That’s former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s description of Big Journalism during the Bush administration, especially during the run-up to the Iraq war. With all too few exceptions, it is true — and indelibly stains a craft from which we expect so much more.
McClellan is no hero. He might have helped save lives and treasure had he told the truth when it counted. He, too, was an enabler of staggeringly dishonest tragedy.
All governments lie, to one degree or another. But the press is supposed to do its job, to ask the hard and sometimes dangerous questions that pull truth from dissembling public officials. You don’t expect shame from the politicians.
You should expect it from journalists who fail so miserably at their vital work. Sadly, frighteningly, you don’t get it from this crew.