Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
May 30, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!

Reagan: The Life
On the Move

Truthdig Bazaar

Peace Be Upon You

By Zachary Karabell

more items

Ear to the Ground
Print this item

Why Do These Pundits Still Have Jobs?

Posted on Jan 15, 2007
Pro-war pundits

Prewar cheerleaders who inexplicably still have jobs: from left, N.Y. Times columnist David Brooks, New Republic editor at large Peter Beinart and N.Y. Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

Radar magazine takes aim at people like David Brooks, Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria, wondering why they haven’t been held accountable for their spectacularly erroneous pre-Iraq war analyses.

The magazine also recognizes those who got it right before the war, including Jonathan Schell, Scott Ritter and Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer, whose work “constituted perhaps the most full-throated anti-war voice on the editorial page of a major American newspaper.”

  • This reminds us of a classic Bill Maher clip on this topic. Watch it

  • The piece, in the following direct quotation, also reminds us about something downright disgraceful about Zakaria:

    In “State of Denial,” Bob Woodward delivers this sparkling scoop: Fareed Zakaria attended a secret gathering convened by Paul Wolfowitz in late 2001. The task at hand, according to a fellow participant, was to draft “a forceful summary of the best pro-war arguments” which became a blueprint for the Bush Administration’s PR campaign. Although he was a columnist at Newsweek and was editor of the magazine’s international edition, Zakaria didn’t attend in a journalistic capacity—in fact, he signed a nondisclosure agreement beforehand.

    We are left with the astounding fact that one of the war’s crucial media proponents ... helped craft the arguments that Bush used to take the country to war. Then for 16 months leading up to the invasion, he wrote columns, edited news coverage, and appeared as an analyst on television putatively evaluating those same arguments for his vast audience.

    ... Zakaria today makes the unlikely claim that he didn’t understand the purpose of Wolfowitz’s intimate gathering. He says he mistook it for a “brainstorming session.” Robert Kaplan, the only other day-job journalist present, was asked by the Times if that contention was credible. “No,” he replied, “that’s not possible.”

  • More Below the Ad


    Square, Site wide

    New and Improved Comments

    If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

    By Joe, January 27, 2007 at 3:01 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Re: #47877 by Bukko

    Hey Bukko me ol’ cobber, they [the ethnics] came out largely due to dire poverty (remember the potato famine on the Emerald isle?) and next to zero opportunities other than the mule and plough or fruit picking back in the ‘old country’.  Arthur Calwell and his ALP sure got a lot to answer for with their immigration policy.  Checkout Alec Morgan’s documentary “Admission Impossible” if you haven’t.  (Mind, I haven’t; only heard about its content.)  Maybe if we both email SBS they’ll repeat it for us.

    “hour-long news programmes from Spain, France, Russia, Greece and a host of other countries”

    Galling and stomach churning, (you’d think Howard with his new Immigration Department policy will now insist on English subtitles being attached to each and every one-a-them programs lest something anti-us [meaning you and me] slips past the censor) but let’s not forget that’s precisely the reason ‘Special Broadcasting Service’ (SBS) radio and TV was set up by Whitlam’s visionary government, (or was it Fraser?), in the beginning.  Ethnic read news aside, they still show some bottler documentaries.  Last Tuesday on Cutting Edge, “Kidnapped by the CIA”.  Riveting!  This week another bottler coming up: “Iraq’s Missing Billions”.  Be honest now, how many squillions were diverted into your Swiss accounts?? 

    When are they ever gunna get to the bottom of that mouldy old Offset Alpine Printing fiasco so that those honest investors in FAI (which as we know really stood for “F**k All Insurance” Company) can get a few pennies returned for their investment?

    Report this

    By Fritz, January 20, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “Friedman, Brooks, Zakaria etc are there to stay precisely because they have performed beautifully
    to involve the U.S. in this hopeless war, which is exactly what represents the supreme interest of their ethnic tribe.
    These gentlemen are all( pardon my anti-semitism)- Jews.”
    No need to apologize for stating the facts.

