Kurtz: Washington Post killed skeptical story in run-up to Iraq War

Howard Kurtz says before the Iraq War, Washington Post articles "questioning the evidence or rationale for war were frequently buried, minimized or spiked."

I was working at The Washington Post at the time, and I took it upon myself to examine the paper's performance in the run-up to war. It was not a pretty picture. ...

Tom Ricks, who was the paper's top military reporter, turned in a piece in the fall of 2002 that he titled "Doubts," saying that senior Pentagon officials were resigned to an invasion but were reluctant and worried that the risks were being underestimated. An editor killed the story, saying it relied too heavily on retired military officials and outside experts -- in other words, those with sufficient independence to question the rationale for war.

"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?" Ricks said.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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