Sunday, February 24, 2008

60 Minutes Coverage Of Don Siegelman Story Blacked Out In Alabama

Larisa Alexandrovna is sizzling at Huffington Post, and rightfully so, in my view. She's been reporting about the political persecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman [photo], who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in federal prison, for nothing more -- apparently -- than having been a successful Democratic politician in a "Republican state".

As I mentioned in an earlier post, CBS aired a segment on this story on 60 Minutes earlier this evening. Well, guess what?

As 60 Minutes was putting its show together, the White House put pressure on CBS -- the parent company -- to kill the show. Over the last few days, as word got out that the 60 Minutes show would air tonight, Karl Rove's associates began planting defamatory stories about journalists working on this story (see example here) and attacking the whistle-blower who came forward, Dana Jill Simpson. If you recall, Ms. Simpson testified, under oath, to Congress about Karl Rove's involvement in politicizing the DOJ. What you may not know, however, is that her house mysteriously caught fire and she was run off the road in the weeks leading up to her testimony.

What you may also not know is that Governor Siegelman's house was broken into twice during his trial as was his attorney's office.

Yesterday, the attacks on Simpson and journalists increased with a series of emails from the Alabama GOP. See Here.

Tonight was something truly unseen in US history. During the 60 Minutes broadcast and ONLY during the Don Siegelman portion -- the screen went black for Huntsville residents and Mobile residents. There are other reports of other locations, but I have not yet confirmed those. In Florida, a series of strange ads were running about the FISA bill and how Democrats are not tough on terrorism, apparently during the 60 Minutes hour and also right before 60 Minutes, but not after (still trying to confirm when the ads stopped running).

In other words, in the United States of America, a man is imprisoned for being a Democrat. When reporters attempt to get this story out, they are threatened and smeared. When all else fails, the public is not allowed to see the news. This is not acceptable and I -- as a US citizen -- demand that Congress investigate this series of blackouts immediately. Any company involved in this must have their FCC license pulled too. Karl Rove may be gone from office, but he clearly is not gone from power. So long as his buddy, George W. Bush, continues to occupy the White House -- what used to be a symbol of how a nation could both be governed and be free -- we will continue toward abuse after imperial, no Soviet, abuse against us. That too is unacceptable.
Agreed. If we will sit still for this we will sit still for anything.

Patriots? Anyone? Have we become too numb to care?

Please read more of the background from Larisa Alexandrovna at Raw Story The Permanent Republican Majority Part I | Part II | Part III

Excellent coverage from Scott Horton at Harper's
More excellent coverage at Larisa's blog, At-Largely
This evening's 60 Minutes broadcast
Larisa's piece at HuffPo: Parts of 60 Minutes Broadcast Blocked in Alabama...

And finally [!?], an update at Larisa's blog says CBS is blaming a technical problem in New York.

Yeah, sure!