We’re Pretty Much Screwed

by Brien Jackson

I don’t know what the hell happened today, but even by contemporary standards of American journamalism, today was unusually dreadful. Aside from Jeffrey Goldberg’s continued access to the pages of “elite” publications, “dogged journalist” David Gregory decided to start his Meet The Press discussion between Michael Steele and Tim Kaine with a question about…the President’s Notre Dame commencement address. Because obviously this is the most serious issue of the day. Meanwhile, over on ABC, This Week decided to stock their panel 3-2 with Republicans, and have the right represented by Liz Cheney (because there’s no conflict of interest in her arguing against possible prosecutions relating to torture, right?), Steve Schmitt (a political strategist who headed up the most objectively dishonest Presidential campaign in recent memory), and documented liar George Will. Obviously ABC cares about making sure their viewers are well informed. Back at The New York Times, in the midst of a fantastic column about Pentagon abuses under Donald Rumsfeld, Frank Rich reminds us that the television media continues to completely ignore the Pentagon military analyst scandal they were complicit in, even though the Times reporter who uncovered the story won a Pulitzer for it. And Harold Jackson of The Philadelphia Inquirer responds to criticism from professional journalists working for the Inquirer’s sister paper bloggers by confirming the editorial stance of the Inquirer that partisan hacks being recommended for disbarrment “respected legal scholars” can write anything in the page’s of that “journalistic” publication, so long as it’s on the opinion page.

Seriously, what has happened to American journalism? And for that matter, with the new revelations coming out about how torture was directly linked to the administration’s efforts to sell the Iraq war on inaccurate claims to the public, why isn’t anyone asking whether or not the journalists who bought these claims at face value and cheerled the march to war have an inherent conflict of interest in discussing whether or not they should be investigated now. It seems pretty straightforward to me.

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