Deservedly, much of the mainstream media is talking about the bombshell quotes from former press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book about the attitude and actions of the Bush administration prior to and during the Iraq war, but what they leave out is an interesting piece of media criticism that demonstrates how the media isn’t so liberal and has neglected its duty for most of the past eight years.
“If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq,” McClellan wrote. What he is pointing out is that the media has shown itself not to be very liberal both then and now. The MSM has become more interesting in ratings and corporate profits than carrying out their journalistic duties.
“The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. … In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.”
These aren’t the words of a media critic or liberal journalist, but a Republican press secretary. The media only turned against Bush when the public opinion polls did. I think the lack of serious journalism is a strong indictment of what our mass media structure has become in this country. There are still good journalists out there, but they are often pushed to the side in favor of personalities and endless political bickering which passes for information.
Journalism has been replaced with entertainment. The Bush administration knew how to manipulate this changing motivation to their advantage. They provided a storyline for war which the news networks were all too willing to accept, no questions asked. Scott McClellan seems almost disappointed in the media, and he isn’t the only one. The Bush administration has been a case study in media manipulation, and unless the executives in charge decide to prioritize independent journalism, then the show will go on.
Quotes came from The Politico