Earlier this month, the National Security Network reported on Brookings analyst Michael O’Hanlon’s disproportionate representation in major papers’ op-ed pages. His pro-Iraq war pieces have appeared in “13 pieces in four of the most influential op-ed pages in the country over the past 7 months.”
O’Hanlon, however, isn’t satisfied with his op-ed presence, complaining today that he is a perfect example of the media’s declining interest in Iraq, as he hardly receives Iraq interview requests anymore:
“I was getting on average three to five calls a day for interviews about the war” in the first years, said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow on national security at the Brookings Institution. “Now it’s less than one a day.”
While O’Hanlon blames the press for his decreased interviews, there is another possibility: his authority on Iraq has declined, as he has repeatedly and inextricably linked himself to Bush’s Iraq policies.
So when O’Hanlon does get the occasional interview, what can we expect to see? On the Today Show this morning, O’Hanlon appeared dismissive of the implications of the 4,000 U.S. troop death milestone in Iraq:
It’s not going to be seen as a major symbolic plateau or threshold or new milestone. It’s just going to be another reminder of the grim toll of war.
With comments like this, the media’s declining interest in interviewing O’Hanlon seems more like a positive development.