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War and Television
     

War and Television

by Bruce Cumings
 

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This work studies television reporting of the US at war since World War II, including detailed coverage of television‘s role in the Gulf. Cumings offers insights into the everyday operations of the media and assesses the possibilities of mobilizing them for political purposes. At the centre of this volume is the tale of Cumings‘ own experience as expert

Overview

This work studies television reporting of the US at war since World War II, including detailed coverage of television‘s role in the Gulf. Cumings offers insights into the everyday operations of the media and assesses the possibilities of mobilizing them for political purposes. At the centre of this volume is the tale of Cumings‘ own experience as expert consultant to a Thames Television production—Korea: The Unknown War. The book also features film reviews, anecdotes and several invectives against an array of media executives, retired soldiers and bureaucrats.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An eloquent critique, from a politically progressive perspective, not only of TV’s coverage of war but also its treatment of topical and historical events ... Cummings shows strikingly how a type of consensus evolves about America’s role in wars. ... [He] argues convincingly that the purported ‘objectivity’ of the camera is an illusion, and that TV is a medium that makes points and takes sides despite its supposed impartial coverage of news events. A provocative and intelligent analysis.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Bruce Cummings has produced penetrating studies of US strategy and planning, along with the standard works of the Korean War. His unique combination of understanding scholarship and personal experience lends unusual significance to his reflections on the media portrayal of war.”—Noam Chomsky

“Cummings’ writing is lively, clearly and engaging ... this book should be of value to scholars, students, and anyone who needs to understand how to an unpopular message into the media.”—Third World Resources

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cumings ( The Origins of the Korean War ) gets a good deal off his chest in this long-winded, rambling meditation on what he sees as television's distorted reporting of America's last three major wars. His text is heavy with ad hominem attacks that seem irrelevant to his theme: P. J. O'Rourke is guilty of ``stinking racism''; Patrick Buchanan and Accuracy in Media's Reed Irvine are ``schoolyard bullies with brains to match''; and Ronald Reagan is, predictably, ``an empty man.'' The author even finds time to ridicule the easy (not to mention passe) target of Deborah Norville. Cumings, a professor of Asian and international history at the University of Chicago, served as a consultant for the Thames Television/PBS series Korea: The Unknown War , and here he complains at tedious length that the producers didn't follow his expert advice. The only chapter worth reading is an account of Cumings's trip to North Korea to interview citizens about the 1950-53 war, of particular interest for his tolerant view of that brutally repressive state. Illustrations. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780860916826
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
05/17/1994
Series:
Haymarket Ser.
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.77(h) x 0.95(d)

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