Stories the media missed

I’ve been thinking about the responsibility and ethics of the media following the whole Jon Stewart/Crossfire thing, and I know that the various folks here get their news from a large diversity of sources, so here’s a question: what do you believe to be the media’s most egregious failure over the past four years, especially with regard to the war on terror or the Iraq war? Stories that the mainstream media missed or covered inadequately, misinformation relayed either willingly or ignorantly, failings of policy or proceedure that has harned the general quality of journalism–whatever. But be specific.

George W. Bush casts demons out of babies.

Sorry, I had to. :P

The unabashed fanboyism for Doom 3 ranks pretty highly as an abomination of modern journalism for me.

Getting back to Mr. Sones’ attempt to start a serious (and interesting) thread, I think the biggest mistake was during the run-up to the Iraqi war. It’s not any one story in particular that I think was a mistake… it was the media’s entire approach. They simply parroted whatever the administration, without seriously analyzing any of the claims… unless some counter group challenged the claim. And even then, they usually gave the administration’s claim much more air time and emphasis.

Second biggest mistake: they failed to cover the intimidation tactics used to silence opposition post 9/11. From what I understand, some of the pressure came from the government, but a lot of it was homegrown. (bosses threatening to fire employees that didn’t toe the line, for example.) To this day, I have no idea how widespread such tactics were… I only read about them in some very left wing sources, so I don’t really know the extent of such abuses. Given the sources, it’s possible that such abuses never happened at all, but I suspect there’s at least a grain of truth to them.

Doing the “he said, she said” thing on Bush’s ludicrous attempt to tie Iraq to 9/11. God knows the evidence-free conspiracy theories of Laurie Mylroie should be given equal time with the information from foreign policy professionals; they certainly shouldn’t act as any sort of filter on stupid theories coming from the powerful.

Bush came into office and started stonewalling the media. He rearranged the press room, demoted long time press people to the rear, and stopped calling on that wizened chick to kick things off. Basically he made access as hard as possible and got away with it with little to no complaint. These were all traditions that all Presidents since the beginning of press conferences at the White House followed and put up with. See, they figured the media outrage over a lack of conferences and riding roughshod over established journos would create an outcry.

Bush II does it and what happens? The media rolls over and takes it. Why? Bush having an absurb amount of gall is one of the main reasons, I think. Also 10+ years of concentrated GOP anti-media propaganda (and FOX News) has led to a pliant and meek media that I don’t think ANYONE is really satisfied with. I don’t think the media is biased liberal or conservative… I think it’s just plain lazy.

Also, there’s just not enough outrage/investigation into Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. If anything deserved to be a fucking “Gate” it’s this stuff. But think about it. Filegate, travelgate? These got Clinton more bad press than Bush’s genuine failures have received.

One thing that’s been all but ignored is that the Bushies stopped vetting judicial appointments through the ABA, which has traditionally provided a non-partisan opinion on the level of qualification of prospective jurists. I can’t believe Kerry missed the opening to talk about this during the second debate.

I honestly thought Bush got off easy with the whole Iraq thing. Maybe not exactly missed, but I feel like it could have been a lot harder hitting.