By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2004, 9:44am PT  

Yesterday, there was a horrible Mogadishu-style attack against Americans in Fallujah. Nine Americans were killed, and four of them were burnt, dragged through the streets, dismembered and hung from lightposts and bridges.

The American Media, perhaps taking their cue from the Whitehouse who will not allow pictures of coffins returning from Iraq, decided that Americans are simply too fragile to be shown the horrible images that came out of Fallujah yesterday. The rest of the world saw them, but not Americans.

All of which brings me to a point I've been pondering for a while. After Richard Clarke last week displayed the first real act of contrition from an American Official since the 9/11 Attacks by apologizing for the Government's failure to protect us, there was one lone member of the Media, Rick Mercier - sadly from a tiny paper in Fredericksburg, VA --- who had the courage to admit the Media's culpability in this whole fine mess:

THE MEDIA are finished with their big blowouts on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there's one thing they forgot to say: We're sorry. Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn't bring ourselves to hold the administration's feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered. Maybe we'll do a better job next war.

Since the attacks of 9/11 (but also in the months leading up to it) the complicity the Major Media outlets have shown by simply going along with the Whitehouse line, wholly unchallenged and uninvestigated, is a National Disgrace. They have, by and large, played Hired P.R. Hand to virtually every hollow, misleading and frequently out and out incorrect line that the Whitehouse has tried to sell the American People since that day.

Their sycophantic behavior shows little sign of abating. Last week's Radio & Television Correspondents Association Dinner featured a slide-show narrated by Dubya, with photos of him looking around the oval office along with the repeated lines: "Those WMD's gotta be somewhere!"

The packed house of DC Media and Insiders yucked it up together. What a riot. 600 or so Americans and countless Iraqis are now dead because they all failed to do their job of keeping the Government honest by actually investigating their claims and by and large wholly shutting out or even mocking (ask Scott Ritter) all viewpoints which ran contrary to the Whitehouse line. Alternative viewpoints which turned out to be correct in the end, right in front of their noses, but they were too busy - I suppose - hoping not to be branded "unpatriotic" or otherwise losing their much sought insider status.

Is it any wonder then, that Americans have such a high view of themselves even while seeming to have no clue why the rest of the world could possibly hold us in such contempt?

The swamp is hardly being drained --- and there is plenty of blame for that to go around.