Retired General Richard Sanchez gave a blistering speech at the Military Reporters and Editors Luncheon regarding the failure of the Bush Administration, the State Department and Congress to get it right, and the unwillingness of the Pentagon to stand up to the Administration. He made many strong accusations; one that stood out to me was this: “
The Buffalo News abbreviated the Washington Post’s article on the Sanchez speech and titled it “Retired military leader slams U.S. war plan.” If you read the speech in its entirety – and you should, even though this web site has it entirely in capital letters, making it very hard to do so – you will realize that roughly half the speech singled out the media for its knee-jerk reactions, arrogance and first to get the story mentality without regard to accuracy. It was less a speech about the Bush Administration and much more a speech about our entire country’s failure to work together toward a single goal.
The conservative web sites have been on top of this and rightly so. The media’s unwillingness to admit its own failings is right up there with the Administration’s unwillingness to do the same. On the issue of war, Americans are left without anyone trying to honestly tell the whole story. The newspapers’ synopsis of Sanchez’ speech is merely typical of the overarching problem of media extremism at its worst.
Media extremism, both on the left and the right, has decimated the centrist middle and solidly reflects the political extremism in our country as well. It is hard to undo the partisan brainwashing that Fox News, CNN and others feed its listeners by slanting its news stories in such one-sided ways.
All parties need to start telling it like it is – not how we want it to be – and being held accountable when they fail to do so. Anything less gets us labeled as nothing more than propagandists, a label that will take a generation to remove.