It was May 8th when I first wrote about the Downing Street Memo, and in that post, I made mention of my puzzlement at the fact that the mainstream media had not picked up the story. Well, its now June 3rd with nearly a month having passed without hardly any discussion in the mainstream press, and my puzzlement has passed through bewilderment to disgust. I'm disgusted that something of this importance is not a part of the national dialogue. I'm disgusted with both the press for not covering the story, and with the American public for being too distracted by soft news to be bothered. We've grown intellectually fat and lazy from a steady diet of junk news. Here we have a memo, which the authenticity of has not been disputed, which indicates that this administration intended to invade Iraq a full 8 months before they officially made that decision, and that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,"and what are we talking about as a nation? Michael Jackson. Run-away bride. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Paris Hilton's new hamburger commerical.
The current big story on the national scene is the revelation that 'Deep Throat,' Woodward's inside source during the Watergate scandal, was former #2 man at the FBI Mark Felt. While much discussion has centered around whether or not Felt is a hero, whether or not Nixon did anything wrong, what has not sufficiently been addressed has been issue of the role of investigative reporting as public watchdog and the issue of the decline of investigative reporting. This story itself has just become another distraction, an exercise in the irrelevant that serves to obfuscate more pertinent matters. What we should be taking from the Watergate story is to remember that an interested and informed public is vital to the proper functioning of our government and society.
So with that I issue a challenge:
To every local paper, every major paper; every local station, every major station, - I urge you, I beg you, please address this issue. Let your readers and viewers know about this memo. Covering this story does not make you "liberal" or "biased" or "anti-American" or "out to get Bush." No, it means you are doing your job, reporting the news, so that an informed public can judge the matter for themselves and decide whether or not it is something that concerns them, whether or not they wish for their government to address the issue. But do not make that decision for them by running this story into the buzzsaw of neglect.
To every citizen - get involved, get informed. Write your local press, your local tv news, and/or your representatives in government and ask them why no one is talking about this. Ask them why they've left you out of the equation, and remind the government and press that they work for you, not vice versa.