Wow. What a stunning number. According to a poll conducted for CNN, 43% of Americans to this day believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11.
I cannot repeat or emphasize that enough. 43% of Americans believe Saddam Hussein attacked us on 9/11!
According to the same poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of CNN, 58% of Americans said they are opposed to the Iraq War. Imagine what that number would be if 100% of Americans knew Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 -- as the President himself admitted recently. Would there be anyone left in the country - outside of Republican Congressmen and Joe Lieberman - who would still be in favor the war?
This is a colossal failure on the part of the press. It is the job of the press to get information to the public. They have failed miserably. Five long years after September 11th, 43% of the country still believes Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for 9/11.
Obviously, the mainstream media did a woeful job of communicating the truth to these people. This should be an everlasting mark of shame on the press. And it is not in the past - it is in the present. These people still believe Saddam did it. When is the press ever going to let them in on the truth?
Writing about it in Page A18 or mentioning it in the thirteenth paragraph of the lead story or doing a single two minute television story is not enough. There have been no cover stories, no major exposes, no docudramas on ABC about how this administration misled a significant portion of this country into believing Saddam Hussein ordered 9/11-- and that it is 100% not true.
It is also a gargantuan failure on the part of the Democratic Party. For God's sake, you're supposed to be the opposition party. What kind of opposition have you put up if you haven't even dispelled the biggest lie about the Iraq War -- that Iraq was responsible for 9/11? Imagine what could happen in the 2006 election, if the whole country knew that Saddam was never involved in 9/11.
The Democrats should have kept the media's feet to the fire. They should have demanded more stories that definitively laid out the facts. And the media should have cared enough to do this without having to get prompted. Iraq was not at all involved with 9/11-- that was not an interesting enough fact to merit a cover story as we attacked Iraq?
Recently Zogby conducted a poll of US troops fighting in Iraq. And in this group, 85% believe Saddam was responsible for 9/11. When in the world are we going to tell these poor kids the truth? Don't they deserve to know that they are fighting and dying for a lie?
Now that the myth that "everyone already knows" is punctured, what is the press going to do about it? My guess is absolutely zero. They will pretend that since they know and the people they hang out with know that everyone should know even if they never do a single cover story or TV broadcast on the issue. There is no excuse for this failure.
If you want to see me get very, very angry about this as we covered this story on-air, check out this short video clip. As we do the show, I get genuinely furious -- and you can tell here. But I really believe that if you aren't angry about how the press has let the country down in this case, you clearly aren't paying attention.
I keep waiting for them to wake up from their slumber. I keep waiting for them to tell the American people they have been lied to. I keep waiting for the country to go back to normal, where the press challenged the government and brought us the facts. We are obviously not at that point today. Because today 43% of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11.