Objectivity is overrated. We need media that take sides and call leaders to account. And we all need to spend less time onlineby Arianna Huffington / January 26, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
If I ruled the world, my first goal would be to make it easier to cut through to the facts. At the moment, we are all drowning in spin, smokescreens and lies. Those who perpetrated the two biggest policy disasters of the past ten years—the Iraq war and the financial crisis—could not have pulled their work off without a lack of transparency. So greater transparency would be at the top of my agenda.
Take WikiLeaks. Too much of the coverage has been “meta”—focusing on questions about whether the leaks were justified—while too little has dealt with what has actually been revealed. While the leaks didn’t contain a bombshell revelation, they delivered a consistent drip, drip of details that belie the Obama administration’s public statements.
For example, in December, during the same week Obama made a surprise visit to the troops in Afghanistan and spoke of how we are “succeeding,” “making important progress” and are bound to “prevail,” the WikiLeaks cables revealed a very different private assessment: of wholesale political corruption in Afghanistan, and, in the words of US ambassador Karl Eikenberry, of President Hamid Karzai’s “inability to grasp the most rudimentary principles of state-building.”