No -- this needs rage.
"How do you know this?" the teabagger on his 9-12 parade asks when told there were Czars under Reagan. How do you know a thing? Lose trust in history and you become prey to Ronaldus Magnus, blind, dumb, directionless as an unquestioning child looking to the closest authority. To be an adult is to search broadly for resources and seek a variety of viewpoints. To consider the source, its motivations. To prime by experience your very own shit detector.
Editors used to help us do that. They took responsibility for content, shaping the news by choosing what goes on the front page and how that might affect us. But still, the back pages were there, and responsibility for their content was there too.
Slowly, that's eroded to the cult of personalities. Magic men, saints. Friends for shut-ins. When you get your news from the tube and back it up by an army of on-line guns-for-hire and new-born patriots -- armed, uneducated and distrustful in education -- you have an invisible coup. A children's crusade ready to roll (as directed) roughshod over "the enemy" of the moment.
The Progress Report's extensive low-down on Faux News (that's Fox News, o my Rush loving brother-in-law) contains a link to a 2003 story:
A NETWORK OF DISINFORMATION: Fox repeatedly deceives its audience. A 2003 study found that 80 percent of those who primarily relied on Fox News believed falsehoods about why the U.S. invaded Iraq.
This point was so driven home back when we did 13 Myths, and a source of general pessimism about the general state of teh media (read our comments as we worked).
Obviously, media failed us, Fox News best of all. Of course, they tried so hard. I was watching, switching channels when the jets hit the World Trade Center, and Fox was calling for war with Iraq even before they fell.
The link Progress Report sends us to is a reprint archived by Common Dreams of the original Knight-Ridder wire story. The link is now dead, centro.net dropping the knight-ridder archives, but google finds it in other places, and thanks to the Wayback Machine, you can still find the knight-ridder special reports.
"How do you know this?" Imbibe. Train your palate.
KnightRidder Washington Memo Special Report The decisions, policies and intelligence behind the Iraq War
• Alliance between Chalabi, U.S. conservatives now in ruins, 5/28/04
• Relationship with Chalabi proves costly for Bush administration, 4/23/04
• Officials investigate how INC's Chalabi obtained U.S. intelligence, 5/21/04
• Iraqi group linked to questionable intelligence loses U.S. funding, 5/18/04
• White House released claims of defector deemed unreliable by CIA, 5/17/04
• Iraqi exile group may have violated rules barring it from lobbying, 4/22/04
• Intelligence memo before 9-11 noted suspicions of possible hijackings, 4/10/04
• As fighting continues, quest to bring democracy to Iraq nears failure, 4/10/04
• Senior U.S. officials say battle could be turning point in Iraq, 4/6/04
• INC supplied defectors who were sources of questionable pre-war information, officials say, 4/3/04
• With 90 days to handover of Iraq control, U.S. faces big obstacles, 4/2/04
• Faulty intelligence continues to plague U.S. efforts in Iraq, 3/19/04
• Iraqi exile group fed false information to news media, 3/15/04
• White House responds to Knight Ridder article, 3/12/04
• CIA director disputes Cheney assertions on Iraq, 3/9/04
• Doubts cast on efforts to link Saddam, al-Qaida, 3/2/04
• Iraqi National Congress faces growing number of investigations, 2/27/04
• Rumsfeld advisor who vocally endorsed Saddam's ouster resigns, 2/25/04
• Officials: U.S. still paying millions to group that provided false Iraqi intelligence, 2/21/04
• Most pre-war information from Iraqi defectors was iffy, officials say, 2/13/04
• Panel to probe whether officials exaggerated prewar intelligence, 2/12/04
• Doubts, dissent stripped from public version of Iraq assessment, 2/9/04
• What went wrong with Iraq intelligence? 2/6/04
• Intelligence officials warned that Iraq WMD information was iffy, 2/6/04
• Knight Ridder journalists honored for stories on war planning, 2/4/04
• Iraq intelligence efforts led by Cheney magnified errors, officials say, 2/2/04
• More Iraqis supporting resistance, CIA report says, 11/11/03
• Saddam wanted secret negotiations with U.S., officials say, 11/5/03
• CIA investigated tip on WMD from previously discredited source, 10/14/03
• Questions, criticism surround information that led to start of war, 7/18/03
• No real planning for postwar Iraq, 7/11/03
• Bush administration pushed for proof linking Saddam, al-Qaida, 7/3/03
• Internal review backs CIA on Iraq, but notes lack of details, 7/2/03
• U. N. committee finds no connection between Iraq, al-Qaida, 6/26/03
• White House was warned of dubious intelligence used in speech, official says, 6/12/03
• Bush, Aides made some prewar claims they couldn't back up, documents say, 6/6/03
• Failure to find weapons in Iraq leads to intelligence scrutiny6/2/03
• Troubling questions over justification for war in Iraq, 5/31/03
• Bush Administration scoffs at Iraq's weapons report, 12/20/02
• Infighting among U.S. intelligence agencies fuels dispute over Iraq, 10/27/02
• Some in Bush administration have misgivings about Iraq policy, 10/8/02
• CIA report reveals analysts' split over extent of Iraqi nuclear threat, 10/4/02
• Lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons worries top U.S. officials, 9/6/02