Buying The War Or Selling The War?
Last night PBS aired what is perhaps the most important documentary about the Mainstream Media, it's interaction with the Bush Administration and how they helped push the American people into an unnecessary war with Iraq.
Buying The War takes an extensive look at the role journalist played in the run up to the war and their failure to even investigate the Bush Administrations claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction, or their claims of an Iraqi connection to 9/11.
Instead the media became lapdogs where traditionally they were watchdogs. Gone was the investigative efforts and cynicism that used to be present during the Nixon and Clinton years.
In the emotional aftermath of 9/11 journalist let their patriotism, instead of their logic lead them.
Instead of investigating any of the claims being made by the Bush Administration or taking seriously the evidence contrary to the Bush Administration claims, the feeling was that no one wanted to "question a popular 'wartime' President".
How could the Mainstream Media ignore the implications of scripted press conferences where only "friendly" journalist were allowed to ask questions like "How is your faith guiding you?" instead of "So where are those WMD's you have been telling us about?"
Any ruler knows one of the most important steps to becoming an absolute authority is to have control over the Press and the Press let themselves be put under the spell of George W. Bush and therefore became a failure to our Free Press.
Listen to this statement by former member of the allegedly Liberal media, Dan Rather:
"George Bush is the President, he makes the decisions and you know, as just one American wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where."
I think it's fair to say that this is the way all the journalist were feeling after 9/11, raw emotion coupled with blind patriotism.
Truth, accountability and objectivity was no longer important to journalist, subservience to the President was, showing what a patriotic bootlicker was what was really important. It was a new order in which the Press was no longer independent from the government.
Journalist who stepped out of the official line were quickly attacked by what many have referred to as the "Patriotism Police".
The documentary illustrates a complete failure of our so called Free Press, who hold at least some culpability in persuading the American people to go to war by failing to be objective and failing to investigate claims being made - all out of fear of having their patriotism questioned.
What else can be noted is that all the neoconservative warhawk pundits who are calling themselves "experts" who claimed "We would be greeted as liberators" and "there are WMD's in Iraq" and that "there is a connection between 9/11 and Iraq" are still being giving platforms on televisions, even after all of their fervent beliefs have been proven to be false.
Several journalist were skeptical of claims being made by the Bush Administration but they were not given the same spotlight as those who were beating the drum for war.
Furthermore it wasn't like the evidence contrary to what the Bush Administration was claiming was very hard to find.
Time after time independent journalist and journalist outside the "beltway bubble" released reports contrary to what the Bush Administration was claiming but the Mainstream Media failed to pick it up or research the claims themselves.
I can't possibly do this documentary any justice by blogging about it, you have to watch it to believe it. The amount of details and information provided by Bill Moyers is impossible to condense into a blog.
The failure of the Mainstream Media becomes painfully obvious in hindsight when watching the documentary, which is a "must see" for any critic of the Mainstream Media or the Iraq War.
For broadband users the video can be watched at this link.
For dial up users a transcript can be read at this link.
After watching the documentary one realizes how easy it is for the Media to be wrong on the facts but rally for war anyway.
One also realizes there are still several journalist who are under the control of the "Patriotism Police".