Helen Thomas: Lap Dogs of the Press

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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.'

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