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[VIDEO] Bill Moyers on Why the Press Bought the Iraq War

The media took the Bush admin's Iraq claims at face value, but it didn't have to.
 
 
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The marketing of the war in Iraq by the administration has been much examined, but a critical question remains: How and why did the press buy it? The new Bill Moyers Journal documentary from PBS explores these very questions.

Bill Moyers and his team piece together the reporting that shows how the media were complicit in shaping the "public mind" toward the war, and ask what's happened to the press' role as skeptical "watchdog" over government power. This segment features the work of some intrepid journalists who didn't take the government's word at face value, including the team of reporters at Knight Ridder news service whose reporting turned up evidence at odds with the official view of reality.

The full documentary will broadcast on PBS on April 25.

From Greg Mitchell at Editor and Publisher :

NEW YORK The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called “Buying the War,” which marks the return of “Bill Moyers Journal.” E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week.

While much of the evidence of the media’s role as cheerleaders for the war presented here is not new, it is skillfully assembled, with many fresh quotes from interviews (with the likes of Tim Russert and Walter Pincus) along with numerous embarrassing examples of past statements by journalists and pundits that proved grossly misleading or wrong. Several prominent media figures, prodded by Moyers, admit the media failed miserably, though few take personal responsibility.

The war continues today, now in its fifth year, with the death toll for Americans and Iraqis rising again -- yet Moyers points out, “the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush Administration to go to war on false pretenses.”

 
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