James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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More Bush secrecy

Posted by James McPherson on May 10, 2008

Naturally the latest Bush directive instituting new rules on secrecy, discussed here by the Daily Kos, was issued on a Friday, so the mainstream media likely will pay as little attention to it as they did to the earlier expansion of Internet monitoring. Despite the fact that Bush’s popularity continues to drop, the media also continue to largely ignore how much the administration has done to turn the federal government into one of “pervasive secrecy”–as pointed out by this article from the Centre for Research on Globalazation, a Canadian research group.

The article quotes Susan Dente Ross (who teaches at the same school where I got my Ph.D.) as pointing out that among other things the Bush administration has increased the number of agencies allowed to keep information secret, expanded the secrecy of various departments (including the CIA, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service), and extended the period that material can be classified from 10 to 25 years.

At least the news media were all over that other secretive Bush activity that occurred this weekend “away from the glare of television cameras” in “a strict zone of privacy.” Reporters noted that”plans had been largely under wraps” for “a semi-historic event that America will not get to see,” reflecting the Bush “penchant for privacy.” What do you want to bet it also makes the first hour of the three big morning news shows on Monday?

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