Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lapdogs | News

This an excellent and fairly exhaustive litany of offences committed by the Mainstream Media (MSM from here on out) after 9/11 and in the run up to the war in Iraq. Laid out in this detail, it seems to me a pretty damning indictment of how the media handled intelligence claims before the war, and the very reporting of dissenting voices.

Perhaps the telling moment for me is the Oct 2004 peace demonstration in Washington. When 100000 citizens march on Washington for any reason, its a news event. When they are marching in protest to a war that US soldiers are actively fighting, it rises to the level of front-page news story without so much as a second thought. For a rally of that size to initially receive no coverage, and then to be portrayed as a clash of competing protestors, when numbers for the pro-war side were several orders of magnitude smaller than the anti-war side, goes beyond claims of an oversight.

It may be possible in other cases to buy media claims of ignorance, of stupidity, of impotence in the face of power. The media might be able to get away with the claim that no one seriously questioned Bush before the war, because finding evidence to contradict the claim requires some research. But several papers of record, including the paper of the very city where 100000 people gathered to protest the war, ignored a significant protest, and there's no real hiding that fact. The people were there, the protests were there, the story was there ... it was the reporters and MSM who weren't there. Its impossible to imagine, in this case especially, the reverse protest being so thoroughly ignored. Had those 100000 showed up in Washington to support the war, there's no question the crowd would have been on the front page of the Washington Post, even with Hurricane Rita in Texas. The fact that it wasn't is the clearest indication of a badly biased media reporting about the current US administration.

Lapdogs | News:

Cowardly and clueless, the U.S. media abandoned its post as Bush led the country into a disastrous war. A look inside one of the great journalistic collapses of our time.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from former Salon senior writer Eric Boehlert's new book "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

By Eric Boehlert
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