The establishment press is not enjoying the 10 year anniversary of the American the invasion of Iraq. First the former New York Times Executive Editor admits the paper failed to accurately report the news, even being co-conspirators with the Bush Administration. And now another well established institution of journalism, the Washington Post, has been caught spiking a story by Greg Mitchell on the media failures that helped lead to the Iraq War.
The Washington Post killed my assigned piece for its Outlook section this weekend which mainly covered media failures re: Iraq and the current refusal to come to grips with that (the subject of my latest book)–yet they ran this misleading, cherry-picking, piece by Paul Farhi claiming the media “didn’t fail.”
The Farhi piece is a pretty ridiculous whitewash of history, essentially claiming the Corporate Mainstream Media were divided on the war if not skeptical. You can stop laughing now. I know I’m still laughing but you can stop. OK, we’ll all just have to laugh as we move forward here.
Mitchell goes on to reference Howard Kurtz’s piece on WaPo’s massive fail on Iraq which was pretty damning.
Woodward, shaming himself and his paper, once said it was risky for journalists to write anything that might look silly if WMD were ultimately found in Iraq. Rather than look silly, they greased the path to war. “There was an attitude among editors: Look, we’re going to war, why do we even worry about all the contrary stuff?” admitted the Post’s Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks in 2004. And this classic from a top reporter, Karen DeYoung: “We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power.“
Alright then. So much for “journalism.”
So what was so awful about Mitchell’s piece? It merely restated those facts as well as calling out others for similar ridiculous statements. Apparently the Washington Post feels enough time has past to begin dropping even its self-critiques down the memory hole. Now no one screwed up, the media never failed. This new version is the past and no other past could have existed.