Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Leading US Daily Admits Underplaying Stories Critical of White House Push for Iraq War

Published on Thursday,
August 12, 2004 on Common Dreams from AFP

WASHINGTON - The Washington Post became the latest prestigious US newspaperto question its own coverage of Iraq leading up to the US-led war, sayingit underplayed stories questioning White House claims that Saddam Hussein hadweapons of mass destruction."Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challengedthe administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday," said Pentagoncorrespondent Thomas Ricks.

"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why dowe even worry about all this contrary stuff?" he added.In retrospect, said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., "we were sofocused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we werenot giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go towar and were questioning the administration's rationale."Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was amistake on my part."

In the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion, there were persistentdoubts about intelligence reports underpinning White House contentions that Iraqposed a threat because it was hiding weapons of mass destruction and had linkswith international terrorist organizations.

No chemical, biological or nuclear weapons have been found in Iraq sincethen, and US investigators have dismissed any serious contacts between SaddamHussein's regime and international terrorists.In the aftermath of the war, the US media in general has been criticized forlacking objectivity in its coverage of the Bush administration's drive to punishBaghdad.

"We did our job, but we didn't do enough, and I blame myself mightilyfor not pushing harder," Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward said in aninterview.

"We should have warned readers we had information that the basis for(the war) was shakier" than widely believed, he said. "Those areexactly the kind of statements that should be published on the front page."In May, The New York Times issued a similar critique of its coverage in therun-up to the war, saying administration claims were published with insufficientdoubt.

"Some of the Times's coverage in the months leading up to the invasionof Iraq was credulous; much of it was inappropriately italicized by lavishfront-page display and heavy-breathing headlines," Public Editor DanielOkrent said at the time.

Okrent's column came four days after the Times's editors printed their ownmea culpa, admitting the newspaper was taken in by spurious information fromIraqi exiles -- especially over the issue of weapons of mass destruction -- withtheir own agenda to oust Saddam Hussein.Okrent cited instances in which reporters who raised substantive questionsabout certain stories were not heeded, while others with substantial knowledgeof the subject at hand seemed not to have been given the chance to expressreservations.

"Times reporters broke many stories before and after the war -- but whenthe stories themselves later broke apart, in many instances Times readers neverfound out," he said. "Some remain scoops to this day. This is not acompliment."
© Copyright 2004 AFP

One by one we are finally seeing what many of us saw from the beginning that the Corporate Owned Media were holding back or burying news critical of the Bush Administration's push for war in Iraq. Surprise surprise surprise!


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