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  • 12

    Bill Moyers Rips the Media on Iraq War
    News/Comment; Posted on: 2007-04-22 20:18:08 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    New documentary unravels media complacency in deceit-fueled war

    by Jeff Davis

    According to a prominent commentary website, Editor and Publisher, “The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called Buying the War, which marks the return of Bill Moyers Journal. E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week. While much of the evidence of the media’s role as cheerleaders for the war presented here is not new, it is skillfully assembled, with many fresh quotes from interviews (with the likes of Tim Russert and Walter Pincus) along with numerous embarrassing examples of past statements by journalists and pundits that proved grossly misleading or wrong. Several prominent media figures, prodded by Moyers (pictured), admit the media failed miserably, though few take personal responsibility.”

    A multitude of simple questions that were being asked by the anti-war movement BEFORE THE WAR were not being asked by the mainstream media. If the arms inspectors said they had ready access to all of Iraq and could not find any WMDs why did Bush think WMDs were there? Why weren’t the arms inspectors given several more months to search since Saddam was still allowing them access? Why was it largely hidden from the American public that the CIA was feeding “tips” to the weapons inspectors on where to search and that none of the tips panned out? Why did Bush try to pass off two weather balloon trucks as mobile weapons labs? The European media exposed that story before the war. Why did Bush claim that annodized aluminum tubes bought by Iraq were part of a nuclear program even though nuclear experts knew that annodizing the tubes ruins them for nuclear work? Why did Bush say the exact opposite of what Ambassador Joe Wilson reported about Iraq and Nigerian uranium?

    Essentially, the war in Iraq was implemented for two reasons, to appease Israeli paranoia about Iraq and to steal the Iraqi oil fields. The left-wing media, normally opposed to any exercise of military or moral authority by the United States under any conditions, fell right into line, When Israel said “jump,” the media asked “How high?” When Israel said “run” the media asked “How far?”

    As Editor and Publisher points out, “The war continues today, now in its fifth year, with the death toll for Americans and Iraqis rising again — yet Moyers points out, the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush Administration to go to war on false pretenses. Among the few heroes of this devastating film are reporters with the Knight Ridder/McClatchy bureau in D.C. Tragically late, Walter Isaacson, who headed CNN, observes, ‘The people at Knight Ridder were calling the colonels and the lieutenants and the people in the CIA and finding out, you know, that the intelligence is not very good. We should’ve all been doing that.’” Why bother? The information that we were being lied into war wouldn’t have been published anyway. It would have been “spiked” by the editors and managers.

    E & P goes on: “At the close, Moyers mentions some of the chief proponents of the war who refused to speak to him for this program, including Thomas Friedman, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Charles Krauthammer, Judith Miller, and William Safire.”

    Another interesting point E & P brings out: “…Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor, admits, ‘I don’t think there is any excuse for, you know, my performance and the performance of the press in general in the roll up to the war…We didn’t dig enough. And we shouldn’t have been fooled in this way.’” Rather was fired, you may recall, for accepting and publishing a story that turned out to be forgery about George W. Bush’s military record, which was not only stupid but unnecessary, since’s Bush’s military record is sufficiently sorry as it is without embellishment. “Bob Simon, who had strong doubts about evidence for war, was asked by Moyers if he pushed any of the top brass at CBS to dig deeper, and he replies, ‘No, in all honesty, with a thousand mea culpas….nope, I don’t think we followed up on this.’”

    Hopefully the families of the over 3,000 dead and well over 20,000 wounded American military personnel will be comforted by Mr. Simon’s “thousand mea culpas.”
    News Source: WhiteCivilRights.com


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