March 05, 2006
Wrecking All Things Virtuous and True
The press had better hope we win this war, because if we don't, a lot of people will blame the media.
And he's right. It's the media that got us into this war, swallowing down every WMD story that was handed on a presidential spoon. Judith Miller of the New York Times was full of made-up horror stories about nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and smallpox. In their haste to carry the White House's message of fear, the media ignored the views of the people who actually knew what was going on -- weapons inspectors like Hans Blix and Scott Ritter. Actually, it's worse than that -- they actively ridiculed these people until nobody in America would listen to them. The media spent the year after September 11, and more, being the Bush Administration's lapdog. It gave Bush his war. And for that, it deserves a whole lot more criticism than it gets.
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Tracked on Mar 5, 2006 11:34:44 PM
Tracked on Mar 6, 2006 4:58:59 PM
"The press had better hope we win this war, because if we don't, a lot of people will blame the media."
Beware the Dolchstosslegende.
Posted by: Petey | Mar 5, 2006 5:55:54 PM
I am in general agreement with most of these criticisms of Instapundit and the press, but Atrios shows a pretty shallow misunderstanding of war and the military when he says:
"...it takes no actual courage to send other people off to kill and die."
I might recommend Twelve O.Clock High if y'all think all command officers send their troops to their deaths with only a giggle and a glass of gin.
Posted by: bob mcmanus | Mar 5, 2006 6:29:18 PM
I think its pretty obvious that Atrios is not referring to the battlefield commanders but rather to people like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld as well as war hawks like Bill Kristol, Daniel Pipes and all the Fox News pundits and Powerline bloggers who are crying "onward to Iran", "onward to Syria". Those people aren't courageous they're nuts.
Bush has made a point of saying he doesn't lose any sleep over his decisions, he doesn't fret over losses. He feels he needs to get on with his life. I'm sure he thinks that 2000+ American soldiers is cheap compared to other wars and I've never heard him mention the 10's of thousands of Iraqi's killed and injured as a result of his incompetence. He's not like Lincoln, who constantly worried, fretted and questioned his choices and the deaths they caused. Bush has shown no courage in this war because he's never had anything to lose fighting it.
Posted by: Mike | Mar 5, 2006 7:05:27 PM
I just to point out another hilarious element of Glenn's "stab in the back theory" is that later on in the post he suggests that Iraqi civilian deaths declined in February -- using Iraq Body Count data, as reported by Brookings, that is updated only as far as February 22, the day the shrine was bombed. Glenn then complains that these stats aren't appearing in the mainstream media. Hilarious.
Posted by: Laura | Mar 5, 2006 7:15:35 PM
That's hilarious. I like how Reynolds doesn't even fathom the idea that HE should hope the war goes well so it doesn't show what a complete hack he is. Apparently he's self aware that unlike himself the media actually worries about the appearance of its credibility.
Posted by: August J. Pollak | Mar 5, 2006 7:21:02 PM
Ha! If you haven't read Wolcott's book on Attack Poodles, Neil, remind me to lend it to you. He's absolutely ruthless in condemning the media's rah-rahing this stupid war.
The conservative whine that the media isn't pro-war enough is absurd, partisan politics aside. Media support for war-mongering has little to do with actual politics and everything to do with the fact that war sells newspapers.
Posted by: Amanda Marcotte | Mar 5, 2006 7:28:32 PM
Hmmm.....I remember listening to the media's reporting that Hans Blix et al were pretty sure there weren't any WMDs...that was one of the reasons I've been opposed to the Iraq war from the start.
Posted by: Steve Mudge | Mar 5, 2006 8:18:58 PM
No one is going to become mad at the media if we lose. Everyone already has their opinion. The reality-based community is mad at the media for thoughtlessly - and at times, Judith Miller - intentionally distributing White House lies, distortions, smears and propaganda. The conservatives are mad at the media because that's what they're told to feel.
The Bush administration may not have had a plan for post-war Iraq, but they have had a plan for their own damage control, and it's the same plan the GOP has been using for quite some time. Blame the media, blame the Democrats, blame Europe, blame the Iraqis, blame our own soldiers, but never, ever take responsibility for anything that goes wrong.
Posted by: Stephen | Mar 5, 2006 10:00:09 PM
Apparently he's self aware that unlike himself the media actually worries about the appearance of its credibility.But of course he cares about his own appearance of credibility! You seem to have missed the update to his post:
Lest we recapitulate a discussion that's happened already, read this post, in which I expanded on the above at considerably more length. Also this post, this post, and this rather disturbing post.Ignore the fact that the links are entirely irrelevant to the implication of his statement, unless the conveniently-undisguised wishes of the one anonymous reporter that a right-wing newspaper's (subscriber-only) report told him about somehow magically transformed into reality. Actually, I suppose that is a fairly generous reading of his argument...
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