Not to get too invested in being an apologist for the media’s pre-war malfeasance, but it should be said that there’s a reason the press mostly relied on foreigners rather than American Democrats to make the case against the invasion of Iraq — the leaders of the Democratic Party were all supporting the President’s decision. If Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, etc. had all been against the war, I’m sure they would have been treated unfairly (as Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, and Howard Dean were) but we would have heard from them.
Meanwhile, my understanding is that not only were key leaders backing the war, but they were also urging anti-war Democratic politicians to not make too much noise and fuss since the main electoral strategy for the 2002 midterms was a doomed effort to take the war “off the table” by having almost everyone in a tough race (either incumbent or challenger) back the war. This whole episode in our history has been surprisingly forgotten (along with related developments like Phil Donohue getting sacked from MSNBC for opposing the war) considering how recent it was, but you can relive it all in Heads in the Sand if you’re so inclined.