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War Enablers May 30, 2008

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts.

A democracy simply cannot function without an indepedent press, and any account of ethics in journalism begins with the responsibility to seek the truth.

When the history of the present decade is written, one of the most important episodes will be the failure of the press to challenge the Bush Administration’s  various deceptions and self-deceptions regarding the war in Iraq.

It has always been a bit of a puzzle why the press failed so miserably.

This week there has been a avalanche of information about this issue. Former Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s insider’s account of Bush’s dissembling is getting the most attention, but most of this we already know from other sources.

The more interesting story comes from various prominent members of the press corps who are finally discussing the kind of pressure they felt from their corporate masters.

Katie Couric reports pressure from  “the corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kind of dissent or any kind of questioning of it.”

Jessica Yellin, currently at CNN and formerly employed by MSNBC, reported being “under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation.”

As usual the fish rots from the head.

Is there any reason to continue getting news from mainstream media?



1. Paul Moloney - May 31, 2008

I think Bush felt strongly about how Saddam dishonored the elder Bush. Bush might have felt that it was his patriotic duty to avenge the elder Bush. The invasion of Iraq seems to have been based on some concept of national honor. One has to wonder whether the invasion was for the sake of national honor or family honor. Bush has not gained national honor through this war. The country has lost face.

The press did report enough facts to indicate that the invasion of Iraq was unreasonable. There does seem, though, to have been little investigation into Bush’s actual motivation for instigating war, maybe because it is all too clear; Bush had a grudge against Saddam for dishonoring the family name.

It may be that Bush was self-deceived into thinking he was fighting a war for national honor when actually it was for family honor, even though national honor is no reason to fight a war. If national honor is no reason to fight a war, family honor is less of a reason.

People that feel strongly are easily deceived. If we are fighting this war for national honor, we sure are not getting that honor. If there is any deception involved it does seem to be based on self-deception. People deceive others to keep the self-deception going.

Apparently, the media is not pressing full coverage of the war for the sake of national honor; we do not want to know how unreasonable we are being. It seems the most unpatriotic thing one can do is to divorce patriotism from intelligence, and, thereby, make patriotism a mere feeling. Simply because we feel strongly about something does not mean we are patriotic.

The media does have the opportunity to restore some honor to the nation by reporting the facts of this war as they are.

2. philagon - May 31, 2008

Was Katie Perky considered a journalist at the time of the invasion of Iraq? Is she considered one now?

I think any “remorse” talk from the press is self exculpatory rationalizing, little different from Scott Mcclellan’s new tell all.

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