The main fact is that there was a large stock of chemicals found in Jordan. This was reported in the press, but it didn\'t have \"legs\". New news stories come along, and yesterday\'s news is forgotten. I see that as a consequence of the 24-hour news cycle. Stories of all sorts get pushed aside for the story du jour.
There are many assertions made my Loftus. He\'s put some information together and has come to some conclusions. The way the news works these days, analysis is only done on the opinion pages. The press seems to report what happened, who said what, what the other side said, and that\'s it. They don\'t seem to dig very hard, and they don\'t do fact checking to show who lied - it\'s too expensive and the results often fall outside of the 24-hour news cycle.
Finally, the news media is terribly hooked on press releasese and press events. They like to quote people in authority and with titles. If you or I say this stuff, it will never make the news. If you are the CEO of the Institute for WMD Studies in Washington D.C, then you have a chance to get it reported. If Colin Powell makes such an announcement, I guarantee the cameras will be there and the story will be near the top of the heap - but maybe for only one day.
Labelling the press as conservative or liberal is too simplistic.
I do think that the following biases exist:
The news media is generally secular and socially liberal. They sell advertizing, and believe me, Budweiser wants all races and all genders to drink their product. And the media wants to get your attention with and violence. It\'s in their best interests to be socially liberal.
On the other hand, they economically conservative. They don\'t want to promote anything that may hurt their bottom line. They don\'t do anything to piss off the FCC. They don\'t want the government to get tough on big corporations. CNN and Fox News get lots of viewers during war, so they interview lots of generals and almost no leaders of pro-peace organizations. GE owns NBC and makes nuclear weapons. You don\'t hear much against the nuclear industry on NBC.
Anyway, that\'s my view of the current media in the US. I don\'t have enough information to judge the WMD story. If my analysis of the state of the media isn\'t complete, I\'d be curious to get a deeper understanding of it.