The New York Times criticized its own coverage of the Iraq war:
“Over the last year this newspaper has shone the bright light of hindsight on decisions that led the United States into Iraq… In doing so ? reviewing hundreds of articles written during the prelude to war and into the early stages of the occupation ? we found an enormous amount of journalism that we are proud of… But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged.”
Examples of the unchallenged assertions can be found here.
And then, a critique of the critique (very meta of the NYTimes…):
“Early this month, though, convinced that my territory includes what doesn’t appear in the paper as well as what does, I began to look into a question arising from the past that weighs heavily on the present: Why had The Times failed to revisit its own coverage of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? To anyone who read the paper between September 2002 and June 2003, the impression that Saddam Hussein possessed, or was acquiring, a frightening arsenal of W.M.D. seemed unmistakable. Except, of course, it appears to have been mistaken.”
If the media is so liberal and anti-Bush, especially the NYTimes, why didn’t the NYTimes consistently challenge the WMD claim? Why was it slow on the Chalabi story?
“…(While I’m on the subject: Readers were never told that Chalabi’s niece was hired in January 2003 to work in The Times’s Kuwait bureau. She remained there until May of that year.)”
Why did their coverage look so consistently supportive of the Bush war doctrine if the NYTimes is so anti-Bush and liberally biased? Because maybe the NYTimes is not the bastion of liberalism it’s made out to be. Maybe Alterman was onto something right when he wrote:
“The idea that the media might, for reasons of ownership, economics, class, or outside pressure, actually be more sympathetic to conservative causes than to liberal ones is widely considered to be simply beyond the pale.”
That the most powerful newspaper in the world, the NYTimes, can bias its coverage toward pro-Bush war doctrine constitutes a crack in the liberal media facade.