Wednesday, March 17, 2004

In the most recent Harper's Index (April 2004 - at the time of this writing it has not been posted yet) I was stunned by this particular factoid:

Number of articles in major U.S. newspapers that have called any White House statement on Iraq a lie: 0

If true, this factoid is particularly astounding when you consider that according to this database there have been noted at least "237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by these five officials in 125 public appearances in the time leading up to and after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq."

About a year ago, a colleague and myself organized an Open Discussion of the Press Coverage in Iraq. One of my favourite moment of the evening occured when Lisa addressed the audience with this thought: the shortcomings of the media become, over time, the shortcomings of the historical record, and over time, the shortcomings of our understanding of our past. As moderator I was facing the audience and I swear you could see the light-bulbs over the kids' heads as they twigged into why the library was hosting this event and why the alternative press might be worth having.

I'm furious. I want to see newspaper of record to make note of the Iraq on the Record Database dammit.

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