Yes, a few days late in posting about the Bill Moyers/PBS special about the Iraq War, the U.S. media and the Bush administration.
I was struck by the number of journalists who seemed almost amazed at how poorly the industry performed in the lead-up to the war. Of course, hindsight and all, to be openly critical of the administration and what it should have done (or the media and the questions they should have asked). The bottom line is that few reporters either willingly or thoroughly chose to dive deeper into the somewhat complicated issues pertaining to whether the U.S. should have gone to war and the justifications for going.
There are important lessons here that journalism educators can use in their classrooms. They are, in no particular order,
1. always question what the government is claiming;
2. check, double check and triple check;
3. don’t allow public sentiment to influence news coverage;
4. and the need for solid sources.
Here is the transcript of the program.