Iraq War Crushing Establishment Media Credibility
It seems so sadly quaint now, but after the Election 2000 establishment media coverage debacle—Gore won, no Bush won, sorry it’s Gore, wait a minute, Bush is the man!—there was a lot of phony gnashing of teeth and alleged dismay at the smashing of US Corporate Media credibility. It simply defied belief (people really did use those precise words) that television journalism could get it so wrong.
It was mostly bullshit, of course, corporate media was thrilled with the stolen election of George Bush, and since it was all so complicated, he said that but she said this who knows what the truth could possibly be? the horrible theft and stark truth of what had happened was happily, instantly buried, the “debacle of credibility” from election night never to be mentioned again. Everything seemed normal—and corporate media defines what normal is—so they got away with the total denial, simple as that.
But there is a current looming fiasco that threatens to really crush corporate media credibility, the horrifying results totally unable to be completely hidden and denied like theft of Election 2000. It’s the coming acceptance of defeat in the Iraq war, of course, and our corporate media darlings are starting to get a little more than desperate.
Alert liberal media watchers instantly noticed a downplaying of Democratic victory in Election 2006 (oh they did it by running “conservative” Democrats), a hurricane of bullying abuse thrown at Nancy Pelosi over a trivial matter, and two days ago a hilariously pathetic attack on Webb by George Will that, even for the ever-skidding performance of US “journalism,” hit yet another new low.
It’s those ungrateful incompetent Iraqis who have screwed up. The American People, too, are responsible for the coming defeat. Brace yourselves, it’s going to get even worse.
Corporate “journalism” in the United States owns the Iraq war almost as much as Bush does. Coverage of anti-war sentiment was virtually non-existent and the few times mentioned sneered at as fringe. None of the outlandish, easily refutable lies in the propaganda to start the war were ever investigated or refuted; indeed, they were passed breathlessly on in happy anticipation.
War means ratings, war means careers, war means money, status, attention and novelty. The United States could never lose, right? Even after the incredible development that we as a people blew the arms off children for what their country might have done—in which we told rank evil lies rationalizing it—the corporate media’s stance was well, John Kerry, too bad there aren’t any debates anymore, even though you just crushed Bush three times in a row.
Even after the war was exposed as an evil lie the corporate “journalism” corps kept up the sham for two years that all was basically well, the schools were being painted, things would of course get better soon, no worries, when it was screamingly obvious conditions in Iraq had instantly gone to hell. Never mind, don’t listen to those disgusting weak Defeatocrats was the message dutifully delivered in those years, as Glenn Greewnwald points out, surely as great a transgression as the propaganda to start the war.
As the frantic behavior for the last few weeks shows (surely there can be nothing so disgusting, so weak, so craven, so wussily god damn un-American than blaming the Iraqis for war defeat) the very last thing the corporate “journalism” corps will do is take responsibility for their criminal negligence and propaganda. Nor will they ever truly investigate the lies in starting and continuing the war, they can’t, it exposes them for precisely what they are: propagandists.
The Iraq war, however, offers no avenue of escape. None. When the day finally comes when it truly has to sink in to the American public that we’ve lost the war and that all has been utter futility in only making us manifestly less safer, well, the hell to pay will never be fully recovered from, not hardly, not for corporate “journalism.”
The blogosphere and alternative media are growing by leaps and bounds because corporate “journalism” is often so clownishly bad, true. But the consequences of the Iraq war will vault the new publishing realms of blogging and alternative media into a new stratosphere of credibility and attention. Not a moment too soon, either.