17Les médias assoupis des Etats-Unis

Permettez-moi de m’écarter ce mois-ci de ma rubrique économique habituelle pour vous parler de la façon dont les médias – américains surtout – rendent compte de la marche du gouvernement. Mais je ne m’en écarte pas forcément beaucoup, puisque le comportement de la presse a des incidences aussi bien sur l’économie que sur la politique.

Prenons par exemple un éditorial du mois de mars écrit par le rédacteur en chef du Washington Post, Fred Hiatt, dans lequel il offre une excuse très limitée pour la manière dont son journal a couvert et évalué l’administration Bush. Selon Hiatt, « nous avons évoqué ces questions », comme par exemple le fait de savoir si l’administration Bush avait soigneusement pesé le pour et le contre de l’aventure irakienne, « mais pas assez vigoureusement ». En d’autres termes, Hiatt s’accuse lui et son groupe d’avoir dit ce qu’il fallait, mais trop discrètement.

Considérons ensuite un commentaire de l’ancien chroniqueur du New York Times Max Frankel, sur la manière dont l’écosystème washingtonien de fuites politiques est sain, parce que « la majorité des journalistes ne régurgitent pas passivement… les fuites ». Au contraire, « ils les utilisent comme un levier pour obtenir d’autres révélations » et rendent ainsi compte efficacement des activités gouvernementales. Le système peut bien être « brouillon et source de confusion », mais « tolérer les fuites partiales (et désinformatrices) de la part du gouvernement est le prix à payer par les lecteurs pour être informés de fuites essentielles sur notre gouvernement ».

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