Diana West on the stories that don’t get covered

Based in Washington, D.C., Diana West writes a weekly column nationally syndicated by the Universal Press Syndicate in Kansas City. It’s a courageous column tackling topics seldom broached in the pages of many mainstream dailies.

I called Ms. West last month to ask her about a recent piece in which she mentioned that few subscribing newspapers have run her columns on the various court challenges this year to Barack Obama’s eligibility to run for president.

Is the number of topics on which columns get spiked increasing? I asked the columnist.

“You’re not being paranoid, it’s absolutely true,” Ms. West replied. “For a journalist the comfort zone of discussable topics is definitely shrinking. … It does feel worse than it used to be.

“Obviously the worst issue of all is anything attached to the (Obama) eligibility issue,” Ms. West continued. “You can’t even cover the fact that the judge threw it out. And that is definitely where we’ve seen the most censorship of my own work. …

“Andrew Breitbart when he was alive famously stayed away from the ‘birther’ issue because he was afraid of being marginalized. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The frightening thing is you see this failure of nerve, we don’t exercise our First Amendment, if you don’t use your power you lose your power. When people are not given the facts as they develop on a daily basis and then suddenly something happens, the readers have no context in which to interpret that development. …

“Whether it’s the doctrine of Jihad which is in every mainstream Islamic school, or the fraudulent-seeming computer image that the Obama administration released as his birth certificate, because the media has failed (to provide the background), it sounds fantastic …

“This is where it gets very, very concerning, we as a people start taking the word of authority over evidence, over a rational analysis, and I think that’s what we see more and more, when the government says something, when the voice of authority says something, they’re not interested in trusting their own eyes, you see it with the media in spades, it’s embarrassing …

“There’s an interesting quote from the April 27, 2011 White House press conference, you weren’t allowed to record it, you had to do only pad and pencil, but a reporter actually asked this very stumbling question, he said that many people are going to want to SEE the document, they’ll just say you put up a computer image, and then the transcript says “Laughter.” They (the press corps) laugh at the guy who says the most obvious question. …”

For those who have never done an Internet search on “Obama’s birth certificate,” it’s common parlance on the Web that the document presented to reporters in such a cloak-and-dagger fashion by the White House lists the race of Obama’s father as “African” when “Negro” would have been the standard usage in that era, lists the father’s birth place as “Kenya” at a time before Kenya became a country, and gives the hospital a name which supposedly did not exist until it merged with another facility in 1971, a decade after his birth.

Snopes.com debunks most of this, fairly convincingly, but of course Snopes consists of a self-appointed couple whose politics lean to the left, in the first place.

In the recent Georgia court challenge to Obama’s ballot eligibility, “Obama lawyer’s brief was to quash the subpoena,” Ms. West says, “the lawyer went ballistic and writes this, what seems to be a very desperate brief to stop this subpoena for Obama to appear, and the judge did not quash the subpoena, so Obama remains, I think my column was called, ‘Why isn’t he in contempt?’ … One of the things they entered was an affidavit from an investigator that Obama has this Social Security number, it doesn’t pass E-Verify, and (Obama’s) lawyer’s rejoinder is that there’s no Constitutional requirement to participate in the Social Security system …

“This is the 40th anniversary of Watergate,” Diana West pointed out. “It’s so ironic to me, the Post has all these essays and encomiums to Woodward and Bernstein, and they’re missing these huge stories, and they don’t even seem to understand how foolish they look, it’s not on their radar …”

What things, other than the Obama birth certificate and Social Security number (which begins with “042,” a code indicating it was issued for a resident of Connecticut, a state in which Barack Obama is never known to have lived?)

Ms. West says any reporting that tends to reveal a massive and violent Muslim fundamentalist jihad ongoing in Europe to impose elements of Sharia law is simply considered so Politically Incorrect that it gets downplayed or ignored.

“Gert Wilders, the Dutch politician, he’s such an important figure in our time,” Ms. West begins her list. “He has risen to be the third largest party in the Netherlands … He’s lived the past seven years under bodyguard because of Islamic fatwahs and so forth … His new book is ‘Marked for Death,’ from Regnery.

“He came here and there were NO American press interviews .. .. He produced the short movie ‘Citna,’ there were world-wide riots, people died. And yet did the New York Times interview him? The Washington Post, anyone? There was no news of his visit, here.He would be a very good example of a taboo you’re not allowed to discuss, even though he happens to be a power broker in Europe …”

The Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim extremist “right before the Academy Awards, and yet there was not a single mention there,” Ms. West points out. The violence of Islamic extremists in Europe attempting to control public discourse “is a huge taboo. And another one is Kurt Westegaard, the Danish cartoonist,” who famously drew a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, as an exercise — an exercise which produced some irony, as it turns out — to demonstrate the Danish press was still free of Muslim censorship.

“An assassin broke into his home New Year’s Eve 2010 and was beating on his safe room in his home, basically a reinforced steel door to the bathroom, he ran in there with his granddaughter, when the police came a man with an axe was trying to chop through the door. He came to America for a lecture tour. He went to Princeton, to Yale, gave a half dozen lectures in the U.S. and Canada. I was helping to host his visit; I took the press calls and to every single press inquiry I asked: ‘Are you going to run the cartoon?’ Everyone kind of laughed nervously …

“If ASNE (the American Society of Newspaper Editors) had called an emergency conference and said, ‘OK, guys, everybody runs it tomorrow,’ you show your support for freedom of expression. But instead we give them (the jihadists) such power, such a leverage of fear …

“The Yale University Press ran an academic piece on the Danish cartoon crisis without publishing the cartoons. They did not print the cartoons … to the great shame of Western academia …”

Ms. West also lists the minimal coverage in the West of the suspicious plane crash at Smolensk in 2010 — a crash from which the Russians have refused to release the plane’s “black boxes.”

“The Russians assert that Polish pilot error, supposedly induced by pressure to land from the Polish president himself, caused the crash,” West writes in her most recent column on the subject. “Poles, particularly those associated with the late president’s conservative Law and Justice party, see something far more sinister. In this worst-case scenario, Russian air controllers incorrectly informed Polish pilots they were on the proper glide path when that wasn’t true. On purpose? If so, the world has witnessed mass assassination of a government. And done nothing.”

Why are these stories ignored? I asked the columnist.

“I think it’s often the case with all of these stories, that if you acknowledge them, then you’d have to do something,” Diana West replies.

2 Comments to “Diana West on the stories that don’t get covered”

  1. liberranter Says:

    Like you, Vin, and unlike the lick-spittle political hacks that infest the MSM, Diana West is a real journalist, someone whose work needs to be circulated far and wide. It simply boggles the mind that anyone pays any attention at all anymore to the outlets of the MSM. Their lies, omissions, and distortions are so obvious that to call them “news” outlets is an insult to common sense.

  2. R. Hartman Says:

    Four years ago I wrote on the Smolensk controversy. No coverage in Dutch press, as Mrs. West indicates.
    Two small typos: Gert Wildes is Geert Wilders, and Citna should be Fitna.

    Quite an accurate article on the total disinterest of the media on anything curtailing our freedom.