By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2015, 1:01pm PT  

I'm on the road this week, but was able to carve out a minute or two upon learning that some in our trusted news media seem to have lied about the Iraq War! Can you believe it?!

As Jon Stewart declared on The Daily Show last night: "The media is on it! Now this may seem like overkill. But for me, no, it's not overkill. Because I am happy. Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War!"...

By the way, when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow produced her excellent Hubris: Selling the Iraq War documentary in 2013, to mark the tenth anniversary of our invasion, she cited the blatant and knowing lies that resulted in the war. While congratulating her on the fine work, we also took the time to document just some of the many lies told and/or facilitated by NBC and MSNBC themselves which helped lead us into that disaster in the first place...

At the time of Maddow's retrospective, the Syrian conflagration was just heating up, and unconfirmed rumors of Bashar al Assad's use of chemicals weapons against his own citizens was being uncritically reported by the media --- including MSNBC and NBC --- while, at the same time Iraq War proponents were once again trying to renew their initial lies and reverse engineered reasons for carrying out one of the nation's worst foreign policy blunders of all time.

All of that was pretty easy to do, considering that, even after a full year of the Iraq War, even after no WMDs had been found, along with no evidence that Saddam Hussein had anything at all to do with 9/11, a study [PDF] by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIP) and Knowledge Networks found: "A majority continues to believe that Iraq was giving substantial support to al Qaeda, while nearly half continue to believe that evidence of such support has been found. A majority believes that Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction or a major program for developing them."

The American people had been mislead not only before the war, but even for years while it proceeded and, as we detailed, NBC had played a "key role" in that.

Moving the ball forward ten years, Maddow told viewers while promoting her documentary: "If the revisionism that we are experiencing right now, ten years later, is able to succeed, then we are doomed to repeat this again as a country some day. If we do not come to terms with what happened, and how it happened, if we do not learn the lessons of that disaster as a country, and how we were duped, how it worked, then history says we are doomed to repeat it."

Our response at the time:

She's absolutely right. And hopefully she'll consider doing her part to hold her own news organization accountable in a follow-up documentary, to help ensure that they "learn the lessons of that disaster," or else, as she correctly echoes [Phil] Donahue in her own warning, we are absolutely "doomed to repeat it."

She has yet to produce any such documentary, looking into NBC's own failures at the time.

Of course, Brian Williams and his "conflated-over-time" war stories are just one part of examining all of those mistakes. It is perhaps the smallest and most inconsequential of them. No wonder so many in the MSM are happy to spend so much time on it.