Buying the War
Last night, I stumbled upon Bill Moyer’s show “Buying the War” on PBS. It is a documentary that explores the role of the press in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. In “Buying the War” Bill Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes document the reporting of Walcott, Landay and Strobel, the Knight Ridder team that burrowed deep into the intelligence agencies to try and determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration’s case for war. “Many of the things that were said about Iraq didn’t make sense,” says Walcott. “And that really prompts you to ask, ‘Wait a minute. Is this true?” In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. Journalist Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, who was based in the Middle East, questioned the reporting he was seeing and reading. “I mean we knew things or suspected things that perhaps the Washington press corps could not suspect. For example, the absurdity of putting up a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda,” he tells Moyers. “Saddam…was a total control freak. To introduce a wild card like Al Qaeda in any sense was just something he would not do. “Buying the War” examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what’s changed?
Buying the War” includes interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of MEET THE PRESS; Bob Simon of 60 MINUTES; Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN; and John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder newspapers, which was acquired by The McClatchy Company in 2006.
I urge you all to check this out. You may not agree that the media had a propagandistic role in the War of Iraq, it is important to know all sides of the coin in order to understand what many Latin American immigrants were fed before enlisting in the war for a Green Card, to make an informative opinion, and to answer the question: Has anything changed?
You can watch it online at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/watch.html. Make your own decisions.