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Could Twitter Have Stopped the Media's Rush To War In Iraq Ten Years Ago?

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about a year and a half ago

The Media 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "On the tenth anniversary of the start of the US invasion of Iraq, Eric Boehlert writes that he wishes that Twitter had been around during the winter of 2002-2003 to provide a forum for critics to badger Beltway media insiders who abdicated their role as journalists and fell in line behind the Bush White House's march to war. "Twitter could have helped puncture the Beltway media bubble by providing news consumers with direct access to confront journalists during the run-up to the war," writes Boehlert. "And the pass-around nature of Twitter could have rescued forgotten or buried news stories and commentaries that ran against the let's-go-to-war narrative that engulfed so much of the mainstream press." For example, imagine how Twitter could have been used in real time on February 5, 2003, when Secretary of State Colin Powell made his infamous attack-Iraq presentation to the United Nations. At the time, Beltway pundits positively swooned over Powell's air-tight case for war. "But Twitter could have swarmed journalists with instant analysis about the obvious shortcoming. That kind of accurate, instant analysis of Powell's presentation was posted on blogs but ignored by a mainstream media enthralled by the White House's march to war." Ten years ago, Twitter could have also performed the task of making sure news stories that raised doubts about the war didn't fall through the cracks, as invariably happened back then. With swarms of users touting the reports, it would have been much more difficult for reporters and pundits to dismiss important events and findings. "Ignoring Twitter, and specifically ignoring what people are saying about your work on Twitter, isn't really an option the way turning a blind eye to anti-war bloggers may have been ten years ago," concludes Boehlert. "In other words, Twitter could have been the megaphone — the media equalizer — that war critics lacked ten years ago,""

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