The elements of the “crisis” Mitchell describes are twofold: (1) Iraq isn’t Vietnam–i.e., a war the press helps lose for America; and (2) the Bush administration hasn’t produced a Watergate–i.e., a corruption scandal in which the press helps bring down an administration. This isn’t a crisis for America. For most Americans, Vietnam and Watergate were tragedies, and we’d rather not repeat them, thank you very much.
But it is a crisis for the press. For journalists of a certain age, Vietnam and Watergate were triumphs that they are eager to repeat. It doesn’t look as though that’s going to happen. Our advice to newsmen? Pray. “Lord, grant me the courage to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Amen. Now stop crusading and report the damn news.