Since Watergate, the US mainstream press has had a reputation for challenging presidents. But, in spite of what might appear from the current scandal, the reputation is largely unjustified.
You only have to look at the way President Clinton's preparations to attack Iraq are treated. Yesterday, while international newspapers - including
The Irish Times - reported the Arab League's efforts to find a diplomatic alternative to bombing, the main story on the subject in the Washington Post concentrated on the military build-up. Only toward the end of the story did it report that Arab leaders are "reluctant to assist" US efforts; it didn't mention the Arab League plan at all.