Real journalism is tough to find these days in America. It's expensive to pay someone to investigate things. It also can mean lack of access to powerful people. If you do investigations and expose corruption among the powerful they likely won't give you much access in the future.
So with regards to claims of WMD little investigation was actually done. It was more a matter of regurgitating claims from anonymous intelligence sources, which turned out to be the Office of Vice President or some other dubious institution.
This whole thing is exposed rather blatantly with organizations like Fox News. Take the ACORN scandal. Here's a group that tries to bring minorities and the poor into the democratic process. So when a scam artist doctored some video footage to make it appear they had engaged in immoral behavior, Fox, rather than looking into it, just fell for it hook line and sinker because it promoted their agenda. Watch in this video clip how Rachel Maddow contrasts the story as shown on Fox with the actual raw footage to show how reality was turned on it's head in Fox's efforts to demonize ACORN. But the goal was achieved. ACORN has been destroyed.
But should we expect people to do investigative work? If all they can expect is grief and suffering, while being abandoned by their own news agencies and co-workers, why would anybody bother? Consider a few examples of real journalism and the corresponding rewards.
In 1998 Mike Gallagher published an important story about Chiquita Banana, formerly the United Fruit Company. Abuse of workers in Central America, cocaine trafficking, etc. All kinds of awful things. He was fired for this work based on a claim that he'd unlawfully heard some Chiquita company voice mails, a charge he denied. It was all irrelevant to the story. Chiquita never addressed the claims, but did persuade the SEC to drop their investigation into charges of criminal wrongdoing.
In 1996 Gary Webb published a series of stories regarding CIA funding for the Nicaraguan Contras. To fund the terrorist war the CIA used cocaine which was being funneled to the United States and was largely responsible for the crack cocaine epidemic of the 80's. Webb charged that the Reagan administration blocked efforts to prosecute drug traffickers to keep the money flowing. His general thesis is not seriously disputed, but his series ended his career. He was found dead in 2004 with 2 gunshot wounds to the head. His death was ruled a suicide.
In 1998 April Oliver and Jack Smith produced a story with regards to Operation Tailwind. This was a covert operation that occurred in Laos in 1970. Oliver and Smith claimed that the real purpose was to go after some American defectors and that sarin gas has been used. For that story they were fired.
The Fox method is cheaper and involves less risk. They simply dutifully report stories that their corporate masters prefer without bothering with the hard work involved in investigation. What we need to do is turn them off and listen to real journalists. They do exist.