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Oh, this is rich. Do you remember how, in the run-up to the Iraq war, the media was really hard on George W. Bush? Frequent Fox News guest Monica Crowley does! According to her, the media was "very skeptical" and "pounded President Bush and his team relentlessly" and much of the criticism wasn't valid, "it was just the fact that it was President Bush." Whereas "When you look at the difference of that coverage and President Obama going to Libya without congressional approval and the run-up to Syria, it is like night and day."

Ha ha ha ha ha. Is Crowley about to announce her desire to become one of those right-wing stand-up comedians who Republicans periodically try to convince us are the next big thing? Because this is a good bit to start with.

It's been 10 years since the Bush administration was marketing war on Iraq, using the media as its mouthpieces, so maybe Crowley has forgotten that the traditional media was by and large shockingly gullible when it came to the Bush administration's fraudulent charges of WMDs and the like, and failed to question the rationale for going into Iraq as a response to the completely lacking-in-Iraqis 9/11 attacks. That would be quite a trick of memory, but time can play tricks on people, I guess. But the idea that Obama is somehow getting a free ride on Syria? Just glancing quickly around the internet, the New York Times offers "Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West" and "Obama Faces Barrier in His Own Party on Syria." At CNN I'm seeing "Syria strike a 'futile pursuit': Pope, European leader reject military action"; at Politico "Obama's capital spreads thin." This is the press going easy on Obama?

To be clear, skepticism about and scrutiny of plans to bomb Syria are warranted. But said skepticism and scrutiny are happening now in a way they never happened about Iraq. In fact, it's reasonable to suspect that some in the media are questioning Obama's desire to bomb Syria more precisely because they're aware they screwed up on Iraq, whether or not they'd admit they did.

There are a lot of ways Iraq and Bush 2003 and Syria and Obama 2013 are different. That the media battered Bush and is greasing the wheels for Obama is not only false, it's actually the reverse of reality.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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