Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Is the Mainstream Media Helping Bush Start War with Iran?

If you click on this entry's title you will link to a great article in the trade magazine Editor & Publisher which points out how both the Washington Post and the New York Times are aiding the Bush administration in its efforts to start a war with Iran. Once again these two "liberal" media giants are pushing an idea promulgated by the Bush administration without any critical analysis. In 2003 it was the idea that Sadam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In 2007 it is the idea that Iran is arming the Shia militia in Iraq and that such militia are using these arms to kill American soldiers.

Now, the point of the article isn't whether Iran is or is not arming such groups, it is that the mainstream media seems to have learned nothing from the Iraqi War experience. In the case of the New York Times the author of its article was the co-author with Judith Miller of a series of articles on the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that has been totally discredited. Why in the world would a newspaper that trumpets its "excellence in journalism" assign a reporter to cover this story on Iran whose work on Iraq was so shoddy? Why in the world does the Washington Post allow officials to make claims that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government are involved in giving weapons to Iraqi insurgents without them going on the record?
Are they trying to out-Fox Fox News? Don't we deserve better from our media? If they can't or won't hold critically analyze this administration's claims, then what are they adding to the public debate that we couldn't get from a Bush administration public relations handout?

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