10 years ago, “Shock and Awe” kicked off the Iraq War. It was a made-for-TV war, with explosions rocking the skies above Baghdad, and correspondents reporting live on cable news from their hotel balconies.
TV news not only covered the war, but promoted it as well, regularly featuring guests who beat the war drum, and ignoring those that had opposing views. Sometimes, as The Huffington Post’s Jack Mirkinson notes, it was a vicious circle:
Perhaps the most notorious example of the Washington-media nexus over Iraq came when Dick Cheney appeared on “Meet the Press” in September of 2002. He cited the lead story in that morning’s Times as he talked to Tim Russert (“I want to attribute it to the Times,” he memorably said). The story, by Miller and her colleague Michael Gordon, said that Hussein was busy using aluminum tubes to help build nuclear weapons. The Bush administration had leaked that story to Miller. The circle was complete.
The war has not been forgotten. With the President making his first mideast trip of his second term, cable news is finding time to look back at Iraq. Throughout the week a number of segments about the war are on tap at the “big three” cable news channels, nestled in between the other day’s coverage.