In a recent interview with CBS anchorperson Katie Couric, Republican presidential contender John McCain blasted Barack Obama for opposing the surge in Iraq. McCain claimed the deployment of more U.S. troops gave rise to the “Anbar Awakening” in which Sunni Muslims turned against al-Qaeda terrorists. But the Anbar Awakening began Sept. 26, 2006. That was more than three months before President Bush even announced the surge on Jan. 10, 2007.

What makes this McCain blunder so troubling is that CBS decided to remove it from the interview, covering up McCain’s mistake. The cover-up was exposed by MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann, who accused McCain on the air of either lying or being ignorant of the facts.

MoveOn.org launched an online petition to CBS demanding that they stop the “cover-up for McCain.”

“Ironically, John McCain is now saying the media are too soft on Barack Obama. But if Obama showed himself to be as uninformed on his top issue as McCain did on Iraq the media would have a field day,” MoveOn.org declared. The CBS cover-up is “just the tip of the iceberg” of the media’s efforts to hide “McCain’s misstatements, flip-flops, and extreme positions.”

McCain recently called Social Security a “disgrace” and lied in denying his support for privatizing it. Six times McCain has spoken of his policies toward “Czechoslovakia,” a nation that ceased to exist 15 years ago. He speaks of the “Iraq-Pakistan” border even though they do not share a border. He mixes up Somalia and Sudan. Four times he accused Iran of helping al-Qaeda with absolutely no evidence to back it up. Just like the pre-war lies told about Iraq.

Covering up McCain’s faux pas is only the most obvious sin of the corporate media. They are carrying water for McCain in this crucial election. Their main transgression is giving McCain an “extreme makeover,” promoting the hoax that he is a “moderate” or a “maverick” instead of the pro-war, anti-labor, George W. Bush clone he really is.

It is time to hold the media’s feet to the fire and demand that they stop serving as a propaganda ministry for the Republican right.

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