    Report this

    By Bukko in Australia, January 16, 2007 at 12:52 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Don’t forget that Brooks is still a regular commentator on the PBS Lehrer News Hour, too. It gets shown here on the same government TV channel that broadcasts hourlong news programmes from Spain, France, Russia, Greece and a host of other countries that have sent large immigrant populations to Oz. People here are better informed than those in the land of alleged “freedom.”

    Comparing the supposedly liberal PBS to the free-wheeling Aussie government-owned stations, I can see what a bunch of corporate propagandists the media in America are. They typically have someone from the way right balanced by someone who’s slightly right, or perhaps a centrist like Mark Shields. If there was ever a fire-breathing leftist on to counter like likes of wimpy Mr. Brooks, PBS would have to clean his chair from the shite that would seep out of his pants.

    Report this

    By G. Anderson, January 15, 2007 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Because jobs at the ministry of truth are rare.

    Since turning yourself into a pretzel every dam day can be quite taxing.

    Report this

    By Mike Miller, January 15, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    As I watched the Sunday addition of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos round table with George Will, Zakaria’a and the Nations, Katrina vandrn Heuvel, I was taken aback how Zakaria’a and Stephanopoulos would cut Katrina off every time she tried to make a point, that in my opinion had a great deal of merrit. In my opinion, Katrina was the only one on the progam, that made any sense. But I remembered this was ABC.
    Maybe Stephanopoulo schould be added to the list. His conduct, and attitude was shameful.

    Report this

    By Spinoza, January 15, 2007 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    These people are ideologues in support of capitalist ideology. They are paid to promote capitalism. It is their job.

    Honesty, truth etc has nothing to do with what they say.  You will get as much useful information from these subhumans as from a Coca Cola commercial.

    Report this

    By hotpotatomash, January 15, 2007 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    if they fired everyone who got it wrong unemployment would be through the roof and the right wing nuts would be claiming that the firings were proof of liberal media bias.  plus, where would we find out about evil judges, missing white girls and the war on christmas? 

    as an example of how this would play out, take the example of robert scheer.  after the l.a. times fired scheer for getting it right too often, i cancelled my subscription. thus, because of scheer’s brilliant writing, i lost a major source of information and now get hounded all day long by l.a.times telemarketers offering a free this or that to come back.  it just doesn’t help anyone.

    in any case, aren’t all of these pundits getting a do over?  bush and cheney have dropped more hints that they are going to attack iran over the last couple of days that you’d think joe wilson lived in tehran.  i’m sure they will all stand up to the president this time.  so sure that i’d almost be willing to hold my breath.

    Report this

    By Quy Tran, January 15, 2007 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Because they got paid to do so. They looked alike little poodle only knows to wag its tail when it was given dog foods !

    Report this

    By John Hanks, January 15, 2007 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    These hucksters are as priceless as a regiment of secret police.  They get us to go along by appealing to our lower middle class gullibilities.

    Report this

    By icethor, January 15, 2007 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    My congrats to those mentioned who got it right, but some others got it right also… like pretty much the rest of the world.

    Report this

    By Big Al, January 15, 2007 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Here’s the answer to the “mystery”:

    These jerks are being rewarded for successfully lying the country into going to war against Iraq for Israel’s benefit. They did a very good job of that, so why shouldn’t they be rewarded by the people who hired them to do it?

    Their present job is to exercise their proven skills to lie the country into a new war, this time against Iran - also for Israel’s benefit.

    Report this

    By A Khokar, January 15, 2007 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    In love with Alqaeda
    US betrayal and abandoning of Mujahideen warriors after Afghan war was not with out purpose. In United States, Neocons evolved a special, ‘New American Century Policy’, which revolves around a myth of Alqaeda; to use Alqaeda; to contemplate US hegemonic ambitions of ‘American Empire’ dreams through a scheme of fallacy and deception.

