Bill Moyers Journal on PBS tonight had a great program on how media groveling to Bush administration falsehoods and absurdities helped lead to the Iraq war.
The program focused on the villains and bootlickers in the press. It also contained interviews with some of the courageous reporters – such as Warren Stroebel and Jonathan Landay of Knight Ridder – who saw through & reported the Bush administration’s frauds months before the war began. Charles Hanley, an Associated Press reporter who went with the UN inspection teams in Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003, talked about how editors would delete his comments about how the Bush administration’s claims on WMDs were being proven wrong. Norman Solomon, the author of War Made Easy, made excellent comments on the institutional cowardice and groveling of the mainstream media.
Dan Rather told Moyers that in every newsroom in the country, there is fear of getting “the reputation of being a troublemaker” – thus making journalists and editors shy away from challenging the honesty of the White House.
Rather at least had the gumption to be interviewed, despite some disgraceful things he said on the air after 9/11 about kowtowing to Bush. Almost all the chickenhawk columnists and pundits chickened out – didn’t even have the gumption to sit down in front of Moyers and defend themselves.
The mainstream media deserves far more infamy on this than it has yet received. The Moyers report is a step in that direction…
If you get a chance to see the program on replay (or if it airs at a different time in other PBS markets), it is definitely worth catching. The transcript is already online here.