Christiane Amanpour is a leading example of biased mainstream media journalism, particularly with regard to the Iraq war. She appeared on Monday's "American Morning" program on CNN with co-host John Roberts, and repeated the platitude that mainstream media reports "without fear nor favor... giving voice to those who don't have a voice, and just simply trying to tell the truth..." As she continued, she revealed her own bias. "...[W]e must always remember that our job is not to be part of the propaganda campaign, but to report without fear nor favor, because if we don't, we can get really into a big disaster. And I, as you know, feel strongly that that's what happened in the lead-up to the Iraq war."
Amanpour is repeating the revisionist claim that the media did not pursue the Bush administration and other proponents of action against Iraq aggressively in the run-up to the war, a claim that the MRC refuted in May. Also, in using the word "disaster," she points to her own view of not just the run-up to the Iraq war, but the entire war itself.
Christiane Amanpour was actually ahead of many of her mainstream media peers in this view. On September 10, 2003, during an appearance on CNBC, Amanpour slammed the media's supposed cowtowing to the Bush administration on Iraq.
I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did....The entire body politic...did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels.
Besides recognizing Amanpour's honor, Roberts went out of his way to portray Amanpour in the best possible light, mentioning how Time magazine once called her "the most influential foreign journalist since Edward R. Murrow."
Amanpour was among those honored with the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II, besides noted author and Iranian target Salman Rushdie. The citation included with her recognition was "for services to journalism."
Here follows the relevant excerpt from Christiane Amanpour's appearance on Monday's "American Morning."
JOHN ROBERTS: You have seen her in virtually every war zone on the planet, from Bosnia to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Rwanda. Once it was said the sun never sets on the British empire. And so, it would seem, on our own Christiane Amanpour. She's not just CNN's chief international correspondent, she has just been named a Commander of the British empire by the queen of England. Christiane joins us now from London. Christiane, congratulations. And I'm wondering, what are you thinking about all of this?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: You know, I'm really, really thrilled, and I'm really proud. It's a long tradition. They set this up back in 1917. And it really is an amazing thing to be part of this. But I think I'm really proud of the simple citation which says 'for services to journalism.' And I really do feel, really genuinely from the bottom of my heart, feel that I share this with all of our colleagues and friends who believe in this kind of journalism, and, of course, with all of my colleagues and some of my best friends who've been killed, who've been wounded on the front lines of what we pursue, because we're so passionate about the real meaning of this profession."
ROBERTS: "Well, you've certainly let nothing stand in your way as you have toured around the world to all of these hot spots, trying to shine the bright light of truth on some very dark places. You know, 'TIME' magazine once called you the most influential foreign correspondent since Edward R. Murrow. I mean, that's a pretty great thing to have said about you.
AMANPOUR: You know, it's really nice, but I really strongly feel -- and I feel more and more -- that our job is simply to stick to the basics of what this profession is about. It's about reporting without fear nor favor. It's about recognizing the serious in this world and going out and telling the stories, giving a voice to those who don't have a voice, and just simply trying to tell the truth, because our viewers really want it, they really deserve it. And, you know, whether it's against dictators, or whether it's in elected governments, we must always remember that our job is not to be part of the propaganda campaign, but to report without fear nor favor, because if we don't, we can get really into a big disaster. And I, as you know, feel very strongly that that's what happened in the lead-up to the Iraq war.