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Red, White, or Yellow?: The Media and the Military at War in Iraq
Synopses & Reviews
War has always attracted journalists, such as Ernest Hemingway in the Spanish Civil War or David Halberstam in Vietnam. And war reporting has often been controversial as well as influential, like William Randolph Hearst's yellow journalism in the Spanish-American War. But what happens when 24/7 news channels and the Internet make news instantaneous . . . when the public's attention span decreases . . . when political and military leaders employ slick spinmeisters to package the news . . . when reporters lose their objectivity?
In this passionate look at how war is reported in the age of Fox News and blogging, Charles Jones takes readers from the front page to the front lines--and back again--to explore how the Iraq War has been covered. Along the way he interviews journalists and military leaders--including Jim Lehrer of PBS, Jamie McIntyre of CNN, Rick Atkinson of the Washington Post, Joe Klein of Time, and former Marine Gen. James L. Jones--and describes the conflict between the media, which claims a right to know, and the military, which claims a need for secrecy and security. Jones shows us Geraldo Rivera drawing battle plans in the sand, MSNBC censoring Phil Donahue, and Donald Rumsfeld oh golly-ing reporters at the Pentagon and answers these questions:
"Former journalist, Jones (Boys of '67) examines the challenges of war reporting in an 'era of 24/7 media' in this superficial study that draws upon interviews with a small sample of journalists — including Sam Donaldson, Jim Lehrer and Joe Klein — military public affairs officers and former NATO commander James L. Jones to reveal 'the story behind the story of the Iraq War.' A business reporter, Jones spent his two-week summer vacation embedded with the Marines at Camp Fallujah and mines his experiences heavily for a series of unremarkable conclusions: the Pentagon has systematically manipulated the media and too many reporters play 'footsie with the military' in exchange for access. The author expresses little but disdain for 'the Bush administration and its military minions'; Bush adviser Karl Rove, 'the Texas political consigliere'; and Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox News Channel's appeal 'came from lowering journalistic standards.' Similarly, U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar is 'America's fantasy factory,' and Baghdad's Green Zone is 'an American playground.' A one-sided perspective covering no new ground, Jones's brief survey promises more than it delivers. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Journalist Charles Jones offers a passionate look at how war is reported in the age of Fox News and blogging, taking readers from the front page to the front lines to explore how the Iraq War has been covered. Includes interviews with Joe Klein in Time, Jim Lehrer of PBS, Jamie McIntyre of CNN, Rick Atkinson of the Washington Post, former Marine Gen. James L. Jones, and many more.
Jones offers a passionate look at how war is reported in the age of Fox News and blogging, taking readers from the front page to the front lines to explore how the Iraq War has been covered in the press.
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History and Social Science » Journalism » Media Studies