9News omitted analysts' authorship of NY Times "editorial," said it gave Bush administration "a big boost"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

Reporting on Iraq war discussions between President Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, KUSA 9News co-anchor Kim Christiansen stated on the 4 p.m. broadcast July 30 that "the administration got a big boost from the New York Times editorial titled 'We Just Might Win.' " However, the piece she referred to was a guest op-ed written not by the Times editorial board, but by two early supporters of the Iraq conflict.

During a July 30 report about the first meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Camp David, 4 O'Clock at 9News co-anchor Kim Christiansen noted the pair's discussions on the Iraq war and then reported, "Also today, the administration got a big boost from the New York Times editorial titled 'We Just Might Win.' " In fact, the "editorial" Christiansen referred to was a guest op-ed written not by members of the Times editorial board but by Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of The Brookings Institution, who both supported the Iraq invasion.

As Media Matters for America noted, Pollack was an influential proponent of the Iraq invasion before it began and wrote a 2002 book on the subject, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (Random House). Describing Pollack's book in a February 8, 2003, New York Times op-ed (accessed through the Nexis database), Times executive editor Bill Keller wrote, "Kenneth Pollack, the Clinton National Security Council expert whose argument for invading Iraq is surely the most influential book of this season, has provided intellectual cover for every liberal who finds himself inclining toward war but uneasy about Mr. Bush." O'Hanlon similarly argued in support of the invasion, as Media Matters also documented. For instance, in a February 5, 2003, Washington Times op-ed, O'Hanlon wrote, "Even those of us who have questioned the case for war over the last year, and who do not buy all of the Bush administration's arguments for invasion even today, need to face the fact that there soon will be no other plausible option." Continuing, O'Hanlon laid out the rationale for invading Iraq and warned that "the time for patience" with Saddam Hussein "is running out."

O'Hanlon and Pollack wrote in their July 30 Times op-ed, "A War We Just Might Win":

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily "victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

From the July 30 broadcast of KUSA 9News' 4 O'Clock at 9News:

CHRISTIANSEN: Iran is just one of the things that President Bush and Britain's prime minister discussed at Camp David today. The president and Gordon Brown also discussed global warming, Darfur, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and terrorism in Britain. The two also discussed Iraq, with Brown claiming success. Some British troops are withdrawing.

[begin video clip]

BROWN: When you look at the four provinces for which we've got responsibility, we can see that we're able to move control back to the Iraqi people.

BUSH: Great Britain was able to transfer responsibility. That's what we want to do.

[end video clip]

CHRISTIANSEN: Brown also said the generals, not politicians, should determine what should be done next in Iraq. Also today, the administration got a big boost from the New York Times editorial titled "We Just Might Win."

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.