When it mattered, in 2002 and 2003, virtually the entire American major media covered Iraq the way Pravda covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They jumped on what they believed was the winning side politically, maintained their insider power base, and sustained the high income that would have been threatened if they reported the truth.And the reason:
It is often said, and with some truth, that the problem with major media is corporatization, which limits dissent, stifles truth, corrupts reporting and is inclined to serve the regulatory master of the government and the financial master of Wall Street.
I submit an equal and possibly greater problem is the personal corporatization of many who have given up the profession
of reporting to turn themselves into personal corporations and to turn their “journalism” into the personal pursuit of wealth, fame and vainglorious ego.
They become sycophants, not journalists. They repeat conventional wisdom, not reporting real news. They worship at the altar of their sources, and deprive their readers and viewers of truth that offends the powerful and threatens their insider position. They support each other and promote each other in their own little but lucrative world divorced from their customers, their country and the traditional standards of what used to be their profession.
The Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch stories are prime examples of the media just swallowing and printing the talking points. Some cynicism and investigation during Bush's first term, when the 'fear' agenda was established may have saved us a second term. Only now, when the 2006 elections made it apparent to most of the media that they had been found out, is the full damage becoming apparent.