Bush Scandals List

125. Media complicity in the Bush years

Collusion of the media: the NYT, WaPo, Time, Newsweek, cable and network news in the Bush disasters through silence, lack of investigation, and above all accepting uncritically whatever spin came out of the White House on anything. They have dutifully done this for more than 7 years despite this President and his policies being some of the most unpopular in our history.

In a July 25, 2008 interview, former Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced that he had fed White House talking points to various commentators at FoxNews who duly repeated them. In many ways this is unsurprising. Scooter Libby used reporters to disseminate the story about Valerie Plame (entry 3). In the Libby trial, Cathie Martin, who was Cheney’s communications director, noted that Tim Russert’s Meet the Press was their “favorite format” because they could “control message”. This is in keeping with paid for journalists like Armstrong Williams (entry 62) or the military “experts” (entry 344) used by cable and network news. But in addition to the active efforts of the Administration to manipulate the media was the overwhelming willingness of the media to be used and to repeat White House talking points, indeed to speak in them.

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