Bill Moyers Investigates Failure of Press to Investigate During Run Up to War

Bill Moyers is coming back to PBS, and he’s doing so to present a big story. Editor and Publisher calls the show, to appear next Wednesday, “The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq.” I’ve often noted that Knight Ridder was often reporting the news when much of the media was acting as lap dogs for the Bush administration. Moyer’s film, Buying the War, also points this out:

Among the few heroes of this devastating film are reporters with the Knight Ridder/McClatchy bureau in D.C. Tragically late, Walter Isaacson, who headed CNN, observes, “The people at Knight Ridder were calling the colonels and the lieutenants and the people in the CIA and finding out, you know, that the intelligence is not very good. We should’ve all been doing that.”

Stories about the conservative bias at MSNBC are also repeated:

Phil Donahue recalls that he was told he could not feature war dissenters alone on his MSNBC talk show and always had to have “two conservatives for every liberal.” Moyers resurrects a leaked NBC memo about Donahue’s firing that claimed he “presents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.”

None of the networks did a real job of investigating the news. “Of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news in the six months before the war, almost all could be traced back to sources solely in the White House, Pentagon or State Dept., Moyers tells Russert, who offers no coherent reply.”

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