Thomas Ricks, The Washington Post’s Pentagon correspondent, appeared on the August 14 edition of "The Daily Show." Ricks, the author of the caustic new book "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq," told host Jon Stewart that journalists report the situation in Iraq far too optimistically:
Ricks: "I actually think the media probably has been too easy on the situation. I think it’s probably worse then the media says right now."
Stewart helpfully demonstrated the media’s hopeful tone when he replied, "You maybe believe this to be, maybe the greatest debacle in the history of American foreign policy?" As the MRC’s Tim Graham previously wondered, shouldn’t Washington Post readers question if Ricks’s daily coverage of Iraq will be colored by his extremely negative outlook? In the segment, which aired at 11:20PM, he stated the following about Fiasco’s title:
Ricks: "When I first wrote this book, people would say, you sure you’re going to call it that? Nobody says that to me anymore."
He later added, "...I think we’re also stuck and that’s the real Shakespearian tragedy. We are stuck there." Stewart, who often claims he’s not a journalist, but loves to lecture them, playfully scolded Ricks for being too mild:
Stewart: "The book is called Fiasco. Uh, viewers of the program will know that normally I don’t, uh, cotton to the hyperbolic title. Uh, in this case, I think you went too easy. Fiasco seems like you’re letting them off, uh, uh, softly."
Well, I guess everyone is in agreement then. Members of the media are much too cheerful about the situation in Iraq.