blogenlust
8.12.2004

Re-Examining WMDs, WashPost style


Via Atrios, is this article in today's Washington Post, entitled, "The Post on WMDs: An Inside Story." The article re-examines the Post's coverage of the run up to the war, particularly in light of the case for WMDs. Atrios has already vented on the piece, but I'd like to just point out something that he also noticed:
"People who were opposed to the war from the beginning and have been critical of the media's coverage in the period before the war have this belief that somehow the media should have crusaded against the war," Downie said. "They have the mistaken impression that somehow if the media's coverage had been different, there wouldn't have been a war."
This misses the point completely. I would have liked the media to be a little more objective, and not pound on the war drums as much as they did. Clearly, by reading this article, the Washington Post had numerous opportunities before the war started to cast a little doubt on the veracity of the WMD claims. They chose to either not run those stories, or bury them at the back of the paper. These are editorial decisions that effect the public's perceptions of the war, and even I know that if more doubt was cast in the run-up, we might not have gotten into this mess so quickly or in the way that we did.