Jeremiah Dittmar: Zipf's Law and Its Discontents
The Classical Economists Perceive the Industrial Revolution

On the Excellence of McClatchy

Paul Krugman says that the McClatchy team is much too bashful in drawing the implications that should follow from the fact that every other ainstreamWashington journalist (save Walter Pincus alone) took a dive on Iraq:

Hogwash. Hogwash! HOGWASH! - Paul Krugman: The team at McClatchy, understandably miffed at the hoocoodaonode responses of their colleagues at other news orgs to Scott McClellan’s book, point out that people coodanode — after all, they did:

We confess that here at McClatchy, which purchased Knight Ridder two years ago, we do have a dog in this fight. Our team - Joe Galloway, Clark Hoyt, Jon Landay, Renee Schoof, Warren Strobel, John Walcott, Tish Wells and many others - was, with a few exceptions, the only major news media organization that before the war consistently and aggressively challenged the White House’s case for war, and its lack of planning for post-war Iraq.

Indeed. One reason I was pretty sure the war was a con, and said so at the time, was that I was reading KR. (The other reason was that the selling of the war sounded just like the selling of other Bush admin scams, on taxes and so on.)

But here are two points they don’t raise.

First, when have you seen any member of that team on the Sunday talk shows, or on a panel of experts invited to discuss the future of the Iraq venture? I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: to this day, you’re not considered “serious” on national security unless you were wrong about the war. (More broadly, you’re considered shrill and over the top if you saw Bush for what he was before, say, 2005 at the earliest).

Second, they don’t mention a curious fact: by mid 2004 a large fraction of the American public had reached the conclusion that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into war. Yet this conclusion was basically considered beyond the pale in most media discussion until much later.

Alas, I have to say that the media sins that made the war — and, for that matter, the Bush administration — possible continue to this day. And it’s not just right-leaning media figures who commit those sins. As always, Bob Somerby remains essential reading.