Broder Brandishes Media Shield

From Meet the Press, Sunday, June 12, 2005:

MR. RUSSERT: David Broder, the press corps–was it more tenacious during Watergate, more tenacious against Bill Clinton, or is it people seeing things through their ideological prism–that when you’re going after Clinton it’s good, going against Bush bad, and vice versa?

MR. BRODER: The shortsightedness of Mrs. Clinton’s complaint is illustrated by this morning’s Washington Post. The front-page story on another memo, this one to Tony Blair’s government, about the lack of planning in our government for the postwar period in Iraq. Who does she think is doing this work if not investigative reporters? Give us a break.

Is Broder kidding? Walter Pincus’s story on the second memo did make it to the front page, but as everyone but Broder seems to be aware of, information about the first memo was buried in stories related to the British elections.

I have no doubt that there are some reporters out there who have been probing the lies of the Bush administration — you only need to read Sy Hersh as an example — but those people have gotten short shrift at the major newspapers. The New York Times, for instance, recently published its harsh story on detainee torture and homicide at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, but that report comes three years after the incident took place. The Downing Street Memo, which several media apologists have dismissed as “old news”, is, indeed, three years old, as well. But then, the media was hardly framing a potential war in Iraq as one that was built on a tissue of lies in 2002. They owe it to the American people to set the record straight.