Today’s Washington Post has a lengthy article examining their coverage of the Bush administration’s assertions about Iraq during the period leading up to the war. They contritely conclude this:
In retrospect, said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., “we were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration’s rationale. Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was a mistake on my part.”
Across the country, “the voices raising questions about the war were lonely ones,” Downie said. “We didn’t pay enough attention to the minority.”
I agree. But does it really do anyone any good to simply admit — over a year later — that they shouldn’t have just regurgitated the administration’s spoon-feeding all over the front page every day? Will they apologize to the families of nearly 1,000 US soldiers who have needlessly been sacrificed as a result of insufficient questioning of the Bush administration about the rationale for war? Will major media outlets like the Washington Post actually change their behavior in the future?
Now that I think about it, of course they will. If Kerry is elected, at least.