Speaking of Politics and the Media -- If you haven't seen the special that ran on PBS this week, by Bill Moyers...you must watch it -- online or as a rebroadcast. Just make sure you watch it. It should be required viewing for any professional journalist, and should be a core component of any civics curriculum. Mostly, though, all consumers of media ought to watch this -- and aren't we all consumers of media? The program is a modern cautionary tale on why we shouldn't believe everything we read...or see, or hear, in the media.
Moyers explores why only a few reporters bothered to question the credibility of the Bush Administration's claims about Iraq, in the run-up to war -- and why most of the so-called "serious" pundits and reporters bought into the propaganda, hook, line and sinker. It's an interesting assessment, really a damning indictment, of a media that has become accustomed to being spoon-fed stories and sound-bites, from both parties. They have mistaken "balance" -- reporting the views of both sides (as if there really are only two sides) -- for the good, fair reporting and actual truth-seeking, which used to be the aspiration of most dedicated journalists.
The program is called "Buying the War." You can find it on PBS' website at Buying the War