Via RawStory comes this clip from CNN wherein Christiane Amanpour interviews Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, two Knight-Ridder journalists who got everything right in the runup to the Iraq war while the rest of our vaunted media celebrities parroted the Bush administration’s distortions and lies:
Landay observed that one reason it was difficult to get their work published was that editors demanded to know why these stories, which blatantly contradicted the official Washington narrative, weren’t already running in the New York Times or the Washington Post.
“It was very lonely,” Landay continued:
One of the ironies is that every time we would write something, the White House would say nothing, because we realized after a while that that would have been the best advertisement for our stories that we could possibly ask for.
There are two particularly perverse, related aspects to this. The first is that Landay and Strobel to this day have received little recognition from the U.S. press for their work. They were shunned from the Sunday talk shows at the time, and as Strobel puts it:
And I have to say that ten years later it extends. We’re not exactly getting — except for your kind invitation — other people are talking about this and they aren’t the people who necessarily got it right.
Which brings me to the second perverse aspect: these same “journalists” who got everything wrong — who failed to perform even the most basic fact checks on the Bush administration’s claims — are still taken Very Seriously, enjoy multiple high-profile media platforms, and are welcomed into the arms of official Washington, whom they have long served so very well.
There’s a reason why the credibility of the news media today is somewhere around 25-28% with the American public. This episode in American history dealt a major, major blow to the credibility of the fourth estate, an institution that has a remarkable, very important job in a democracy, and that is to be the eyes and ears of the people and to make sure their government is telling them the truth. The American media for the most part failed as miserably on this as the intelligence community failed in its case on WMD…and we’re still paying the price today.
Are we ever.
[NOTE: It has come to the Palace’s attention that readers who receive our posts via subscriber email may not have seen the video of American Idol contestant Candice Glover singing “I Who Have Nothing” embedded in yesterday’s post. We apologize for the crappy customer service, but in this case the WordPress godz are entirely to blame. You can see that video on youtube here. Likewise, if you do not see the CNN video embedded above, you can watch it at CNN here.]