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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, December 09, 2005

Falling on deaf ears?

The Falls-Church News Press reports:

"Helen Thomas, arguably the nation’s best known print journalist and dean of the White House press corps, told a Falls Church audience last week that 'there is a lot of soul searching going on now' among news professionals about uncritical coverage since 9/11 of the Bush administration and its policies.

"'The press has rolled over and played dead,' Thomas said of its behaviour in recent years. 'Our main weapon is scepticism. It is our indispensable role to protect the people’s right to know,' she said. But it failed to live up to that role in recent years.

"Thomas, speaking to the monthly breakfast of the Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia, said that in the wake of 9/11 'reporters pulled in their horns. It was felt that tough questions of the president were un-American, and this continued as the administration segued from 9/11 into Iraq.'

"'Every single day,' she said, 'We heard 9/11 linked with Saddam Hussein by the administration. Reporters were scared to rock the boat. But everyone in the White House press room knew this president wanted to go to war.'"

I don't think too many journalists in Australia are "soul searching." There're more than happy to be stenographers for those in power.


Blogger tim maguire said...

Is there any chance Ms. Thomas cited an example of the administration linking Saddam to 9/11, because it would be quite a coup if she did.

Friday, December 09, 2005 10:55:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

I can do one easily enough for you Ignatius.

2004 Presindetial Campaign - 1st deabte. Kerry was rubbing Dubya's nose int eh fact he'd let Bin Laden get away at Torra Borra by being distrated with Iraq. Bush's reply was "he attacked us". "He" meaning Saddam. Kerry was quick to point out that this was crap and Bush conceeded the point.

Slip of the tongue? No way. Bush was repeating this crap repeatedly while on the campaign trail, and was used to getting away with it in front of malleable audiences.

Friday, December 09, 2005 11:25:00 am  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

Helen Thomas is 80+ and if sense prevailed she would be running courses for the press corps on ethics, technique and the history of her profession. Like most real national treasures in the US, she is a marginal figure.

Nice lady too. Wrote to her once and got a cheery reply. She will be missed when he goes. A bit like Margo really...

Friday, December 09, 2005 11:55:00 am  

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