Trump Insults the Media, but Bush Bullied and Defanged It to Sell the Iraq War
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 26/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20578
Bush was anything but a friend of the press during his presidency. Maybe he didnt demonize it as much as Trump does -- but he actively manipulated it and bullied it far worse and far more effectively than Trump has, much of it in the service of selling his marquee policy: the war in Iraq.
Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan would himself later write that the war was sold with a "political propaganda campaign." McClellan said the push to war was "all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage," which is something the administration used the news media to do. "Through it all, the media would serve as complicit enablers," he wrote of the press's role in the debacle. "Their primary focus would be on covering the campaign to sell the war, rather than aggressively questioning the rationale for war or pursuing the truth behind it."
"Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged or failed to emerge," the New York Times' editors wrote in May 2004.