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Lap Dogs of the Press -- by Helen Thomas

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This is Helen Thomas in full chase after the American mainstream media.
This article is to be found in */_The Nation_/* of March 27th 2006.


QUOTED EXCERPT:  Of all the unhappy trends I have
witnessed--conservative swings on television networks, dwindling
newspaper circulation, the jailing of reporters and "spin"--nothing is
more troubling to me than the obsequious press during the run-up to the
invasion of Iraq. They lapped up everything the Pentagon and White House
could dish out--no questions asked.   Reporters and editors like to
think of themselves as watchdogs for the public good. But in recent
years both individual reporters and their ever-growing corporate
ownership have defaulted on that role. Ted Stannard, an academic and
former UPI correspondent, put it this way: "When watchdogs, bird dogs,
and bull dogs morph into lap dogs, lazy dogs, or yellow dogs, the nation
is in trouble."   . . .  Tribune Media Services editor Robert Koehler
summed it up best. In his August 20, 2004, column in the /San Francisco
Chronicle/ Koehler wrote, "Our print media pacesetters, the /New York
Times/, and just the other day, the /Washington Post/, have searched
their souls over the misleading pre-war coverage they foisted on the
nation last year, and blurted out qualified Reaganesque mea culpas:
'Mistakes were made.'"   All the blame cannot be laid at the doorstep of
the print media. CNN's war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, was
critical of her own network for not asking enough questions about WMD.
She attributed it to the competition for ratings with Fox, which had an
inside track to top Administration officials.  END QUOTE

Regards,  John
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