Embedded: Weapons Of Mass Deception

Book Review: Weapons Of Mass Deception, by Danny Schechter
(courtesy of Coldtype.net)


There were two wars going on in Iraq – one was 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 WMD’s, Weapons of Mass Deception.

The TV networks in America considered their non-stop around-the-clock coverage their finest hour, pointing to the use of embedded journalists and new technologies that permitted viewers to see a war up close for the first time.

Critics of the coverage, such as veteran journalist and media watcher Danny Schechter, a former ABC and CNN producer, consider much of the U.S. media complicit in the promoting and cheerleading for a war in which some of the reporting was sanitized, staged and suppressed. Schechter, 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 30 years in journalism with an outsiders perspective to critiquing media coverage. Throughout the war, as he describes, he was “self-embedded” at Mediachannel.org, the world’s largest on-line media issues network, writing a 3000 word daily “dissection” of the global coverage based on a wide range of source.

Now that coverage, including articles and essays published elsewhere, appears with a new introduction and hard-hitting analysis as Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception, a book length study of the new merger between the military and the media. The book includes reports written in late May, 2003.

“It is important for readers to assess these arguments before our memories fade and the Bush Administration changes the subject,” says Schechter. “We rushed this book into print online so it can contribute to the continuing debate about the war and its impact. Until now, only the government is being scrutinized. It’s urgent that we also assess media coverage.”


Mediaman interviews Danny Schechter



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