Ten years ago, a front-page New York Times story helped mislead us into war with the idea that Iraq was trying to procure special aluminum tubes for its nuclear weapons program. Last night, one of the PBS NewsHour's two expert journalists to look back on Iraq was the guy who co-authored that piece.
In Wednesday's New York Times (10/26/11), Michael Gordon wrote a piece headlined "Papers From Iraqi Archive Reveal Conspiratorial Mind-Set of Hussein," about some Iraqi archives that give an inside-the-bubble picture of Saddam Hussein's rule. Not surprisingly, Hussein comes off as paranoid, incompetent and so on. Gordon begins the story noting that Hussein was troubled by the Iran/Contra story, interpreting the U.S. deal with his Iranian enemies as some sort of "conspiracy against Iraq." Gordon calmly explains, free of a conspiratorial mind-set, that Iran/Contra was just an operation "to open a private channel to the new leadership in Tehran and to [...]
One gets the impression, reading the New York Times' coverage of the WikiLeaks cables, that the paper is particularly interested in documents that portray the State Department in a good light, struggling to do good in a world that continually resists its efforts. Take today's front-page piece (12/7/10), "America Prods and Protests But Can't Halt Arms Trade." The piece, by Michael Gordon and Andrew Lehren, details "the United States' efforts to prevent buildups of arms…in some of the world's tensest regions." The piece does include an acknowledgment that "the United States is the world's largest arms supplier, and with Russia, [...]
Salon's Glenn Greenwald (7/9/09, ad-viewing required) is extolling "The Significance of McClatchy's Act of Journalism" when reporting that recently released six-year Guantanamo prisoner Haji Sahib Rohullah Wakil–one of many who supposedly "returned to or are suspected of returning to terrorism after their release"–"far from being in hiding, operates openly among officials of Afghanistan's U.S.-allied government." Labeling Nancy Youssef's piece "a consummate example of excellent journalism," Greenwald also wants us to note the central role the New York Times played–yet again–in spreading and given credence to pure government propaganda. And the method used to accomplish that is exactly what led them [...]