By Jeff Cohen
May 31, 2008
"Editor’s Note: Scott McClellan’s new book may be welcome in that it corroborates many claims from George W. Bush’s critics. But it’s still galling that so many prominent journalists who bowed before Bush’s bullying in 2002-03 have only seen their careers flourish.
In this guest essay, media critic Jeff Cohen revisits the journalistic cowardice before the Iraq invasion even though many media stars would prefer Americans not remember:
No sooner had Bush’s ex-press secretary (now author) Scott McClellan accused President Bush and his other former collaborators of misleading our country into Iraq than the squeals of protest turned into a mighty roar.
I’m not talking about the vitriol directed at him by former White House colleagues like Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer. I’m talking about McClellan’s other erstwhile war collaborators: the movers and shakers in corporate media......
'We're Going to Own That Country'
Speaking of religious, it wasn’t until two days ago that retired NBC warhorse Tom Brokaw was able to admit on-air that Bush’s push toward invasion was “more theology than anything else.”
On day one of the war, it was anchor Brokaw who turned to an Admiral and declared, “One of the things that we don’t want to do is destroy the infrastructure of Iraq, because in a few days we’re going to own that country.”
Asked this week about the charge that media transmitted war propaganda, Brokaw blamed the White House and its “unbelievable ability to control the flow of information at any time, but especially during the time that they’re preparing to go to war.”
This is an old canard: The worst censors pre-war were not governments, but major outlets that chose to exclude and smear dissenting experts......"