Today’s Howler

Somerby reads David Ignatius so you don’t have to. Here’s Mr. Ignatius explaining why, despite the information being readily available from military experts, the press failed to predict that the Iraq War and subsequent occupation would be tough:

The uniformed military privately had serious questions about the Iraq mission, but these only occasionally made their way into print.

… In a sense, the media were victims of their own professionalism. Because there was little criticism of the war from prominent Democrats and foreign policy analysts, journalistic rules meant we shouldn’t create a debate on our own. And because major news organizations knew the war was coming, we spent a lot of energy in the last three months before the war preparing to cover it — arranging for reporters to be embedded with military units, purchasing chemical and biological weapons gear and setting up forward command posts in Kuwait that mirrored those of the U.S. military.

Investigating? No. Fact-checking claims? No. Waiting idly by the fax machine for your next story to arrive courtesy of the RNC or DNC? Yes. The party that writes the most stories for the press will apparently get the best coverage. Sweet Republican Jesus!

Or, in Somerby’s words,

Why did they bungle the run-up to Iraq? We were just too professional, Ignatius says! Has history ever rewarded a nation which allows such fops to serve in high places? Disaster awaits if these people aren’t countered. That’s why decent people like E. J. Dionne must stand on their hind legs—and fight.