August 12, 2002


The United States Babylonian Adventure : The New York Times' anti-Iraq war crusade (Stephen Hayes, August 11, 2002, San Francisco Chronicle)
Will the fragile U.S. economy head into a full tailspin if President Bush makes good on his promise to oust Saddam Hussein? The New York Times evidently thinks the answer to that question is "yes."

Here's their lead from the other day: "An American attack on Iraq could profoundly affect the American economy, because the United States would have to pay for most of the cost and bear the brunt of any oil price shock or other market disruptions, government officials, diplomats and economists say."

The thrust of the Times piece -- wars cost money -- is obvious enough. So why publish it on the front page? As Andrew Sullivan noted, the Times "anti- war coverage is getting really intense now. We've had the Powell puff piece, the Powell editorial, the cover piece on why the Kurds fear a war and now a piece on how the war will hurt the economy."

Mr. Hayes clears up some of our confusion over the Times' Kurd coverage--apparently the paper's been so politicized that the passions of the editors now drive the "news" coverage. Since they oppose the war, they'll print anything that so much as hints it might be a bad idea. Dispassionate or more reasoned analysis and factual presentations may sneak in too, but they don't get the full Times' fanfare. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2002 10:29 AM
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