The other night, Rachel Maddow devoted her show to reporting on a book every voting citizen should read: Hubris – The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the the Iraq War. David Corn and Michael Isikoff do a superb job of disaster-response journalism. And that’s the problem.
It’s not until the disaster hits that reporters start asking questions that should have been asked long before the disaster. This country had a war in Iraq for one primary reason: journalism failed. The press played cheerleader.
We need to add a national holiday, National Apology Day. It’s the day the press apologizes to the American public for failing to do its job.
Our financial crisis is another example. The press played cheerleader. What do you think will be the consequences of dismantling the financial controls put in place following the Great Depression? Is there any reason to believe eliminating those controls will somehow cause the financial industry to act responsibly and in the best interest of society? What do you think will be the consequences of making it perfectly legal to securitize tens of thousands of liars loans? Where was the press asking the questions that needed to be asked?