Drums of war: The US media’s ‘Iranian threat’

Something sounds familiar. ‘Long-range nuclear missiles’, ‘terrorist sleeper cells’, ‘WMDs’: terms which quickly became part of the media’s vocabulary in the run up to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Fast-forward to 2012 and they are featuring heavily once again, only now it is not about Iraq, but Iran. Last time, the media’s saber-rattling followed the Bush administration’s lead in selling the attack on Iraq. This time, the so-called ‘Iranian Threat’ is a narrative being constructed by the US media all by itself – with scant public support from the Obama administration. Our News Divide this week takes a close look at the coverage of Iran and a culture of journalism that seems to have forgotten the very real dangers of hypothesis and conjecture.