For the most part, the news media missed the entire story as it unfolded.
For all the hype of today's 24/7 instantaneous news, the media were consistently about six months behind important developments on the ground in Iraq. Newspaper readers in 1876 got more timely information about the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
The author will host a live chat at 1330 EDT today.
Do you agree with the assessment? Can you think of more examples? Counter-examples? Is there an open source group doing a better job reading the tea leaves (not just reciting the party line) than journalists at large, or a sub-group of journalists that are providing more reliable and less trailing indicators? Your thoughts welcome here in comments below at any time, and on USA Today at 1330.