Some have called the media's compliance with the Bush Administration its darkest hour. Did they learn their lesson? We can tell from how the media reacted to the Iraq War's 10th anniversary.
The media's droning repetition of Bush-Cheney talking points in the lead up to the Iraq War, and the severely unbalanced coverage tilted toward guests and stories that showed the war in a positive light is considered by many to be one of the darkest hours in American media, especially in the last few decades. With the tenth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War this week, we took a look at how the media covered the event. The result: total 180. Or, almost total. 175, perhaps. After all, Fox News still exists. Fox ran pro-war opinion pieces by
an Iraq veteran
and unrepentant neo-con
released a poll
saying that Americans feel safer post-Iraq War.
As for the rest of the media...
10 Years Later, Many See Iraq War As Costly Mistake
Iraq War: Was It Worth It?
The Iraq War's Most Damaging Legacy
Decade of Regret
The Cost of Iraq War: 190,000 Lives, $2.2 Trillion
Have Lessons Been Learned From the Iraq War
New York Times:
Iraq War's Tenth Anniversary Is Barely Noted In Washington
The Wall St. Journal:
Lessons From Iraq War: Army Leaders Meet On 10th Anniversary
Some columnists took the occasion to call out the media for its role in sending us to war:
LA Times Op-Ed:
Iraq War 1th Anniversary: A dark mark for news media
6 Predictions Days Before The Iraq War
The Atlantic Wire:
How To Write An Iraq War Apologia
It's clear enough that we have a different media than we did ten years ago. It's more diffuse, but also more critical. Before we invaded Iraq, the Bush Administration launched a successful war on dissenters who questioned the wisdom of what we were doing. While it's harder for Washington to learn its lesson (defense lobbyists still exist, sadly), the media seems to have gotten better. That's a good thing, because a good democracy requires a good media, and we saw how a lapse in one quickly causes a lapse in both.