Hey, did you know that Congress just had one of the most important votes on the Iraq War since the invasion of 2003? No, probably not, because (other than Voice of America's story and the AP's half line buried in a bigger piece) no major American media outlets thought it important enough to tell you.
That's right, yesterday, the House of Representatives voted down bipartisan legislation to ask the White House to submit details of an eventual exit strategy from the quagmire in Iraq. The legislation was non-binding, meaning the White House would not have even had to oblige. It was simply designed to put Congress on record as supporting an eventual move to bring our troops home.
You might think that such commonsense legislation would have gotten wide support in Congress, what with 57 percent of Americans now saying the war wasn't worth it. But you would be wrong. Almost 70 percent of lawmakers in the House - including people like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (both of whom I like) - voted against this simple bipartisan amendment. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership actually argued that passing the bill would somehow abandon our troops (apparently to the GOP, continuing to have no exit strategy at all and leaving our young men and women in a violent Middle Eastern quagmire is the real way to show our troops respect).
You also might think that the media would at least give a mention to such an important vote, especially with Americans now saying the war in Iraq is their top concern. After all, this is one of the few ways reporters can cover some of the most important issues pertaining to the Iraq War without having to risk venturing into a violent war zone. Seems like a pretty easy task, and an important one in keeping Americans abreast of where their representatives are on such a critical issue. But a quick Lexis-Nexis search shows that, as of today, not one major American media outlet mentioned that the vote was going to take place, or had taken place other than those mentioned above. This, of course, may change, but according to my Lexis-Nexis search, as of 24 hours after the vote, it's true - almost no major American media outlet has said a damn thing (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...but I've also checked Google News and I'm pretty sure I'm not).
A few weeks ago, I did a post on this site about how ABC News essentially helped create the pathetic, insulated, out-of-touch conventional wisdom for other media types to ignore the Iraq War. And despite polls showing that Iraq is Americans' top concern, what we see here with this vote is that there is a concerted blackout by the political Establishment and the media of the most pressing national security issue of our time. Politicians of both parties don't even want to fulfill their legal obligation to provide minimum oversight of our military, and the media clearly would rather bloviate about other things they have unilaterally deemed important - such as how wonderful a Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) is.
When will this lunacy end?