The media didn't do this kind of "immune system" work when it reported on the run-up to the Iraq war. As a result, more than 70 percent of Americans were convinced that Saddam Hussein was involved in the massacre of September 11. More than 4,000 Americans and over one million Iraqis have been killed in the violence that perhaps could have been averted with better journalism.
Appalling Spread of False Information Requires Stronger Media Accountability | MediaCulture | AlterNet
Article from the leftist Alternet, but addresses one of the key problems of today's media/government/world. The Press is doing a poor job of being a watch dog, the Iraq war is a case in point.
Most Americans just don't care about politics, current news, etc… that's why Paris Hilton gets as much play on CNN as the election. Mass media has to cater to their customers and not just cover the news.
And that's the problem. Major media outlets are no longer just interested in covering the news for the sake of coverage. They're about making money; and that means that there are all kinds of internal issues over what gets play. Add into this mix this administration's propensity to 'control the news' (read: lie) and the media just can't be as effective as it should be.
Dangerous times indeed.