FAIR associate Norman Solomon tells Real News viewers (9/29/08) of lessons to be drawn from corporate U.S. media's non-coverage of what was big news overseas during the run up to war on IraqÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬”ÂU.S. spies used the U.N. arms inspection process to identify future bombing targets and track Saddam Hussein's movements:
There's a lag-time where if journalism is in fact the first draft of history, then the reliance on official sources is so routine that it's only in retrospect that we get these kind-of sort-of apologies or mea culpas or acknowledgments that the coverage should have been better, less attuned to official sources, much more independent, rigorous and tough-minded. The real responsibility is to function independently, to have a multiplicity of sources, to dig for information, to search for truthÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬”Âto flip over every rock that can be flipped over as soon as possible.
But what we get in contravention of that principle is the extreme reliance on official sources. Here we are in Washington, D.C., where the press corps is mostly following itself to breathlessly report the range of opinion that exists along Pennsylvania Avenue, from the White House to the Congress, with the State Department, Pentagon and corporate think tanks and so forth thrown in.
Solomon calls this the opposite of "the fruition of journalismÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬”Âwe have sort of an abrogation of journalism."