NiemanWatchdog.org — Dan Froomkin, Deputy Editor — has two new items that dare ask if the media is being too gullible when it comes to the Bush administration line on the war in Iraq.
If I were a journalist, I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren't they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better.
Odom argues that we already have civil war, loss of U.S. credibility and lack of support for the troops. He concludes:
The wisest course for journalists might be to begin sustained investigations of why leading Democrats have failed so miserably to challenge the US occupation of Iraq.
Norman Solomon, media critic and author of the new book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death,” asks whether the administration's sudden talk of partial withdrawals has any credibility or whether it's just a feint aimed at the 2006 elections.
Like, you have to ask? Or worse, you need a foundation to get reporters to ask?
It's surely a measure of the alternate reality we inhabit — or that the US is finally being punished for the sins of the early colonists against Native Americans — that the first appearance of questions like these in a outer-circle-of-the-mainstream site like NiemanWatchdog.org is a sign of progress. In any healthy democracy we'd all have been talking about whether and how to pull out of Iraq since the last Democratic convention. And no one would believe anything the administration says about foreign policy (or the environment).
For the record, though, I do believe Bush sometimes. For example, when he talks about wanting creationism (AKA “intelligent design”) to be taught in public schools.