I was planning to mark the fourth anniversary of the start of the war by looking back at some of the more remarkable statements pundits made at the time. But I'm a weekly cartoonist, and this month I just had too many other ideas clamoring for my limited space, so this one stayed on the back burner and never ended up running. So here's a small exclusive for the HuffPo.
In compiling these quotes, I relied heavily on the excellent work of my friends at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, who have been tracking right-wing and corporate bias in the media since long before it ever occurred to anyone to coin a word as ungainly as "blog." I also want to give a shoutout to Glenn Greenwald, who keeps track of these things with a methodical relentlessness reminiscent of the Terminator, except, you know, the one from the sequels, where he's a good guy. And before he becomes governor of California.
There's one other quote that I just didn't have room for, which I'd like to include here. In his column of April 15, 2003, Cal Thomas wrote:
When the Berlin Wall fell and Eastern Europe escaped from the shackles of communism, I wrote that we must not forget the enablers, apologists and other "fellow travelers" who helped sustain communism's grip on a sizable portion of humanity for much of the 20th century. I suggested that a "cultural war crimes tribunal" be convened, at which people from academia, the media, government and the clergy who were wrong in their assessment of communism would be forced to confront their mistakes. While not wishing to deprive anyone of his or her right to be wrong, it wouldn't hurt for these people to be held accountable.
That advice was not taken - but today we are presented with another opportunity in the form of scores of false media prophets who predicted disaster should the U.S. military confront and seek to oust the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein. The purpose of a cultural war crimes tribunal would be to remind the public of journalism's many mistakes, as well as the errors of certain politicians and retired generals, and allow it to properly judge their words the next time they feel the urge to prophesy...
All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent.
On that last paragraph, at least, Cal and I are in agreement.
(Visit the Tom Tomorrow blog at www.thismodernworld.com.)
(Edited: small typo in cartoon fixed).