Why is there so little mainstream coverage of death of Mike Connell – longtime Bush / Rove IT guru?

by on December 26, 2008 · 1 comment

in Election, Media, War and Peace

CBS Affiliate Reports Connell Canceled Past Flights Due to Threats of Sabotage to His Plane

CBS/ AP / December 23, 2008

CBS Affiliate WOIO reported that Connell, who had recently been subpoenaed to testify in relation to a lawsuit alleging vote rigging in the 2004 Ohio election, was warned at least twice about flying his plane because his plane might be sabotaged. Quoting an anonymous close friend of Connell’s, WOIO correspondent Blake Chenault also reported that twice in the past two months Connell, who was an experienced pilot, canceled flights because of suspicious problems with his plane.” [Go here for the entire article.]

Why No or Very Little Mainstream Media Coverage?

by Brad Friedman / The Brad Blog / Dec. 24, 2008

Yesterday [12-23-08], “Mediabloodhound” Brad Jacobson … covered the coverage, noting the curious lack thereof, in the corporate mainstream, of the death of Mike Connell, the longtime top Bush/Rove/McCain IT consultant.

Jacobson’s piece concludes:

Connell was allegedly a linchpin in the biggest maze of White House scandal this country’s ever seen, yet the national news media is a no-show.
What caused Connell’s crash is only one piece of this story. One that, as in many such stories, may or may never be confirmed. Pilot error? Aircraft malfunction? Weather conditions? Foul play? Suicide? Heart attack? A thorough investigation needs to take place. Part of what the media should be doing is making sure that happens.

But everything that has already been confirmed, having nothing to do with the crash, should also have the national media covering this with at least as much gusto as “BlaggoGate” or, say, Britney’s comeback or Brangelina’s pre-nup. So far, though, in a replay of journalistic fecklessness rife during the Bush years, mum’s the word.

Shortly following the publication of Jacobson’s piece, AP/CBS filed a rather detailed report, one which is actually quite thorough by mainstream media (MSM) standards.

Ohio Highway Patrol Officers look over what remains of a Piper Saratoga that crashed Friday, December 19, 2008 in Uniontown, Ohio. The small airplane crashed in the front lawn of a vacant house, killing the pilot, Mike Connell. (AP/Scott Heckel, The Repository)

Nonetheless, it’s still been fairly quiet in the bulk of the MSM, especially in the broadcast MSM, and especially given the high-ranks of Connell, who had been the chief IT consultant for Karl Rove, had received millions creating websites for the Bushes, McCain, the Swiftboaters, the state of OH and dozens of other GOP campaigns, as well as having created the network firewalls for top Congressional committees (for which his company reportedly received a sweetheart, no-bid contract) and the controversial alternate email server used by the White House and at the center of the US Attorney purge scandal.

Let’s hope the AP/CBS report will now spur more MSM coverage…just in time to be lost in the XMas news hole, of course.

A few more odds and ends of note today on this matter, as we head into that news hole…

In our coverage yesterday, we noted that Cliff Arnebeck was scheduled to appear on last night’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN. Arnebeck is the attorney who had recently subpeonaed and deposed Connell in the ongoing federal election fraud conspiracy case in Ohio. He had also sought protection for Connell from the U.S. AG after threats against him and wife, reportedly, by Karl Rove. The segment did not appear as expected on Dobbs last night. We inquired with Arnebeck today to find out what happened, and he reported back “They filmed me for about 45 minutes yesterday. The producer indicated it was part of a story they were developing which would air later.” We’ll see how much later that is, and will try to run it here when/if the segment airs.

Also of interesting note, to our knowledge, neither the White House, nor Karl Rove, nor any other RNC officials have publicly issued a statement of condolence for Connell. Given his integral position within the GOP — for example, the Bush/Cheney ’04 campaign paid him some $800k in 2004, according to campaign records — that seems a bit odd.

Finally…McClatchy’s Washington Bureau, in an unbylined blog item, covered the “conspiracy buzz” around Connell’s death last night. How one covers an apparent criminal conspiracy — one that is largely acknowledged, at the very least, as having been at the heart of the disappearing WH email scandal and US Attorney purge — without it being seen as “conspiracy theory” (in the dismissive sense), we couldn’t tell you. But the apparent moral here: If you want to pull off something criminally, do it as a conspiracy with several others, so that journalistic investigations of those crimes can later be sloughed off as “conspiracy theories”. The corporate mainstream media — even the, usually, rather good reporters at McClatchy — will be all too happy to help marginalize the entire affair, apparently.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Molly December 30, 2008 at 12:17 am

what a strange, twisted and weird story this is. please keep us posted.


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