Credibility gap

Earlier this week, Senator Joseph Lieberman wrote a piece about Iraq for the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page. Lieberman reported on his observations during a recent visit to Iraq — his fourth since the invasion. What he observed was considerable progress. What he concluded is that America has a “good plan and strategy” for victory in Iraq, and that it would be a huge mistake for America to lose its will to fight. Lieberman also rejected the notion of setting a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. Instead, he embraced the time-honored notion that events, not pre-determined schedules, must dictate decisions regarding troop deployment. Here, the relevant event is the readiness of Iraqi forces to secure their country. Said Lieberman, “almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.”

Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2000. He is one of the few major political figures who still enjoys considerable respect from parts of both political parties. One would think that his observations on an issue as important as Iraq would be newsworthy. After all, the announcement by Rep. John Murtha (an obscure figure compared to Lieberman) that we should withdraw from Iraq was front page news, complete (in the case of the Washington Post) with a headline that over-hyped his credentials as a hawk.

Yet, according to Brit Hume last night on Special Report, Lieberman’s comments did not even make it into the Washington Post or the New York Times. Similarly, neither CBS nor ABC News mentioned them (NBC did).

The MSM has essentially imposed a blackout on good news from Iraq. This has already diminished what’s left of its credibility, and when the full extent of the blackout becomes known, my guess is that roughly half of the news-consuming population of this country will cease to rely on it forever.

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