[ Americans remain OutFoxed! –BL ]
Media failure or willful public indifference to the truth? ‘E & P’ readers sound off and point fingers.
by Greg Mitchell
NEW YORK — The latest Newsweek poll, released this week, revealed that 42% of Americans continue to believe that Saddam Hussein’s regime was “directly involved” in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, despite all the evidence to the contrary. That’s nearly as many as the 44% who disagree.
It seems to matter little that every official federal probe, most recently the much-lauded 9/11 Commission, has debunked this myth, in high-profile reports. Yet the percentage of Americans clinging to the Iraq connection has declined only slightly in the past year.
Two weeks ago, in a previous column, I explored findings from another poll that suggested that Americans remain “woefully uniformed or misinformed about certain key issues relating to the war.” One survey result: 35% still believe that Iraq had stockpiles of WMD when the U.S. invaded.
I ended that column by asking readers to send along their thoughts on the following question: Does the media deserve blame for failing to educate the public, or do we need to accept the fact that “you can lead readers to the truth but you can’t make them drink it”? Thanks for the many thoughtful replies, along with the usual hate mail (often from people claiming Saddam WAS behind 9/11).
Greg Mitchell is the editor of E & P and author of eight books on politics and history.