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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Apparently the 'Post' Did Not 'Fail' in Covering Powell's Fateful U.N. Speech

In the wake of the major flap today over the Washington Post killing my article and running Paul Farhi's piece claiming the media "didn't fail" on Iraq, I thought it might be amusing to re-visit the paper's coveage of Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations in February 2003.  This is drawn from my new book on media malpractice and the war.
The Washington Post echoed others who found Powell's evidence irrefutable.  An editorial in the paper judged that “it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. ... Mr. Powell's evidence, including satellite photographs, audio recordings and reports from detainees and other informants, was overwhelming."
Here’s the Post’s Jim Hoagland:  "Colin Powell did more than present the world with a convincing and detailed X-ray of Iraq's secret weapons and terrorism programs yesterday. He also exposed the enduring bad faith of several key members of the U.N. Security Council when it comes to Iraq and its 'web of lies,' in Powell's phrase. ... To continue to say that the Bush administration has not made its case, you must now believe that Colin Powell lied in the most serious statement he will ever make, or was taken in by manufactured evidence. I don't believe that. Today, neither should you."
That paper's liberal columnist, Mary McGrory, wrote that Powell "persuaded me, and I was as tough as France to convince." She even likened the Powell report to the day John Dean "unloaded" on Nixon in the Watergate hearings.   Another liberal at that paper, Richard Cohen, declared that Powell's testimony "had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.”

George Will suggested that Powell's speech would "change all minds open to evidence."


Anonymous said...

As they said themselves, the Post is "inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power". Thankfully there are better sources of information available on the Web.

Anonymous said...

As hard to convince as the French? Did they bitterly denounce the administration for duping them when Hans Blix said the weapons inspectors had already been to all the sites Powell listed and found - nothing?

Or did these paragons of skepticism and principle write - nothing?