You can read Brian Doherty's post about pro-war bloggers pushing "secret Iraqi documents," have a chuckle, and still wonder: So? Who reads these bloggers, anyway? Isn't the debate over Iraqi's WMD and terror connections pretty much over?
Well, no. Not so long as the #1 cable news channel—with many more devotees than the pro-war blogs—is hyping the same document dumps. The liberal mediencritiken at Media Matters have cached a video from last week's episode of "The Big Story with John Gibson," wherein Fox experts analyze Iraqi docs that "may" suggest that the country's secular dictator was totally tight with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
The lede sets the tone:
JULIE BANDERAS: Well, documents captured in Iraq may link Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda after all, and the Taliban. Fox's Reena Ninan has the story, and for all those naysayers who said, "Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, no way, they didn't know each other before 9-11."
NINAN: Well, the big question, Julie, is, you know, did Saddam Hussein secretly send military operatives to work with the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan before September 11th? Well, declassified documents suggest that it's emerged from an exclusive Fox News investigation that thousands of documents—which come from thousands of documents captured in Iraq.
Fox viewers, remember, had the most distorted and wrong knowledge about the Iraq war according to a 2003 survey. The net's ratings may be down, but they're well placed to keep their lead in the disinfo stakes.
(Rare praise for Tucker Carlson: His MSNBC show did a long-overdue smackdown of Fox's "News Alerts" and found the rival network zeroing in on breaking news every 7.5 minutes.)