Monday, April 30, 2007


From PBS's Bill Moyers Journal:

Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit and delivered a speech in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. MSNBC's Chris Matthews declared, "We're all neo-cons now;" NPR's Bob Edwards said, "The war in Iraq is essentially over;" and Fortune magazine's Jeff Birnbaum said, "It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context."

How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"

Click here to watch the show.

Fantastic show. I mean, it didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but it's the first and best comprehensive study of the total meltdown suffered by an already fucked up corporate press in the days before and immediately after our invasion of Iraq. Furthermore, unlike the leftwing essayists I usually riff on here at Real Art, Moyers takes his role as journalist very seriously. He has a point of view, yes, but he takes great pains to be as objective as possible while advancing his argument. This is really good, solid stuff, especially if you want to arm yourself for arguing with that weird thirty percent of the country that are still "loyal Bushies."

Go check it out right now.