Aug
20
2010

What Do War Critics Think? Well, Ask One

During an August 18 segment about the Iraq War, anchor Brian Williams said (emphasis added):

Let's bring into this conversation retired U.S. Army Colonel Jack Jacobs. He's a decorated combat veteran, a recipient of the Medal of Honor and, of course, an NBC News military analyst.

Well, at this point, people like me always ask people like you, what have we learned. Critics of this war are always going to look at it as an elective. They're always going to say those 9/11 pilots weren't Iraqis. And they're always going to say we never found the weapons of mass destruction. So as an analyst–a civilian now, but a veteran military man, what do you think we've learned?

Williams is right about one thing–people like him do always seem to prefer to pose questions to retired military officials. During the run-up to the Iraq War, for instance, NBC was running this advertisement touting their coverage:

Showdown Iraq, and only NBC News has the experts. General Norman Schwarzkopf, allied commander during the Gulf War. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, he was the most decorated four-star general in the Army. General Wayne Downing, former special operations commander and White House adviser. Ambassador Richard Butler and former U.N. weapons Inspector David Kay: Nobody has seen Iraq like they have. The experts. The best information from America's most watched news organization, NBC News.

Whether those experts provided the "best information" can speak for itself.Back to the present: If Williams really wanted to know what critics of the war think about the war, why didn't he just ask one?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.