Helen Thomas Slams DC Lapdog Press

Brian Zick

USA Today's Peter Johnson reports on a new book by Helen Thomas, wherein she is critical of the White House press reporting on Iraq. She said that when it came to questioning President Bush in the weeks before the Iraq war, they were more lapdogs than watchdogs."I ask myself every day why the media have become so complacent, complicit and gullible," Thomas writes in Watchdogs of Democracy? (Scribner, $25), due in bookstores this week.Johnson quotes two dissenters from Thomas' view, NBC's David Gregory and CNN's John King.King: "Were we at fault sometimes and less than perfect? Absolutely. Lapdogs? No."Gregory: "So I get it from both sides, but I don't feel I held back in the least, or left questions unasked," Gregory says. "I just don't agree with the notion that we went easy."King has apparently never discussed war reporting with CNN's top war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, who rather famously said: "I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."And according to the folks at The Media Research Center (The Leader in Documenting, Exposing and Neutralizing Liberal Media Bias), who have provided a partial transcript, David Gregory on Hardball had this to say on April 12, 2003: Gregory: "But this is about making America safer. It’s about self-defense."Um, Greg, one question gone unasked is "Self-defense against what threat, precisely?" Another might be "And how, exactly, has America been made safer?"

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