In the wake of McClellan’s book, there is some review of the media’s approach to reporting in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Atrios has a good post up noting where some media types are saying, essentially, they did the best they could. However, Atrios’s post also points to one example that puts the lie to this sort of hand-wringing: the Knight-Ridder (now McClatchy) reporters; particularly John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel. They generally got the story right, reporting on how thin the administration’s case for WMDs really was.
Dan Froomkin catalogs some of the defensiveness by the media news personalities.
As the song by The Decemberists, the literary indie rock band that opened for Obama in Oregon recently, goes:
“And the anchorperson on TV
16 Military Wives
Doghouse Riley says
Yeah. Every round of public hubub is an opportunity to get one’s story a little closer to the truth. By which we mean “the truth as they’d like it to be,” not some notion of absolute Truth.
There was a great, great bit Moyer’s special. He was interviewing Tim Russert about the infamous administration/Judith Miller WMD blitzkrieg–Cheney had his usual comfy chair at Timmy’s place that day–and Russert says something to the effect that Hey, it was in the New York Times that morning, and I’d have loved it if my phone rang with someone telling me the story was full of shite, but it never rang. This is followed by Moyers talking to Bob Simon, of CBS, who says he started calling military experts that morning and was told to beware. “And these were people who would have been known and available to any major news operation?” asks Moyers, and Simon assures him they were.
The only explanation is that such people saw their jobs as cheerleaders, or at most stenographers, and they didn’t want to be caught being called disloyal. And so they were caught being incompetent, or worse. You pays your money and you takes your choice, and then you lie like hell afterwards.
Branden Robinson says
I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers the right-wing blogosophere (and their TV pundit compatriots in the echo chamber) clucking ominously about Knight-Ridder’s disloyalty back in 2003 and 2004.