Thursday, May 17, 2007

Questons Are more Important than Answers

The latest Guild Reporter, the publication of the Newspaper Guild, has a review of a new book, "No Questions Asked," which deals with news coverage since 9-11. Among other things, the book by Lisa Finnegan deals with the "failure to question governmental over-reaching." (Reviews are important because few of us have the disposable time or money to buy and read all we'd like.) During preparation for the invasion, "relatively rare skeptical reporting was buried deep within the few newspapers that carried it," the piece states. What about "skeptical reporting" now? The same "lemming reporting" marches on. Doesn't anyone in the press remember that the invasion was called "Operation Iraqi Freedom," not "find those GD WMDs"? Or that the eve of battle statement issued to US troops hardly mentioned WMDs.
Was the mainstream press so lacking in reporters with military experience that they bought line about "the world's greatest military"? It was obvious that since Vietnam we could no longer put enough troops in the field to do the job. '01 wasn't '41. Has anyone the courage to ask if civil war in Iraq would be in our interest? Before 9-11, most coverage of the military centered on gays or women in the service, not readiness. "Don't ask, don't tell" is the right term. Frankly, reporters seldom aked tough questions about a lot of issues. That's why "Philip's Code" is dedicated to reporters who still regard the pen as mightier than the mouse.