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The New Cold War Between the Media and National Security Establishment

Josh Meyer, IRE Board member and director of education and outreach for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative,  wrote today about tension between the media and the national security establishment for the initiative's website:

Is this really the worst time ever to be a journalist covering national security issues, especially in Washington?

Maybe the best way to describe it is to quote Charles Dickens from his A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’’

It’s the best of times because of all the great and important news out there to cover. Two wars are winding down but the costs of them – in terms of blood and treasure – are still staggering, and there is a desperate need to ask tough questions about where we’re going and how we got here.

In Barack Obama, we have a president who got elected on a campaign of overturning most of the perceived civil liberties excesses of the Bush administration, but who has become, in many ways, even more hawkish and willing to embrace the `”war on terrorism’’ paradigm and all it entails, including drone strikes to kill Americans overseas.

Washington these days should be a candy store for reporters covering national security, whether they actually live here or cover the issues from their local community. There’s even a November election to spice everything up.

So why is everyone in the media complaining? Because by all accounts, the Obama administration and Congress have made it virtually impossible for them to do their jobs.


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