Glenn Reynolds has a rather shocking admission made by UPI reporter Pam Hess on CNN’s Reliable Sources:
KURTZ: Pam Hess, has the sending of 20,000 additional troops gotten a fair hearing in the media or has it gotten caught up in this wrenching, emotional debate about whether the war itself was a mistake?
PAM HESS: I think it’s gotten caught up about it, and the debate about it is actually all wrong. What reporters know and what Martha says is that 20,000 really isn’t that big — isn’t that big a jump. We’re at 132,000 right now. It’s going to put us even less that we had going in going across the line.
What we’re not asking is actually the central question. We’re getting distracted by the shiny political knife fight. What we need to be asking is, what happens if we lose? And no one will answer that question. If we lose, how are we going to mitigate the consequences of this?
It’s so much easier for us to cover this as a political horse race. It’s on the cover of “The New York Times” today, what this means for the ’08 election. But we’re not asking the central national security question, because it seems that if as a reporter you do ask the national security question, all of a sudden you’re carrying Bush’s water. There are national security questions at stake, and we’re ignoring them and the country is getting screwed.
That’s right — for the press, it’s irrelevant what information is the most important in determining the course of American policy — it’s all about bashing Bush. The Ahad-like fixation the President means we’re not getting the whole story. No one is questioning what would happen if we were to withdraw from Iraq. Even though that question is profoundly important for the future of this nation and the Middle East, it’s taboo because it’s politically incorrect to be asking such questions.
The media no longer cares about objective reporting, giving people the truth, or asking tough questions. It’s all about scoring cheap political shots and vapid celebrity news. The media is utterly broken, and for all the talk about how terrible Fox News is for actually reporting stories that might be perceived as friendly to the Bush Administration, the mainstream media is perfectly willing to distort the news or ignore crucial stories that don’t fit their ideological agenda.