Tony Blair is sad that the British media didn’t always agree with his courageous wars. Of course, in his universe, journalists are supposed to be courtiers, faithful little servants merely printing government press releases (oh wait, that’s what most reporters do now.)
At least one UK editor, Simon Kelner of the Independent, a paper specifically named by Blair, has responded. And very well:
What clearly rankles with Mr Blair is not that we campaign vociferously on certain issues, but that he doesn’t agree with our stance. What if we had backed the invasion of Iraq (like, for example, we supported the interventions in Kosovo and Sierra Leone)? Would he then be attacking our style of journalism? Of course not. We are unapologetic about our opposition to Iraq, the biggest foreign policy folly of our age, and we shall continue to hold him and his government to account…
Of course, news is still the backbone of our offering, but we feel our readers today want more: a diverse range of commentary, colourful debate, provocative front pages and, yes, the views behind the news. It is difficult to imagine what kind of newspaper Mr Blair envisages in his platonic heaven, but it’s probably safe to say that this isn’t it.
Is the New York Times listening?