Real History Lisa sent an e-mail today about Frank Rich’s new Sunday column:
“Kristina Borjesson, cited by Frank Rich in the article below, is the woman who put together “Into the Buzzsaw,” a collection of essays on the media by people who told a big, true story and then lost their career (including one on the CIA and the Media, by Gary Webb). She should know. It happened to her when she found evidence that a missile brought down TWA Flight 800. When she tried to get CBS to talk about the missile evidence, they got rid of her. Now she’s turned her focus to the war on Iraq.”
So, in the ensuing time, what did Kristina Borjesson find out about reporters who dared to investigate and report before and early on in the war in Iraq? Writes Frank Rich:
INDEED it’s reporters who didn’t have top-level access to the likes of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney who have gotten the Iraq story right. In the new book “Feet to the Fire: The Media After 9/11,” Kristina Borjesson interviews some of them, including Jonathan Landay of Knight Ridder, who heard early on from a low-level source that “the vice president is lying” and produced a story headlined “Lack of Hard Evidence of Iraqi Weapons Worries Top U.S. Officials” on Sept. 6, 2002. That was two days before administration officials fanned out on the Sunday-morning talk shows to point ominously at the now-discredited front-page Times story about Saddam’s aluminum tubes. Warren Strobel, a frequent reportorial collaborator with Mr. Landay at Knight Ridder, tells Ms. Borjesson, “The most surprising thing to us was we had the field to ourselves for so long in terms of writing stuff that was critical or questioning the administration’s case for war.”
Such critical stories – including those at The Post and The Times that were too often relegated to Page 17 – did not get traction until the failure to find W.M.D.’s and the Wilson affair made America take a second look. Now that the country has awakened to that history, it will take more to shock it than the latest revelation that the Defense Department has been paying Iraqi newspapers to print its propaganda. Thanks in large part to the case Mr. Woodward found so inconsequential, everyone knows that much of the American press did just the same before the war – and, unlike those Iraqi newspapers or, say, Armstrong Williams, did so gratis.
From “All the President’s Flacks,” by Frank Rich (sub. only)
“The most surprising thing to us was we had the field to ourselves for so long in terms of writing stuff that was critical or questioning the administration’s case for war.”
What an astonishing statement. But not a surprise to us who had to endure the flag-waving, bring-’em’on, hurrah-Mr.-President sycophantic MSM while we could plainly and painfully see the truth.
Only a couple days ago, reports Media Matters, Bob Schieffer, the CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host, told MSNBC’s Don Imus that “while the reason given by the Bush administration for invading Iraq ‘proved to be wrong,’ he still gives the administration ‘the benefit of the doubt,’ adding, ‘I don’t think they deliberately misled people’.”