Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 8 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (9 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   5 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Bush Years And What A "Lapdog" Press Really Looked Like

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 2 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 2/24/13

Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -

Laying out the reasons for an unprecedented invasion during his final, pre-war invasion press conference on March 6, 2003, Bush mentioned al-Qaida and the terrorist attacks of September 11 a total of 13 times in less than an hour. Not a single journalist that night challenged the presumed connection Bush was making between al-Qaida and Iraq, despite the fact that intelligence sources had publicly questioned any such association.

The egregious, look-the-other-way coverage continued long after the invasion. The U.S. media's collective disinterest in Britain's Downing Street Memo represented a perfect example of dogged lapdog behavior.

Consisting of minutes from a July 23, 2002, meeting attended by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and his closest advisers, the memo revealed their impression that the Bush administration, eight months before the start of the Iraq war in 2003, had already decided to invade and that American officials seemed more concerned with justifying a war than preventing one.  

The blockbuster memo was leaked to the Times of London, which printed it on May 1, 2005. How did the American press respond?

It yawned.

Between May 1 and June 6, the story received approximately 20 mentions on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS combined,  According to TVEyes By contrast, during the same five-week period, the same outlets found time to mention more than 260 times the tabloid controversy that erupted when a photograph showing Saddam Hussein in his underwear was leaked to the British press.

- Advertisement -

In the five weeks following the memo being published in the Times of London, White House spokesman Scott McClellan held 19 daily briefings, at which he fielded more than 900 questions from reporters, according to the White House's online archives. Exactly two of those 900 questions were about the Downing Street memo and the White House's reported effort to fix prewar intelligence.

That, unfortunately, is what a lapdog press corps looks like. Let's not diminish the significance of that historic failure by pretending today's Beltway press is repeating that catastrophic and unprecedented abdication under Obama. Just because Obama's most strident critics have failed to turn voters against the president doesn't mean the press isn't doing its job.

- Advertisement -

Next Page  1  |  2


Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Google Content Matches:
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh's $400 Million Payday

How Fox News Is Destroying The Republican Party

Gingrich Assailed by Conservative Press; Conservatives Blame "Liberal Media"

FOX NEWS INSIDER: "Stuff Is Just Made Up"

The Truth About Glenn Beck's TV Ratings

The Self-Destruction Of Limbaugh, Murdoch and Beck


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

If you've seen Sean Hannity interview Dick Cheney ... by Gustav Wynn on Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 4:54:46 PM
I recall the chapter in my US history class where ... by Dushan29 on Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 12:52:35 AM
Because of the way we finance our campaigns.... by Gustav Wynn on Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 3:24:44 PM
President George W Bush's US Congress rubber stamp... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:24:31 AM
ABC, CBS, NBC, they are all the same. Not a journa... by sbaker on Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 6:06:10 PM