Has the Media Been Open Enough About Its Role in the Iraq War?

tags: anniversaries, Iraq War, polls, mainstream media



UPDATE: More food for thought, from CNN:

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour marking the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, they cited reporters’ access to top officials in Washington as one of the top problems. The top-level bureaucrats, they said, had more of a propensity to spin toward the line that the Bush Administration was pushing.

“Most of our reporting was with intelligence, military and diplomatic midlevel and lower level – the types that journalists don't really talk to or go after,” Warren Strobel told Amanpour.

Paul Krugman, on his New York Times-hosted blog "Conscience of a Liberal," certainly thinks the relative silence of the media on the ten-year anniversary of the Iraq War has something to do with a guilty conscience:

Anniversaries of important events generally lead to a spate of articles and news reports looking back at those events. It’s not exactly irrational: the date can serve as a kind of focal point, in which articles that could have been written at any time can be published in the expectation that other pieces on the same subject will be published at the same time, raising the story to prominence.

And there’s a very big anniversary coming up next week — the start of the Iraq war. So why does there seem to be so little coverage?

Well, it’s not hard to think of a reason: a lot of people behaved badly in the runup to that war, and many though not all people in the news media behaved especially badly.

It’s hard now to recall the atmosphere of the time, but there was both an overpowering force of conventional wisdom — all the Very Serious People were for war, don’t you know, and if you were against you were by definition flaky — and a strong current of fear. To come out against the war, let alone to suggest that the Bush administration was deliberately misleading the nation into war, looked all too likely to be a career-ending stance. And there were all too few profiles in courage.

The war, then, was a big test — a test of your ability to cut through a fog of propaganda, but also a test of your moral and to some extent personal courage. And a lot of people in the media failed.

Am I wrong to think that this is one reason this tenth anniversary isn’t getting more play?



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