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.
MSNBC, which 10 years ago fired host Phil Donahue for holding anti-war views and sharing them on his primetime program, is planning to re-air the Rachel Maddow documentary “Hubris,” which covers the selling of the Iraq war. “Hubris” will air Friday at 9 PM, with a one-hour special “Talking Hubris” to air afterwards. The special will be hosted by Chris Hayes and will feature Chris Matthews, Alex Wagner, David Corn, Michael Isikoff and Rep. Patrick Murphy.
On CNN International Christiane Amanpour will be dedicating her 4 PM show to the war in Iraq, including an interview with Lord John Prescott, one of Tony Blair’s deputies in the leadup to the war.
Rick Leventhal will be reporting on the anniversary all week for Fox News. He was one of the correspondents ion the ground for the channel.
CNN’s Arwa Damon had a thoughtful piece this morning: