The most important line in his piece follows, what Alterman calls "a mainstream media mea culpa that is both welcome and instructive":
This admission once again blames the Bush administration for “poorly executed acts” rather than its standard operating procedure, which is deliberate deception in the service of ideological obsession. (emphasis mine)
Whatever its final outcome, I suppose the Bushites should congratulate themselves for getting away with it this long, and the rest of us who care about the continued functioning of our democracy should be grateful that we still have newspapers and we now have blogs. Because if all we had were television stations, well—as the playwright Tom Stoppard has written, “No matter how imperfect things are, if you’ve got a free press, everything is correctable. Without it, everything is concealable.” (emphasis mine)There is a protection mechanism written into our Constitution to protect "We the people" from this -- impeachment. I fear, however, that it will take more courage than our current leaders possess.
But a free press only works if the press itself works. And altogether too often, broadcast and cable prefer to look the other way.