Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, who spent 29 years at the Washington Post, 20 of them covering the media, has accused his former employer of failing to question the Bush administration's evidence or rationale for the invasion of Iraq and sometimes burying or spiking reports by its reporters that did do so. Kurtz, who left the Post in 2010 to become Washington bureau chief for TheDailyBeast.com and Newsweek, said in a commentary posted on CNN's website on Monday that the Bush administration had created an atmosphere in the wake of 9/11 in which media criticism of national security efforts seemed almost unpatriotic. In retrospect, he wrote, the tenth anniversary of the invasion this month conjures up for me ... the media's greatest failure in modern times. Kurtz disclosed that in 2002, prior to the invasion, Tom Ricks, the paper's top military reporter, turned in an article observing that some senior Pentagon officials were worried that the risks of an investigation were being underestimated. An editor killed the story, Kurtz revealed, 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.
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