Who was it that fought for the veneration of Icons?
Ironically was it not the POPE and the WESTERN Bishops? The patriarch of Constantinople sided with the heretical, iconoclastic emperors?
Yes, the Patriarch(s) of Constantinople didn't do so well in that controversy, for the most part. Of course, Rome has also had her slip ups (the most famous probably being Pope Honorius being condemned by an Ecumenical/General Council for the heresy of monothelitism, though there are other examples). Everyone makes mistakes--and "everyone" includes more than two men in Constantinople and Rome.
There is a tendency in modern Catholic apologetics to reduce East-West relations in the ancient Church to Constantinople versus Rome. But when you read a fair and balanced accounting of Church history, it's obvious that the Rome vs. Constantinople thing was hardly a unique situation. I believe a case could be persuasively made that the ecclesiastical battle--the power struggle, the intriques, the deception, the condemntations, etc.--between Constantinople and Alexandria in the fourth and fifth centuries was every bit as acute as that of Constantinople/Rome in the 9th and 11th centuries. And then there were also a great number of ongoing controversies on a smaller scale, such as Jerusalem fighting Caesarea for the right to govern herself (which was not granted for nearly 300 years, after the Romans had demolished the city in the first century).
The tendency also misses the bigger picture: Constantinople was only a small part of the ecclesiastical jumble. I mean, I can understand why RC apologists (or e-pologists) make the distinction: Constantninople obviously fell into error much more often than Rome in the first millenium. However, when the break finally happened, it was not a case of Rome breaking with just Constantinople, or vise versa. It was a case of Rome breaking with all the East. One Patriarch broke with four Patriarchs.
It might be said, and not without some accuracy, that the entire west stayed with the Pope, and thus it was not just the Pope who was disagreeing with the Eastern Patriarchates. However, the Christians in the west had neither the independent political/ecclesiastical power, nor the theological ability (it was in the middle of the so-called "dark ages" of Europe, after all) to refuse Rome's whim. Most of the west had already bowed down to the Pope, and it's hard to stand back up when you are in a bowing position, because the man standing can deliver one swift kick and thwart all your best efforts. It is in this way that Rome forged her own destiny with the rebellions that would take place (not just the major one, the Protestant Reformation, but also minor skirmishes and anti-Roman councils, such as the one that began at Basle, and got morphed into the Ferrara-Florence Council). But I'm going way off course here...
I think you are both right and wrong. About the subject in particular, you are right that those in the West were generally more willing to defend icons than those in the East. However, the East was not without her defenders, such as St. John Damascene and Maximos the Confessor (though, admittedly, Maximos found the situation a bit intolerable and went to Rome... and who could blame him? They were doing things like putting defenders of icons in sacks and throwing them into the river to drown.) However, I think you are wrong if you are under the impression that this chapter in Church history can be used to demonstrate anything about Rome or Constantinople generally. It was one period in time, it was certain men, in certain cities, doing certain things, and saying certain things.