Media Blog

Press v. Press

Bill Press became the latest Democrat to buy into the idea that “the media, in large part, gave us this war” by being Bush’s lapdogs, etc., etc. Here’s the video:

Could the media have done a better job throwing doubt upon the conviction, shared by all the world’s intelligence agencies, that Saddam Hussein had active WMD programs? Probably, if news organizations like McClatchy (then Knight Ridder) and other openly antiwar journalists who were questioning the intelligence had had a larger voice in the public debate. I wish they had. It would have forced supporters of regime change to rely less on the WMD argument and more on the unsustainability of our then-policy toward Iraq.
For instance: As David Kay discovered after the invasion, Hussein was simply biding his time, waiting for the right moment to resume dozens of weapons programs he never truly abandoned. Claudia Rosett’s reporting showed that the oil-for-food program was rotten and that containment of Saddam was doomed to failure. And pre-invasion U.S. Iraq policy – the no-fly zones, the military bases protecting Saudi Arabia, the economic sanctions – were front and center in Osama bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war against America. The status quo gave us 9/11.
But the point that Press, Bill Moyers, and others making this argument obfuscate is that no one, including the press, could have ascertained the true nature of Iraq’s WMD programs. Hussein was deliberately deceptive about them, in direct violation of UN resolution 1441. At best, the press could have cast a little more doubt on the administration’s assertions. That probably would have been good for everybody. But it would not have stopped the war. (h/t to Tim Graham, who makes some other points about this exchange worth noting)

Most Popular

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More
Elections

Why Hunter?

Hunter Biden, Joe’s younger son, has become a fixture of the 2020 race. Since August 27, 2019, Donald Trump has tweeted about Hunter 59 separate times, making his colorful past one of the Trump campaign’s most important attacks on his rival. For many years, Hunter struggled with serious drug and alcohol ... Read More
Elections

Why Hunter?

Hunter Biden, Joe’s younger son, has become a fixture of the 2020 race. Since August 27, 2019, Donald Trump has tweeted about Hunter 59 separate times, making his colorful past one of the Trump campaign’s most important attacks on his rival. For many years, Hunter struggled with serious drug and alcohol ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More