Dec
01
2003

Iraq and 'Neglect'

Since the victory declared in Iraq turned out to be premature, the Bush administration has been doing more and more media criticism. Their complaints about the media may be dubious, but they do get results. For example: On Fox News Sunday (10/26/03), Paul Bremer, the administration's overseer in Iraq, took issue with a New York Times story from the day before that said that the U.S. was seeking funds from other countries "for reconstruction of water, power, health care and other systems devastated by the American invasion six months ago." Bremer told Fox's Tony Snow, "I don't know where the […]

Dec
01
2003

O'Reilly Brags About Fox's Lack of Skepticism

In an October 4 interview with CNBC's Tim Russert, Fox News star Bill O'Reilly made a puzzling boast about his network's Iraq coverage. He said, "Well, I think Fox News Channel was lucky because we were less skeptical of the war, and the war went very well. So we won." O'Reilly treated his network's lack of skepticism as a point of pride, something to brag about. Is that really what people are looking for in a news source--credulity? If you believe that a journalistic enterprise "wins" not by cheerleading for the more powerful side, but instead by informing its audience, […]

Dec
01
2003

Letting Rumsfeld Set the Rules

The Washington Post (11/10/03) described an unusual arrangement between the Pentagon and 18 local TV stations across the country: In exchange for being allowed to interview Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the stations agreed to also air interviews with three or four other Pentagon officials, like Paul Wolfowitz and Paul Bremer. One should always question when government officials dictate to news outlets how they will be covered. And particularly for local TV news, which rarely covers national politics, interviews with four or five different people giving the same point of view is a large price to pay for getting access to […]