Greg Mitchell tries to claim in Editor & Publisher that many major papers five years ago were in fact against the war on Iraq.
You may be surprised to learn that, precisely five years ago, at least one-third of the top newspapers in this country came out against President Bush taking us to war at that time. Many of the papers may have fumbled the WMD coverage, and only timidly raised questions about the need for war, but when push came to shove five years ago they wanted to wait longer to move against Saddam, or not move at all....
...Once equivocal editorial pages got straight to the point. "This war crowns a period of terrible diplomatic failure," The New York Times argued, "Washington's worst in at least a generation. The Bush administration now presides over unprecedented American might. What it risks squandering is not Americans' power, but an essential part of our glory."
Other papers were even more blunt. The Sun of Baltimore, consistently one of the most passionate dissenters on the war, began their editorial with the sentence, "This war is wrong. It is wrong as a matter of principle, but, more importantly, it is wrong as a matter of practical policy."
USA Today asked Bush to finally disclose risks, costs, and democratic government estimates for Iraq while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wondered "what 'the peaceful entry' of 280,000 troops would look like." The Arizona Republic in Phoenix said that Bush and his "coalition of the willing," with prodding by the French, "have left the United Nations in tatters."
Well editorial pages are certainly where people turn to first, right? Never mind the war-fostering headlines on the front pages. Never mind the lazy absence of any meaningful fact-checking on Administration claims.
Never mind ignoring the sometimes massive anti-war demonstrations in New York and elsewhere.
No, the editors clucked and tutted and therefore should get a pass on their crappy coverage.
Any wonder why newspapers are still in trouble and mistrusted by so many?