So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits--And the President--Failed on Iraq
Greg Mitchell. Union Square Press, $14.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-1-4027-5657-3
In this pertinent but ego-driven compilation of writings on the Iraq War, Mitchell, editor of media industry magazine Editor & Publisher, argues that, from the outset, the press did not adequately question the reasoning behind American operations in Iraq. Quoting his publication, Mitchell condemns the press's tendency ""to accept the military's word first and ask questions later,"" citing specific examples like the media's blind approval of Secretary of State Powell's Feb., 2003, speech favoring a call to arms. Mitchell describes incidents like this as a symptom of the media's ""failure of will"" to probe matters of national security. His thesis-that a weak press deserves blame for the Iraq quagmire-is hard to argue with, but it's not exactly news. Still, he provides a valuable roundup of media reactions from across the spectrum, and his grievances are substantial. Ultimately, though, Mitchell is difficult to distinguish from the one-sided, single-minded figures he rails against; readers will learn a great deal about the media politics behind the Iraq war, but will have to decide for themselves how trustworthy a pundit Mitchell really is.
Reviewed on: 03/03/2008