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August 18, 2009
Full Show: August 18, 2009

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Hello, Mr. Savidge: I watched your 6:00pm August 18, 2009, World Focus report on PBS, Channel 20.1, here is Chicago, and it was really a revelation about what is news and what is chaff in the global news networks.

First, the BBC news was reporting extensively online on August 18, 2009, under the headline “Afghan Election Fraud Unearthed” how “thousands of voting cards have been offered for sale,” and how “thousands of dollars have been offered in bribes to buy votes.” That’s on top of an ALJazeera report on August 16, 2009,
on how Afghan “Wuluswals” [District Chiefs] were given a lot of money, and their wives were given a lot of jewelry to buy votes.” And, on August 18, 2009 again, at 5:00pm, on Channel 11.2 here in Chicago, the BBC World News showed Afghan elders on video laughing and saying “they were offered $10.000, $20.000, and $30.000 dollars each from various sources to buy votes,” on quote. And they laughingly asked: “Where is that money coning from!?” Well, its no secret. The U.S. has to buy the vote to legitimize its occupation as a democratic outcome. But the Afghans view their government as a U.S. puppet, and they say “it has done nothing for the people in 8 years” [since it was installed by the U.S.]
(Al Jazeera, August 16, 2009 report)

However, there is a brouhaha going on in the U.S. about Obama’s Health care Program, and that program is in shambles now because “it is expensive, and it will bust the U.S. deficit!” And the pundits ask: “Where the money [for public health care] will come from?” Well, the answer is: From the same bag that the millions spend to buy Afghan votes. And from the money the U.S. spend in all those “Think Tank” organizations and
universities whose experts are handy to New York media to offer opinions supportive of the U.S. government policy.

And now I come to the subject of my comment, which is your August 18, 2009, guest expert Kimberly Marten. She painted such a rosy picture for Afghan elections, repeating how “happy” or how “excited” etc., the Afghan were that made your newscast sound like a Cinderella story – contrary to the bleak and corrupt picture of
Afghan elections every other news source was reporting. Her view was surely pre-packaged to present Afghans as happy for the U.S. occupation. And that was not all: That interview was copied on You Tube, and was pinned on Google’s Top Stories homepage, where it still remains pinned 24 hours later. I have never seen any negative view about the U.S. foreign policy expressed in your program get such a royal treatment.

The Epilogue: Beware of your guest experts. They appear in your program to lick the hand that feeds them, and to protect their U.S. government funding sources, not to offer any useful knowledge to your viewers. I noticed that you detected that, and you pressed Ms. Marten on her contrary-to-the facts opinion, but you couldn’t de-program her. But lets not forget that people watch BBC to see what is censored, minimized, or glossed over by the the U.S. media. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

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