There is no bigger story than war. And a war whose major premise -- the threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction -- turned out to be unsupported is an even bigger story. That the administration presented this threat to the public with such a strong, yet false, sense of certainty -- including the imagery of mushroom clouds -- is an even more important lesson for all of us about big but not well-examined decisions. How did a country on the leading edge of the information age get this so wrong and express so little skepticism and challenge? How did an entire system of government and a free press set out on a search for something and fail to notice, or even warn us in a timely or prominent way, that it wasn't or might not be there?---Michael Getler, the departing ombudsman for the Washington Post (who is, by the way, the incoming ombudsman for PBS)
This is a question all American journalists should tack on a wall, a computer monitor, a bathroom mirror, or any place they're going to stare at all day.