Wednesday, December 03, 2003

President Bush's secret trip to Iraq on Thanksgiving Day raised plenty of questions about "The Media's" role in the journey, but I haven't seen a lot of coverage about how the Bush Administration was able to pull this off in the "24-hour news environment" that we hear so much about these days.

No journalist had a source in the White House, Secret Service, Air Force, Andrews Air Force Base, or any of the other support or security agencies involved in planning for this trip, which reportedly was going on for a month? I haven't seen a lot of journalists coming forth and saying, "Yeah, we knew about it, but decided not to run it." It seems it really was a secret until the last minute, which is extraordinary with so many reporters working not only the Washington political beat, but the Iraq war, the Defense Department, and security issues overall.

The trip was a political boon for Bush, and his staff, at all levels, deserves praise for not leaking, but what does it say about the reporters covering this Administration? Do you think this story would've remained secret under Clinton, or the first Bush Administration? No way.

I'm happy everyone involved got to Iraq and back safely, and the troops were able to see their Commander in Chief, but if I were an editor or executive producer in a news organization, I'd wonder how this could get by all the reporters out there who've been developing sources over the past three years, and wonder what else has been going on in the Bush Administration that the public doesn't have any idea about.