence when they don’t let journalists and politicians get away with fudging reality. Blogging is essentially about the collective mind - which means that anyone can make a difference if they get the correct 'hook'. Many of us blog and chat away in 'comments' to no avail. The thing I did with the impeachment story was to go to the source of the problem (Zogby) and keep asking till I got an answer - and then gave it to RawStory (http://www.rawstory.com) to follow up. They had the clout to get Zogby on the record and also to get the Washington Post to move the story at the same time. In the same day, the story was put out by Stephanie Miller on Air America. So blogging can be important - but its important to try to turn our ideas into actions, and secondly, every little bit helps.

The important thing is to keep trying to break through the noise - if there are sufficient numbers of us trying to break through, then some of us will - and the result is the important thing, [and in this case] and might actually result in Zogby asking the impeachment question again.

[This story is also available at The Raw Story. Thank you Rudicus and Lukery!]

Impeach Bush!