The media coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war

“was a disaster.” FAIR documents “some of the worst moments in journalism, from the fall of 2002 and into the early weeks of the Iraq War.” A few highlights from the report:

September 8, 2002
–Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller co-author the article “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts” on the front page of the New York Times.

October 9, 2002
–Kenneth Pollack, the influential and heavily cited war advocate at the Brookings Institution, appears on the Oprah show to discuss the impending war. “Does he have the ability to attack us here in the United States?” Oprah Winfrey asks. “He certainly does,” Pollack explains.

December 12, 2002
–The Washington Post runs a front-page article by Barton Gellman headlined, “U.S. Suspects Al-Qaeda Got Nerve Agent From Iraqis; Analysts: Chemical May Be VX, and Was Smuggled Via Turkey.”

February 25, 2003
–MSNBC cancels Donahue, its top-rated show and a rare oasis of war skepticism in the mainstream media.

March 18, 2003
–Bill O’Reilly makes a promise on ABC’s Good Morning America: “If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it’s clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?”