Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception: How the Media Failed to Cover the War on Iraq

Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception: How the Media Failed to Cover the War on Iraq

by Danny Schechter
     
 

There were two wars going on in Iraq—one fought with armies of soldiers, bombs, and fearsome military force. The other was fought alongside it with cameras, satellites, armies of journalists, and propaganda techniques. One war was rationalized as an effort to find and disarm WMDs—Weapons of Mass Destruction; the other was carried out by even more

Overview

There were two wars going on in Iraq—one fought with armies of soldiers, bombs, and fearsome military force. The other was fought alongside it with cameras, satellites, armies of journalists, and propaganda techniques. One war was rationalized as an effort to find and disarm WMDs—Weapons of Mass Destruction; the other was carried out by even more powerful WMDs, Weapons of Mass Deception.
Veteran journalist and media watcher Danny Schechter, a former ABC and CNN producer, monitored and now analyzes the cheerleading for a war in which reporting was sanitized, staged, and suppressed. The author of Media Wars: News at a Time of Terror, The More You Watch the Less You Know, and News Dissector, brings an insider’s knowledge based on thirty years in journalism with an outsider’s perspective to critiquing media coverage. Throughout the war he was "self-embedded" at Mediachannel.org, the world’s largest online media issues network.
Schechter’s insightful, wide-ranging critique of the American media’s war coverage targets the way in which a virtual merger between the Pentagon and the media produced a war spectacle that the American public was primed to see, media collusion in the campaign to discredit the UN, "rightwing liberation theology" as war propaganda, the cozy relationship between news anchors and retired officers hired as military analysts, the controversies over Peter Arnett and Geraldo Rivera, the looting of Baghdad, the lack of media focus on civilian casualties, the disparities in coverage between U.S. and foreign media, and more.
Schechter’s disturbing indictment of the major media as purveyors of infotainment instead of news will serve as a wake-up call to journalists, media critics, and everyone who cares about a well-informed citizenry as the basis of democracy.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Globalvision, a New York City-based television and film production company, has produced several books on the media and their failings, including cofounder and executive producer Schechter's Media Wars: News at a Time of Terror. Here, Schechter once again critiques American media, this time focusing on their lack of objectivity owing to undue influence by government and corporations. As he observes in the introduction, "This book focuses on the campaign that involved co-opting and orchestrating the news media" during Gulf War II, principally through "the effort to embed reporters whose work was subsidized by the Pentagon." A veteran journalist with 30 years' experience, Schechter presents his case in a series of reverse-chronology blogs (web logs) that are a pastiche of many sources, plus additional personal commentary. The criticism can be unrelenting but is certainly shown to be justified in the context of events. However, the book's format is so geared to the moment that its future usefulness as a source for those researching this topic is questionable. Recommended for larger public libraries and academic journalism collections.-Ari Sigal, Puckett Inst., Morganton, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591021735
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Pages:
286
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.27(h) x 0.92(d)

Meet the Author

Danny Schechter is executive editor of Mediachannel.org; cofounder and executive producer of Globalvision, a New York-based television and film production company; a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2001 Award for Excellence in Documentary Journalism; a former producer for CNN and for ABC News 20/20, where he won two National News Emmys; and the author of many books on the media.

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