A study conducted jointly by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism has concluded that the news media gave "deferential and uncritical" coverage to hundreds of false administration statements about the national security threat from Iraq following the 9/11 attacks that "effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses." The study, posted Tuesday on the CPI's website and reported later by Editor and Publisher, tallied 935 false statements by Bush administration officials, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House spokesmen Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. "The cumulative effect of these false statements -- amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts -- was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.
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