Corporate Media ‘Default Position’: ‘War Must Go On’

Media Monitors Network has the latest column from Norman Solomon (8/26/09), in which the longtime analyst of corporate media boosterism for U.S. wars considers a recent swath of stories that “have compared President Johnson’s war in Vietnam and President Obama’s war in Afghanistan.”

True, “the comparisons are often valid,” Solomon finds, “but a key parallel rarely gets mentioned–the media’s insistent support for the war even after most of the public has turned against it”:

This omission relies on the mythology that the U.S. news media functioned as tough critics of the Vietnam War in real time…. In fact, overall, the default position of the corporate media is to bond with war policymakers in Washington–insisting for the longest time that the war must go on….

A similar pattern took shape during Washingtonâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s protracted war in Iraq. Year after year, the editorial positions of major dailies have been much more supportive of the U.S. war effort than the American public.

And today, when “top policymakers for what has become Obamaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Afghanistan war can find their assumptions mirrored in the editorials of the nationâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s mighty newspapers,” Solomon reiterates that “opinion polls are showing a dramatic trend against the war”–noting how an August 13â┚¬“17 ABC NewsWashington Post poll “found that 51 percent of the public says the war in Afghanistan isn’t worth fighting.”

See the recent FAIR Action Alert: “Where Is the Afghanistan Debate?: When Public Support Slips, TV Packs in War Boosters” (8/25/09).