The new GOP talking point being regurgitated ad nauseum is that the Iraq war is a smash success, chock full of progress, but that the biased American media is hellbent on only reporting the negative: death, civil war, suicide bombs and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), or, booby traps. Whether it's the president himself, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace or the right-wing talking-heads like Limbaugh, Hannity and Ingraham, it's blame, blame, blame the media. It's like everything else they do: bait, switch, lie and deceive. Oh, the progress is really there, they say. The success is obvious, they say. You can't actually see it though, they say, because the media hides it. It's like Richard Pryor's famous bit when caught cheating by his wife: "Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?"
Consider some of the statements this past week:
Bush: "This is quiet, steady progress. It doesn't always make the headlines in the evening news. But it is real and it is important. And it is unmistakable to those who see it close-up."
Pace: (on NBC's "Meet the Press"): "I don't think we're getting the goodness out to the American people the way we should....The amount of coverage from the war zone is much less than it used to be... People don't get a chance to see or hear about all the good things that are happening."
Rumsfeld: (at Pentagon press briefing): "From what I've seen thus far, much of the reporting in the U.S. and abroad has exaggerated the situation."
Ingraham: (to NBC's David Gregory on "The Today Show"): "David, to do a show from Iraq means to talk to the Iraqi military, to go out with the Iraqi military, to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off."
As the latest polls show, voters are fed up with this irresponsible rhetoric and buck-passing. The accountability lies with this administration and no one else. The Busheviks and the American public need to remember a few important facts: the media did not manipulate WMD intelligence to justify the invasion. The media did not bypass the U.N. in a rush to war. The media did not attack a sovereign nation. The media did not grossly 'misunderestimate' the insurgency. The media did not promise us a short, inexpensive war. The media did not say we'd be greeted as liberators. The media did not promise that elections there would go smoothly and create a viable democracy. The media did not push Iraq into civil war. The media did not kill 2300 U.S. soldiers. No, Mr. President, the media is not why we're in Iraq, and it's not the media who needs to fix the problem. This is your mess. Your fiasco. Your quagmire. And if you don't like how it's being portrayed in the media, then you should've thought of that before you recklessly sent our soldiers to die in the streets of Iraq.