Posted by: sean | September 15, 2006

IAEA discredits House report on Iran, Post runs story on A17

The Post reports that the International Atomic Energy Agency found that parts of the House’s report on Iran and its nuclear capabilities were “outrageous and dishonest.”

This obviously brings back memories of similar debates between Republicans and IAEA on Iraq’s WMD capabilities. It also brings back memories (via A Tiny Revolution) of Iraq coverage in the US prior to the war. The Post covered the House report on the front page, whereas its rebuttal was stuck on page 17. This despite the Post‘s admission that they dropped the ball when it came to questioning the administration’s claims about Iraq:

“The paper was not front-paging stuff,” said Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks. “Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challenged the administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday. There was an attitude among editors: Look, we’re going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?”

In retrospect, said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., “we were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration’s rationale. Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was a mistake on my part.”

Across the country, “the voices raising questions about the war were lonely ones,” Downie said. “We didn’t pay enough attention to the minority.”

These confessions ran in the Post two years ago. It seems that no one has learned any lessons down there…

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