Editor & Publisher lays into The Washington Post's account of its pre-war coverage of Iraq and finds blatant attempts to re-write history.
Greg Mitchell notes that contrary to WaPo executive editor Leonard Downie Jr.'s assertion, doubts about the Bush administration's Iraq policy were not just found among the lunatic fringe. Downie and company simply decided contrary views were on the fringe and refused to cover them.
But Iraq and the Post is just an example of the way media outlets often define news as that which fits their world view. As belief in the pro-active power of government is the closest thing to an official religion of newsrooms, questioning government officials who insist they have perfect knowledge of a foreign land and infinite ability to organize and direct men and machines across thousands of miles is heresy.
The bloody business of war just makes the cost of such rigid orthodoxy stand out. The same thing takes places everyday with dozens of other issues. Land use, taxes, mass transit, telecom—you name it and solid stories are spiked and buried because they do not fit what "everyone knows."