June 22nd, 2014
01:51 PM ET

Has the media learned anything since the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

In the video above, Brian Stelter, Peter Beinart and Jonathan Landay discuss media coverage of the crisis in Iraq.

Stelter's opening comment: "Who are the reliable sources on the crisis in Iraq? There has been a roar in recent days - I heard it all over my Twitter feed - from viewers who want to know who the so-called architects of the 2003 invasion are now inhabiting TV studios once again, giving advice about what to do this time."

Peter Beinart, who wrote "Even Iraq's Sinners Deserve to Be Heard" for The Atlantic this week: "I think it's definitely true that the media's foreign policy conversation has an instinct towards kind of Beltway insiders who share basic assumptions. And some of the people who had the intellectual foresight and creativity to question the assumptions that led us to Iraq still don't get on the air, which is a big problem…"

"But I don't have a problem putting on people who were architects of the Iraq war on to talk today - as long as they have to reckon with what happened in the past. We shouldn't treat the past as if it's irrelevant. It's not irrelevant. It's highly relevant."

McClatchy national security correspondent Jonathan Landay: "There seems to be this historical habit of the American media to rehabilitate people… On the Iraq invasion, I mean, you have people on CNN who were mouthpieces for the Bush administration and were handing out misleading and inaccurate information to the American public and the world - who are treated as legitimate, credible political commentators. I think that is a very serious problem for the media that it needs to get a grip on."

Beinart: "Oftentimes in the media, the notion of balance is someone who's associated with the Democratic Party and someone who's associated with the Republican Party. That's the notion of having different points of view.

So, when you have an environment, as unfortunately did happen a lot in the run-up to the Iraq war, where both the leaderships of the Democratic and the Republican Party basically have a similar point of view - because oftentimes, remember, the Democratic and Republican Party often may agree on more than they disagree on - that's when really, really critical perspectives don't get offered."

Filed under: Iraq
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  15. Kate Madison

    Let us be real and face it. The MSM are corporate and bought off–all of them! They know little of Middle eastern history. Nor do most of them have any idea about the forever religious civil wars and strife. Pathetic. Dick Cheney and his entitled daughter should be put in stocks in a public square and made to listen forever to the laments of families and friends of Iraq and Afghanistan war dead passing by. Next to them should be Dubya, Condi, Wolfowitz, Feith, Pearle, Kagan(s), and their Neo-Con co-conspirators–including Judith Miller and the Fox News deadheads! Oops, almost forgot all of the Congressional sellouts. They knew better, but were too busy keeping their fingers on their numbers. Shameful.

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  16. peteybee

    How do you have the chutzpah to formulate this as a question?

    There's only one thing the US media has learned. This is going to be very un-politically correct but there's no nice way to say it:

    The US media has learned to take it ALL THE WAY IN THE ASS.
    From the NeoConservatives who already gave it to them most-of-the-way in 2003, to sell the Iraq war in the first place.

    Basically the entire media corps should just retire now. Y'all are worthless. Hundreds of thousands are dead because of you.

    June 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  17. Jim Pagliuso

    CNN should do a Special Report, showing its run up to the Iraq War. And, it should critique what it did and did not do.
    The journalists should be grilled. CNN should focus on CNN, and we should watch videos of this disgraceful performance of our free press. There should be a panel discussion of what was done wrong, and how it can be avoided in the future.

    June 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Reply

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