Unasked Questions

Ethel C. Fenig
Hindsight, with its clear 20-20 vision is always wonderful.  With it that witty unuttered remark springs to mind and is said with devastating effect; the right power play that would have won the championship game, landed the major contract is successfully completed.  Most of us mentally indulge in this what if; most of us aren't paralyzed by it instead learning from past situations and attempting to apply the knowledge to the present. 

But today, the fifth anniversary of President Bush's press conference less than two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor and Publisher reminisces about the questions  asked by the media then.  Oh, he admits


"Some of the questions from the press were sharp, many others weak, (snip)


"It was the mood of the affair that was most noteworthy. Bush smiled and made his usual quips, and many of the reporters played the game and did not press him hard. This was how these press gatherings had gone throughout the run-up to war. But this meeting was heavily scripted with Bush looking at a slip of paper and calling on reporters in a pre-arranged order. No one challenged him on this."


Including, apparently, Mitchell and his then intern, Ari Berman.  After the press conference they came

"up with a few questions we wished reporters had asked that night."

and published them the next day. 


Oh how clever.  Why didn't he ask the questions then? Even if the "meeting was heavily scripted" certainly he could have managed to ask one or two of these oh so wise questions without being dragged off to prison.


Still nursing his wounds after five years, today he proudly announced the publication of his


"new book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq."

which includes "Questions We Wish They'd Asked." 

Oh how clever. 

My questions for Greg Mitchell remain.  Why didn't you ask these questions then?  What do you think would have happened to you if you did?
Hindsight, with its clear 20-20 vision is always wonderful.  With it that witty unuttered remark springs to mind and is said with devastating effect; the right power play that would have won the championship game, landed the major contract is successfully completed.  Most of us mentally indulge in this what if; most of us aren't paralyzed by it instead learning from past situations and attempting to apply the knowledge to the present. 

But today, the fifth anniversary of President Bush's press conference less than two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor and Publisher reminisces about the questions  asked by the media then.  Oh, he admits


"Some of the questions from the press were sharp, many others weak, (snip)


"It was the mood of the affair that was most noteworthy. Bush smiled and made his usual quips, and many of the reporters played the game and did not press him hard. This was how these press gatherings had gone throughout the run-up to war. But this meeting was heavily scripted with Bush looking at a slip of paper and calling on reporters in a pre-arranged order. No one challenged him on this."


Including, apparently, Mitchell and his then intern, Ari Berman.  After the press conference they came

"up with a few questions we wished reporters had asked that night."

and published them the next day. 


Oh how clever.  Why didn't he ask the questions then? Even if the "meeting was heavily scripted" certainly he could have managed to ask one or two of these oh so wise questions without being dragged off to prison.


Still nursing his wounds after five years, today he proudly announced the publication of his


"new book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq."

which includes "Questions We Wish They'd Asked." 

Oh how clever. 

My questions for Greg Mitchell remain.  Why didn't you ask these questions then?  What do you think would have happened to you if you did?