A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Monday, December 05, 2005

The Media Has No Accountability

AFP: Rumsfeld criticizes media coverage of Iraq war---

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized the media's coverage of the war in Iraq, accusing it of a rush to report negative stories about the US military.

He called on the media to hold themselves to account for coverage that he said has failed to provide the "full story" in Iraq by focusing on bombings and attacks or sensational allegations.

"We have arrived at a strange time in this country where the worst about America and our military seems to be so quickly taken as truth by the press and reported and spread around the world, often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact," he said.

Rumsfeld's media critique in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies was the latest salvo in an effort by the Bush administration to turn around eroding public support for the war.
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"The media serves a valuable -- indeed an indispensable -- role in informing our society and holding government to account," he said. "But I would submit it is also important for the media to hold itself to account."

He cited news reports of claims by Iraqis that US soldiers threw them in a cage with lions, and a Newsweek report on a Koran being flushed down at toilet by interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as examples of the media's rush to report negative stories about the military.

A military investigation later found that no Korans were flushed down a toilet but that guards had "mishandled" the Muslim holy book on a least five occasions.
You can find the text of Rummy's speech here.