It's no secret the print newspaper industry is struggling. It's become all too common to hear that papers, like the Christian Science Monitor or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have ceased publishing a print edition and gone completely online.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed this challenge and its impact on a government at the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society earlier this month. According to Albright, the fourth estate was intended to keep government in check and that countries without a free press tend to be authoritarian societies.

"Let me just say, in terms of Democracy and the free press, I think it is absolutely an essential part and all we have to do is go back and look at our Constitution," Albright said. "But I have looked at this from a number of different angles. When I was an academic, wrote about the role of the press internationally in political change. And there is no question in my mind, in terms of authoritarian societies, if you do not have information, you can't operate and it is power."



Christiane Amanpour interviewed former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famous for her October 2000 meeting with North Korean dictator Kim "He’s Not a Nut" Jong Il, as part of her "Notes from North Korea" program, which aired on Saturday and Sunday evenings. During the segment, the CNN senior international correspondent failed to note how her husband, James Rubin, worked as spokesman and Assistant Secretary for State for Albright from 1997 until May 2000. Albright emphasized how "it's possible to have verifiable agreements" with the North Korean regime and how "negotiations need to be pursued actively." The Clinton administration that she worked for conducted negotiations with the communist dictatorship during the 1990s and signed a nuclear agreement with them, which the North Korean government violated by conducting a secret uranium enrichment program. So much for "verifiable agreements."

Amanpour did call the North Korean regime "a police state" and a "dictatorship" during her special, but she downplayed the communist government’s responsibility for the deaths of millions of North Koreans during a famine in the 1990s. [audio available here]



What is it with these Hillary surrogates putting themselves in the limelight? Bill has famously turned the focus on himself, in effect giving Hillary's concession speech on a recent losing night and more recently exhorting people to elect "me."

Today it was Madeleine Albright's turn. Speaking with Wolf Blitzer on this afternoon's Situation Room ostensibly for purposes of promoting Hillary Clinton, Madame Secretary managed to use the "I" word 20 times in under four minutes. Throw in one "my" and another "myself" and that's more than a score of self references.

View edited video clip here.



Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright isn’t impressed with the blow-by-blow horse race coverage of the primary season and blames the media.

Albright revealed that to an audience January 19 at a Borders bookstore in Tysons Corner, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., to promote her new book “Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership.”

She said the media weren’t asking the right questions when it came to assessing the candidate’s “critical thinking skills.”

[Click here for audio.]



On the day of the New Hampshire primary, the "Today" show booked former Clinton administration Secretary of State and Hillary Clinton supporter Madeleine Albright to praise Hillary's credentials to be "a great commander-in-chief," and slam Bush foreign policy as she declared: "Internationally I don't think I've ever seen such a mess."



 

http://newsbusters.org/static/2008/01/2008-01-03MSNBCHillaryconcession.jpg

Hillary Clinton concedes defeat in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2008 as Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright look on.


Warning to Bush administration officials: when being interviewed by Meredith Vieira, be prepared to make your point in 7-10 seconds, or risk being rudely caught off by the "Today" co-anchor.

Twice in the course of her interview of Condoleezza Rice this morning, Vieira distemperately interrupted just seconds after the Secretary of State began responding to her host's question.

View video here.