New York Times Editor: ‘Media Let Country Down’ Before War

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Speaking before an audience at the University of Michigan on Monday, New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said the media failed to do its job in the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

“The American media let the country down in its reporting before the war,” Keller said. “That said, the notion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was not an eccentric notion in the year before the United States invaded Iraq.”

Keller stopped short of taking full responsibility for mistakes critics have said the Times made in reporting on Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction, pointing out that “scientists and officials in the Clinton administration” also believed Iraq had WMDs.

If you haven’t noticed, Keller’s been on the lecture circuit of late. Last month, he told a Providence audience he was a “favorite chew toy of both the left and right.”

  • ‘Media let country down’ [M-Live]
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    [photo: Ann Weathersby, New York magazine]