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March 24, 2006
The Media

Robert Parry: Iraq - U.S. News Media's Waterloo

Over the past three years, as the Bush administration has unveiled the United States as an imperial power that plays by its own rules, it has dawned on more and more Americans that the old institutions the Congress, the courts and the press that were supposed to protect the Republic had long since crumbled into decay.

Yet, because of the lingering Watergate myth, many Americans were most shocked to find that the scrappy, idealistic Washington press corps had evolved into a careerist, courtier news media. Even well-informed Americans were perplexed over how the press had become almost the opposite of its press clippings.

The aura of Watergate is barely discernable these days. (I don't know about you, but the MSM's belated realization not only that they were taken for a ride but that a lot of us know it and Are. Not. Amused. Fails to impress me.)

But the bottom line for high-paid Washington journalists is that pandering to Bush still makes great career sense.

Not only is it easier to take the propaganda handouts from the Bush administration than to go digging out stories that rely on some terrified whistleblowers but there is almost no downside to the propaganda stories even when they turn out to be wrong. You can just say you were writing the same thing everyone else was.

If that's what passes for journalism these days, let's all send Al Gore a thank-you for helping invent the internet. So we don't have to rely on Them.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:39 PM