Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Failure of the Fourth Estate

If you didn't see Bill Moyers' documentary on PBS last night, "Buying the War," it's available in its entirety here and is well worth viewing. As usual, Christy says it better than I can.

I can remember being very confused as the Iraq War drums began to beat ever more loudly — because the evidence that we knew about publicly was altogether thin to nonexistent in substance. And yet the softball questions continued — from both the press and members of Congress who ought to have known better than to hype their political hide over their duty to the public — and no one embodied this public scam more than Judy Miller. Her over-the-top hyping of the WMD threats (which were, even at the time, unsubstantiated and knowingly so) were so creepy, because her on-air persona and her writing for the NYTimes was so absolute in its certainty.

Having done graduate work in security studies and had classes through the years with people who have actually looked at these issues for a living, I can honestly tell you that certainty of the evidence on something like this is a dead giveaway that someone is selling you a load of crap.

The White House Iraq Group did an excellent sales job. And the people that should have been the most skeptical fell for it hook, line, and sinker…because it was easier that way on their immediate personal connections, on their reputations, on their corporate bottom line. And on their immediate political aspirations, in the case of far too many elected representatives.

After watching the Moyers special last night, I was infuriated. This morning, sipping my first cup of coffee and trying to make some sense of it all, I'm still angry. So I'm going to watch it again later, with a pot of tea, and see if I can glean something beyond "the truth really, really hurts…all of us."

Tell it, sister.

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