More Than a Hill of Beans?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

More Than a Hill of Beans?

Well, Howard Kurtz says it's true so it must be so.
News Media Give Overlooked Memo on Iraq Second Glance

For many liberals already frustrated with the media's coverage of President Bush, it has become a rallying cry over the past six weeks: What about the Downing Street memo?

Their anger, amplified by left-wing advocacy groups, columnists, bloggers and some Democrats in Congress, has gradually forced the mainstream media to take a second look at a document that received spotty coverage after it was reported May 1 by London's Sunday Times.

Journalists offered various explanations for the scant attention paid to the July 2002 British memo, which, in recounting a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top aides, said that the Bush administration had "fixed" the intelligence on Iraq and that war was inevitable. They said the memo was old, that the U.S. mobilization for war was widely reported at the time, that there was an initial distrust of a British press report. Some maintained that the memo didn't prove anything.
For the past 15 years, conservatives have used their outlets -- in talk radio, right-leaning news operations, editorial pages and, more recently, blogs -- to pressure mainstream journalists into covering stories that might otherwise be ignored. And they have had striking success, from allegations about President Bill Clinton's personal life to CBS's questionable documents on President Bush's National Guard service to the Swift Boat Veterans' attacks on Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in last year's presidential campaign. Now the left can claim a similar success.
This strikes me as a very premature assessment at this point, but I certainly do hope he's proven correct.

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