The Washington Post has been accused by a journalist of spiking a piece he was commissioned to write about the US media’s failures in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
Headlined “On Iraq, journalists didn’t fail. They just didn’t succeed”, it was written by Paul Farhi.
If Mitchell is right, then the Post is guilty of censorship because his own submission attacked the media coverage. That should not have been too surprising to the Post’s editors given that Mitchell’s latest book, So wrong for so long, is a detailed critique of the failures of US press, including the Washington Post, over Iraq. So what did the Post expect?
Mitchell tears into Farhi’s article as a “misleading, cherry-picking” piece “claiming the media did NOT fail.” He writes:
“I love the line about the Post in March 2003 carrying some sceptical pieces just days before the war started: ‘Perhaps it was too late by then. But this doesn’t sound like failure.’”
Amazon reviews of Mitchell’s book – which has a preface by Bruce Springsteen – are full of praise. “Read this book. Twice”, writes former White House press secretary and TV commentator Bill Moyers. “Read it and weep; read it and get enraged; read it and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” says Arianna Huffington.