The Shame Of The Press

Editor & Publisher notes that we're having about as much examination in the MSM of Bush's plan to escalate troops as we did in the run up to the Iraqi invasion.

As a critical turning point in America's role in the nearly four-year-old Iraq war nears, the editorial pages of the largest U.S. newspapers have been surprisingly - even, appallingly - silent on President Bush's likely decision to send thousands of more troops to the country.

It follows a long pattern, however, of the editorial pages strongly criticizing the conduct of the war without advocating a major change in direction. Now it comes at what appears to be a crucial point, with Democrats in Congress, overcoming their own timidity on the issue, finally emerging Friday with opposition to the buildup -- setting up a possible battle royal in the days ahead.

Newspapers, at least in their editorials, have chosen to retreat to the sidelines so far. This comes even as hawkish conservatives such as Oliver North, and dozens of other op-ed contributors, have come out against the idea, and polls show that 11% or less of the public back the idea. That would seem to set the stage for editorials taking a strong stand, for or against. Read on...

While we're on the topic, I've noticed a complete acceptance on the part of most of the MSM (and Congress) to accept the White House nomenclature, using the word "surge", with few exceptions. EJ Dionne called it an "escalation" in an interview with NPR, as did Barack Obama (though most news reports continued to use "surge" in reporting Obama's meeting with Bush).

After six years of this, I think we all know that he who frames the debate and chooses the vocabulary wins from the beginning. Let's be sure to not accept the White House framing, no matter how wimped out the MSM is. It is not a 'surge'. It is an escalation and the White House needs to be held responsible for ALL the negative associations with that word.


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