Crawl Across the Ocean

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Keep Dancing

Over at Hullabaloo, Digby catches Fox News in a classic media failure two-step, doing a story on why there's been so little coverage of the Downing Street Memo (without of course ever wondering if their own lack of coverage of the issue might be at all connected). Surprisingly, she seems to treat this as an isolated incident rather than recognizing it for the organizing principle of modern media that it is.

Anyway, in case you missed it, the Downing St. Memo is written evidence - from over half a year before the invasion of Iraq actually occurred - which makes it look like the Bush administration had plans to go to war in Iraq and to say they had to because of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and that everything which happened between then and the outbreak of war was part of a pre-planned campaign in which the truth of the claims underlying going to war were irrelevant aside from providing a public basis for the invasion.

Unsurprisingly, people are wondering why the media would rather provide endless coverage of Michael Jackson and runaway brides than talk about how the President and his aides deliberately misled the American public to get them to support going to war.

On the one hand, I could be charitable to the media and say that this isn't really news because everyone who opposed the war already pretty much figured this is what happened and everybody who supported the war either figured the same or didn't really care enough to pay attention. So the fact that there is now some written evidence isn't going to affect what anyone thinks1.

But on the other hand, I'm guessing that if there was new written evidence supporting the allegations which have been made against Michael Jackson, the media would have provided blanket, inescapably-thorough coverage so I think what we are looking at here is simply an (even more egregious than usual) failure of the media to cover what is actually a pretty big story which could be very damaging to the President. Somewhat odd behavior for a 'liberal' media which is out to get the Republicans.

1The fact that this second group is large enough that Bush was re-elected helps explain why people around the world (including in the U.S.) are getting increasingly nervous that America is looking to carve their own unique path down the well worn slope on which civilizations have slid from relative stability and peace into crisis.

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