How CNN Fought the War: A View from the Inside

Overview

In this provocative, hard-hitting, insightful book, CNN's leading military analyst during the war against Iraq tells all: from how CNN beat the much touted network newscasts to how it allowed itself to become an instrument of enemy propaganda with its reports from Baghdad after Iraq imposed censorship. For example, General Perry M. Smith provides a balanced but tough-minded view of CNN correspondent Peter Arnett's controversial reporting. General Smith makes it clear that Arnett could have pushed harder against ...
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Overview

In this provocative, hard-hitting, insightful book, CNN's leading military analyst during the war against Iraq tells all: from how CNN beat the much touted network newscasts to how it allowed itself to become an instrument of enemy propaganda with its reports from Baghdad after Iraq imposed censorship. For example, General Perry M. Smith provides a balanced but tough-minded view of CNN correspondent Peter Arnett's controversial reporting. General Smith makes it clear that Arnett could have pushed harder against the boundaries of Iraqi censorship and that he may have been more concerned with filing a daily report and in staying in Iraq than giving his worldwide audience of one billion people a complete and accurate account. Other revelations include: how some of the press missed the biggest stories of the war; why the author almost quit CNN for what he believed was a misleading commentary by a Washington anchor; the greatest weaknesses of the Coalition's ground campaign; why CNN was better equipped and motivated to lick its richer, well-established competitors - ABC, CBS, and NBC; how Bob Woodward and other prominent journalists misled the public on how well our forces were doing; the Norman Schwarzkopf phenomenon: how he orchestrated the war, handled the media, maintained his integrity, and won. The author, a West Point classmate of Schwarzkopf, provides facts, anecdotes, and personal remembrances that reveal the real man. He also explains why General Schwarzkopf was, like Eisenhower and Patton prior to the Normandy invasion, justified in deceiving the press; the behind-the-scenes story of how the air campaign was planned and carried out, including the role of the Pentagon brain trust; why CNN decided not to ask the general who knew most about The Coalition campaign, former Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Dugan, to be a military analyst; why CNN failed to cover the ground campaign as well as the three major networks; how the Pentagon helped the author predict
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Television coverage of the Gulf War was heavily assisted by military analysts. Major General Smith, former commandant of the National War College and one of the two main military men at the Cable News Network (CNN), describes CNN's studios and equipment and the war-effort work of executives, producers, anchors, and reporters. While he devotes a significant amount of the book to explaining his own role (e.g, which military experts helped him and how he prepared for his commentaries), Smith also covers other topics: how other media covered the war, censorship, military vs. media tensions. His analysis of purely military subjects, at times, seems hastily tied into a media issue to fit his book's theme. This is mainly for intense followers of the media and military strategy. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/91.-- Bruce Rosenstein, ``USA Today'' Lib., Arlington, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559720830
  • Publisher: Carol Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/1991
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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