Friday 30 May 2008
by: Jeff Cohen, t r u t h o u t Perspective
No sooner had Bush's ex-press secretary (now author) Scott McClellan accused President Bush and his former collaborators of misleading our country into Iraq than the squeals of protest turned into a mighty roar. I'm not talking about the vitriol directed at him by former White House colleagues like Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer. I'm talking about McClellan's other war collaborators: the movers and shakers in corporate media. The people McClellan refers to in his book as "deferential, complicit enablers" of Bush administration war propaganda.
One after another, news stars defended themselves with the tired old myth that no one doubted the Iraq WMD (weapons of mass destruction) claims at the time. The yarn about hindsight being 20/20 was served up more times than a Reverend Wright clip on Fox News.
Katie Couric, whose coverage on CBS of the Iraq troop surge has been almost fawning, was one of the few stars to be candid about preinvasion coverage, saying days ago, "I think it's one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism." She spoke of "pressure" from corporate management, not just Team Bush, to "really squash any dissent." Then a co-host of NBC "Today," she says network brass criticized her for challenging the administration.
NBC execs apparently didn't complain when - two weeks into the invasion - Couric thanked a Navy commander for coming on the show, adding, "And I just want you to know, I think Navy SEALs rock!"
This is a glorious moment for the American public. We can finally see those who abandoned reporting for cheerleading and flag-waving and cheap ratings having to squirm over their role in sending other parents' kids into Iraq. I say "other parents' kids" because I never met any bigwig among those I worked with in TV news who had kids in the armed forces.'