In the years after the the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent failure to find WMD, the American media flagellated itself publicly over its lack of skepticism of Bush administration cassus belli claims. We endured reams of essays about the supine nature of the corporate-owned media, the supposed disinformation campaign of the White House, the “lies” on WMD claims (that had also been made by Democrats in Congress from 1998 until the invasion), and so on. To this day, the American media still considers their self-described blind acceptance of claims about intelligence without sufficient investigation as an indictment on their industry — and a consequence of the Internet-driven changes to the media market.
After wearing sackcloth and ashes for so long, one might believe that the American national media would leap at the chance to show its newfound mission of skepticism and challenge to authority. Unfortunately, US journalists have missed a grand opportunity to demonstrate that it learned a lesson about swallowing a story from the government without question, if indeed that is what happened in 2002 on Iraq. We know this because their colleagues across the pond in the United Kingdom have not missed the chance to speak a little truth to power, both in their own government and to multilateral organizations that issued faulty analyses, false data, bad research, and hysterical demands for action.