Tuesday, February 3

The Press Finally - FINALLY Catches Up To The Rest Of America

It was slow in coming, but it kinda looks like the time has arrived. I'm still not convinced that the press has completely recovered from its addiction to Bush's lap. But there's now a pulse which is beating faintly in what we had written off as dead:

Tide turning on Bush flashdance

The mainstream media tide is starting to turn against the Bushites. The formerly compliant press corps is starting to mobilize, in the realization that its mission is not to propagandize for the administration but to keep watch over it. Finally — but more than a year too late for the dead and mutilated.

Last week, editorialists at most of the top American newspapers demanded a probe into the reasons for war. Some even came out and said that citizens had been "deceived".

What took so long? Did they have to wait for Democratic presidential contenders to find their courage and tongues first? Or did they really need to hear David Kay, the U.S.'s former chief weapons inspector, describe last month how all the intelligence demonstrating that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had WMDs was wrong — and how any information that suggested he had no real firepower was ignored or rejected?

Now it's up to the media to hold the administration's feet to the fire and emphasize that, if Bush himself is "putting together a independent bipartisan commission" — which he is — then it won't be so independent.

They should ask why CIA director George Tenet remains in the job, surviving the agency's failure to prevent 9/11 or get Osama Bin Laden. Tenet, despite being appointed by Clinton, has very close ties with Bush, both senior and junior. Who is protecting whom here?

The media should also ensure that the blame doesn't fall completely on the CIA since there's plenty of evidence that the Bush administration heard only what it wanted to, and ignored anything contradicting its contention that Iraq had nuclear and deadly capabilities. (For a look at that evidence — and the administration's lies — check out http://www.americanprogress.org.)

The media must also remind citizens that the White House has consistently undermined the 9/11 Independent Commission, which is investigating the tragedy that Bush used to justify later foreign aggressions. But coverage of the commission has been scandalously scanty.

There should be a huge outcry over how the White House has refused to extend the commission's deadline, which the 9/11 families say will result in an incomplete investigation. In fact, Newsweek reports, the administration will only grant an extension if the deadline is moved beyond the November election.

Last year, the U.S. media acted as Bush's cheerleaders and half-time entertainment.

In this critical election year, it's time for the naked truth.