There is a story taking place in America that is being buried by the media, the armed forces, and the politicians. This story is so frightening that no one wants to address it or even talk about it. This story has the potential to bring more violence to the streets of America than any terrorist attack. The frightening tale that is being ignored is the fact that we have ticking time bombs within our midst. They do not belong to al Qaeda or any other shady terrorist cell, they will not be profiled because they don't have Mid-Eastern ancestry, nor are they Muslim extremists. These ticking time bombs are our own sons, daughters, fathers, and brothers. They are the returning soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the four years leading up the Iraq War Exxon averaged a yearly net profit of $11.95 Billion. In the years since George Bush, started the Iraq War Exxon has averaged a yearly net profit of $32.6 Billion, an increase of 273% over the pre Iraq War average profit.
"But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."
"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences."
"I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda."
"I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."
"What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression."
"That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics."
There is at least one honest reporter willing to talk about how the media didn't do it's job in the Iraq pre-war coverage.
Even though the media has long been painted as liberal, I think they have actually been much tougher on the Democrats. How many times have Hillary and Obama been attacked by the media for a gaffe. While McCain makes one gaffe after another and gets away with it. And I would argue that most of the one's McCain makes are serious ones. In fact, I think we should be spending less time attacking one another, Clinton-Obama supporter, and focus more of our attention on McCain.
...That the media did not do its job when it took everything that he and other Bush Administration officials told them as the gospel truth and did not do any independent research on their own in the days before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
...in a chapter titled "Selling the War," [former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan] alleges that the administration repeatedly shaded the truth and that Bush "managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option."
"Over that summer of 2002," he writes, "top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war. . . . In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage."
With all due respect to the journalists and reporters who gather the news and disseminate the news on a daily basis, they seriously dropped the ball on the Iraq issue when they failed to do their jobs and ask the tough questions.
There is no doubt in my mind that the mainstream media allowed themselves to be "manipulated" by Scott McClellan and the Bush Administration. And I think many Americans realize that the mainstream media abdicated their role as independent, news-gathering organizations in order to become the megaphone that convinced a majority of Americans that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.
I also believe the failure of the media to do their jobs is why so many people are turning to the blogs for their news. Sure, people still watch the news on t.v. or read the newspapers, but those same folks want to supplement what they hear or read on the news with additional information from additional sources. It used to be that if Walter Cronkite reported something, you could guarantee it and take it to the bank. Now, if someone like NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams says something, people are more apt to be skeptical of what he says and want a second, third, or fourth opinion on the matter.
In short, the mainstream media has lost its way; the mainstream media has lost the trust of the American people and they need to start working towards getting it back.
Update [2008-5-28 12:4:7 by andrewalker08]:: The following excerpt from Scott McClellan's book pretty much validates that point I made in this diary; that the media shirked its responsibility in the lead-up to the war in Iraq and became the propaganda arm of the Bush Administration:
"And through it all, the media would serve as complicit enablers. Their primary focus would be on covering the campaign to sell the war, rather than aggressively questioning the rationale for war or pursuing the truth behind it the media would neglect their watchdog role, focusing less on truth and accuracy and more on whether the campaign was succeeding. Was the president winning or losing the argument? How were Democrats responding? What were the electoral implications? What did the polls say? And the truth--about the actual nature of the threat posed by Saddam, the right way to confront it, and the possible risks of military conflict--would get largely left behind "