Why Do These Pundits Still Have Jobs?
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.”
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.”