Thursday, August 19, 2004

More fun at expense of corporate media: "WITH ALL DUE respect to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, who was polite to me when we spoke on the phone earlier this year, I had to laugh at his 3000-word 'We Fucked Up on Iraq' piece that came out last week. Kurtz's Aug. 12 piece, entitled 'The Post on WMDs: An Inside Story; Prewar Articles Questioning Threat Often Didn't Make Front Page,' was the latest in what is likely to be a long series of tepid media mea culpas about pre-war Iraq reporting. The piece comes on the heels of the New York Times' infamous 'The Bitch Set Us Up' piece from this past May, in which that paper implicitly blamed hyperambitious hormone-case Judith Miller for its hilarious prewar failures."

"The Post piece featured an array of senior and less-senior reporters who let us in on the shocking revelation that stories questioning the Bush administration's pre-war intelligence claims were often buried deep in the news section, while Bush claims ran on the front. Revelations included the heartwarming Thelma & Louise tale of Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward teaming up to get Pincus' WMD skepticism piece into the paper just days before the country went over the cliff into Iraq."

"I marched in Washington against the war in February 2003 with about 400,000 people, and I can pretty much guarantee that not more than a handful of those people gave a shit about whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. That's because we knew what the Post and all of these other papers still refuse to admit—this whole thing was never about weapons of mass destruction. Even a five- year-old, much less the literate executive editor of the Washington Post, could have seen, from watching Bush and his cronies make his war case, that they were going in anyway.

"For God's sake, Bush was up there in the fall of 2002, warning us that unmanned Iraqi drones were going to spray poison gas on the continental United States. The whole thing—the "threat" of Iraqi attack, the link to terrorism, the dire warnings about Saddam's intentions—it was all bullshit on its face, as stupid, irrelevant and transparent as a cheating husband's excuse. And I don't know a single educated person who didn't think so at the time. The story shouldn't have been, "Are there WMDs?" The story should have been, "Why are they pulling this stunt? And why now?" That was the real mystery. It still is."

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