When It Comes to Iraq Leadup, Media Left Flip-flops on Press Power

Bill MoyersFor a crowd that was very insistent that America "move on" from the issues surrounding the impeachment of Bill Clinton, you'd think the far left would give it a rest when it comes to the subject of the lead-up to the Iraq war. It doesn't take much digging to conclude that whatever false intelligence the Bushies believed, the Clintonites did as well--as did the rest of the western world.

But the left, especially the loony left, is like a bulldog once it gets an idea into its head. The latest variant of this intellectual virus is that not only did President Bush "lie us into Iraq," the American press enabled, both willingly and unwillingly, his "lies." The argument is nonsensical, especially the part about how hard-core liberals like Pinch Sulzberger (and his newspaper which hasn't endorsed a Republican since Eisenhower) would actually advocate for a war launched by a Republican.

Aside from its factual erroneousness, however, there is another big problem with this argument being made by the media left: it flatly contradicts what they say about the press when it comes to the media's gross lack of ideological diversity.

Normally, the media left insists that the press's role in politics is minimal. The press isn't dominated by liberals and even if it were skewed to the left, why aren't we in a one-party state? The fact that Democrats don't have complete control of the government is proof the media, even if they are liberal, are powerless to force their viewpoint onto the American people. The press, in other words, does not influence the national debate.

When it comes to Iraq, however, the media left completely changes its tune. Now, liberals like Bill Moyers tell us that had it not been for a "lapdog" press, President Bush would never have been able to foist his lies and deceit upon the American public. What to take away from all this? Apparently, the press is powerless in the national debate, but it also can stop Republican "lies."

This is classic having your cake and eating it too. In order to be consistent, you need to either believe both statements or disbelieve both. Moyers and his associates need to come clean and admit that if the press could have kept us out of Iraq, it certainly can help elect people who agree with its dominant philosophy. To do otherwise is ridiculous and hypocritical.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013