Thread: Press let US down
08-20-2004, 11:12 PM #1
Press let US down
Washington Post admits pre-Iraq 'flaws'
From correspondents in Washington
August 12, 2004
EDITORS at US daily newspaper The Washington Post have acknowledged they underplayed stories questioning US President George W Bush's claims in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq.
In the story published in the newspaper today, Post media critic Howard Kurtz writes that editors resisted stories that questioned whether Bush had evidence that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.
"We did our job but we didn't do enough, and I blame myself mightily for not pushing harder," assistant managing editor Bob Woodward says in the story.
"We should have warned readers we had information that the basis for this was shakier" than many believed.
Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks told Kurtz, "There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?"
Executive editor Leonard Downie said, "We were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration's rationale."
In the story, which runs for more than 3,000 words for today's edition of the Post, Kurtz writes, "The result was coverage that, despite flashes of groundbreaking reporting, in hindsight looks strikingly one-sided at times."
A number of critics have faulted the American news media for not being more sceptical about the Bush administration's claims before the beginning of the war in March 2003. In the year and a half since Saddam was toppled, US troops have yet to discover any weapons of mass destruction.
In a study published in March by the Centre for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, researchers wrote: "If the White House acted like a WMD story was important, ... so too did the media. If the White House ignored a story (or an angle on a story), the media were likely to as well."
In May, The New York Times criticised its own reporting on Iraq, saying it found "a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been" and acknowledging it sometimes "fell for misinformation" from exile Iraqi sources.
08-20-2004, 11:21 PM #2
Badger, The New York Times has collected a really bad rep. ever since that guy made up news (can't remember his name) this is not something I want to argue about but I honestly feel that they are slanted to the left big time. No it's not because I'm a right winger I really honestly feel that they have an agenda.
08-21-2004, 01:01 AM #3
I've been saying this for awhile, the media didn't do their job and instead turned into cheerleaders, only recently have began to turn around.
Vic- I don't think the times is slanted to the left, I think you can tell this from all the unwavering support that they gave to the war, they wouldn't do this if they had an agenda. I think now most of the actual news out there just happens to be against bush, not alot of things are working for him, and he's getting criticized for it.
08-21-2004, 10:04 AM #4
In Canada, we did not have this problem as there are media providing views from all sides of the table. The newspaper I read daily is conservative and editorials were almost always in favour of invading Iraq (unilaterally if necessary) ousting Saddam, and for Canadian military presence prior to the US taking military action.
Nothing has changed since the get go, it's like you said, only now (in popular media) people are starting to really question whether the right decision was made and scrutinize those who make the decisions.
Originally Posted by saboudian
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