Less than 15 minutes into Bush’s 1st State of the Union address, the president fired the opening salvo of his campaign to take the US to war. A Senate Intelligence Committee report would later reveal that U.S. intelligence agencies were deeply divided over the justifications for war in Iraq. But the narrative spun by the Bush administration — and reported uncritically by the news media — featured no such uncertainty. The White House’s fervor for war should have planted suspicion in the minds of journalists. But that didn’t happen. Despite the stakes even the country’s most fiercely independent news outlets published unverified claims about WMDs that were fed to them by unnamed government sources. If news organizations hope to regain the trust of the American public, they must rededicate themselves to public-interest journalism that puts the needs of citizens first.