What explains the general lack of interest in the Afghanistan Papers? Why didn’t this trove of declassified documents catch fire like the Pentagon Papers during Vietnam?
The “Fourth Estate" has always played a major role in influencing U.S. policy and opinion, but like other major institutions, it is not beyond reproach. Widely criticized for its complacency in the run up to the Iraq War, the media has also been criticized more recently for being too ready to publish sensitive information. Modern media is anything but monolithic, and competitive pressures and a rapid news cycle have forced many news agencies to exercise even less restraint.