    Matter of the fact is that George W Bush and his Neocons are in love with Alqaeda. They are pinning all their hopes on Alqaeda. Any thing happening around the world… Just blame it on Alqaeda. This has become a common practice, a tool and a lynch pin of Neocons dream policy. Alqaeda is a myth; made up as an omnipotent force, an imaginary, invisible enemy; servitude of US, designed to present itself as ‘fore runner’ to act as enemy for subsequent planned attacks of US adventurism.

    Keeping aside the recent series of US setbacks in Iraq; that going for US is found so difficult; but local resistances and unbearable sectarian sporadic killings should, eventually die down. New policy and influx of additional troops surge must give us some good results. After all, how long they will keep on resisting and killing each other? They must all be humbled?

    Alqaeda are now the over grown wings of Neocons to help keep them fly with their mighty forces… and perch;(still two years to go) any where…every where; where ever they want.

    Report this

    By Peter RV, January 15, 2007 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    But why do we play this game of asking questions and pretending we don’t know the answers when these have been flying into our faces ever since we decided to teach Arabs democracy by bombing them into oblivion?
    Friedman, Brooks, Zakaria etc are there to stay precisely because they have performed beautifully
    to involve the U.S. in this hopeless war, which is exactly what represents the supreme interest of their ethnic tribe.
    These gentlemen are all( pardon my anti-semitism)- Jews. So, why use expressions such as “error” when in fact they succeeded producing the effect they have planned from the beginning. Their preoccupation is to install Israel as the regional power by smashing to pieces Arab societies. The cost doesn’t matter, the goyim is paying generously in blood and money.
    Folks, the error is ours.

    Report this

    By c52, January 15, 2007 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What do you expect, the new republic was founded using energy money ie. New York Utilities and Standard Oil. Walter Lippman worked for the oil men and the British Bankers. The new republic hasn’t changed, nor have the British Bankers.

    Report this

    By dave, January 15, 2007 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Used to be that shills like Zakaria were drummed out of the printed and recorded media and became pariahs for selling out.  Now it just gets them a better book deal.  Free speech 1984 style.

    Report this

    By SuGee, January 15, 2007 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It is utterly amazing that the Neo-Con in Chief, Mr. Dick(“Go F Yourself!”)Cheney is pushing for this stupid excuse for a surge.  But really, isn’t he the president?  Unfortunately for the World, he’s still fighting the Viet Nam War and the “loss of power(war criminal, in fact) for the presidency, through Richard’s Nixon’s “retirement” and the Watergate Investigation.  The article in the Washington Post that describes the same sort of hubris on this debacle as was demonstrated in the Viet Nam War.  It’s just too sad.

    Report this

    By, January 15, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Are you listening Dumbya? We don’t believe you. This war is over. We lost.

    Report this

    By Patrick Story, January 15, 2007 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yes, this news about Zakaria’a betrayal of his role as a journalist should result in his being sacked from the airwaves. But how can we expect anyone to be held responsible regarding the war in Iraq until the chief perp, President Bush, is impeached and removed? Once that happens, not only Vice President Cheney but many others, including Wolfowitz—that deadly wolf in human clothing—will find it prudent to resign and hope not to be implicated in criminal charges. The movement to impeach must be put on a fast track now.

    Report this

    By DennisD, January 15, 2007 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    They still have jobs because they’re required to have the same degree of accountability as our leadership. NONE.

    Report this

    By Jackie T. Gabel, January 15, 2007 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Can you say: RICH ASSETS?

    Report this

    By Bill, January 15, 2007 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’m afraid that Brooks is a real fraud.  I’ve followed his ‘work’ in the New York Times in the last few years and he was a rabid supporter of Bush Jr and the Neocons pre the start of the Iraqi war.  Over time as the disastrous results of this administration’s policies on Iraq, the Middle East generally, terrorism and post Katrina New Orleans he has quietly stopped writing columns in support of the Decider.  He still believes though in the redistribution of wealth through tax cuts to the better off keeping the poor in their place.

    The NYT is supposed to espouse ‘liberal’ positions I don’t understand how they can allow this guy to continue to purvey his seriously distorted view of the world.

    Report this
    Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
    Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
    Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
    Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
    Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

    Like Truthdig on Facebook