A troubling part of today’s media financial crisis is that many brave voices that challenged George W. Bush when it was dangerous to do so – like our own Consortiumnews.com – are struggling to survive, while many of the pro-Bush outlets (and others that played it safe) are in much better shape.

[If you want to help us get through today’s hard times, click here to make a tax-deductible donation.]

Amazingly, the United States could stagger out of the catastrophes left behind by the Bush era with a media even more tilted to the Right than the one that let Bush and his cohorts:

Steal the White House in 2000; pay no political price for their 9/11 failures; lead the nation into a disastrous war in 2003; do nothing on global warming for eight years; permit Wall Street gamblers to mess up the world economy; and much more.

While Consortiumnews.com did what it could journalistically to contest Bush’s illegitimate rule – even when he was at the height of his power – many other news outlets (even some ostensibly on the Left) hid in the reeds or tagged along with the pro-Bush parade.

Most U.S. news organizations silenced their criticism until Bush’s poll numbers began to sink after the 2005 Katrina disaster in New Orleans. Some waited until Bush’s last year before they summoned enough courage to note that the President had lied about Iraq. (We were writing stories about Bush’s Iraq War lies in 2002 and 2003, in real time.)

Indeed, since our founding in 1995, Consortiumnews.com has built a long record of producing well-reported stories that challenge Washington’s vapid and timorous conventional wisdom. And as a reminder of those 14 years of independent investigative journalism, we plan to re-post some of those important stories during our crucial mid-year fundraising drive.

That fund drive seeks to raise $45,000 so we can not only survive but can expand our operation at this pivotal moment of American history.

If Consortiumnews.com is forced to close – as one more victim of this severe recession – not only would there be no new stories but the important history that we have accumulated at the Web site would go black, essentially lost to future researchers who might try to make sense of this destructive era.

Sadly, we’ve gone about as far as we can without additional funding. (We have sacrificed personally, too. Not only did I cash out my Newsweek retirement fund to start the Web site years ago, but we’ve been going with payless paydays this year when the bank account dipped to dangerously low levels.)

We also recognize how hard these times have been for many of our readers. So we have created several ways for people of various income levels to help:

First, you can make a tax-deductible donation either by credit card online or by sending a check to: Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd.: Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

You also can sign up for a monthly donation if that works better for your budget. Or you can make a donation by PayPal to our account which uses our e-mail address: consortnew@aol.com.

(If anyone can offer a matching grant of a several thousand dollars, that could be a huge help. Last year, we had great success with a matching grant as readers met the challenge and thus doubled the value of their donations.)

Second, you can arrange a local fundraiser by inviting Ray McGovern and me to speak as a duo, representing the new alliance we are building between honest CIA veterans and honest American journalists. (I’m also available to speak alone, but it’s a lot better if you have Ray there, too.)

For details on how to arrange one of our talks, click here.

Third, you can buy the three-volume set (Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege and Neck Deep) for your local or school library for the 3-for-1 price of only $25, with $5 of each purchase going to support the Web site.

(To learn more about this special offer, click here. It would help, too, if someone would help us get the books cleared by whatever national library associations give out seals of approval.)

Fourth, you can forward our e-mail story alerts to friends who might be interested. We now have an e-mail list of about 8,000. We’d like to double it.

As always, thanks for your support.

Robert Parry, Editor

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the Internet's first investigative magazine. He saw it as a way to combine modern technology and old-fashioned journalism to counter the increasing triviality of the mainstream U.S. news media.

To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. (To make a blog comment about this or other stories, you can use your normal e-mail address and password. Ignore the prompt for a Google account.) To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.

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