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

Article excerpt

Schechter, Danny. Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception-How the Media Failed to Cover the War on Iraq. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2003. 286 pp. $26.

The Bush administration has proven to be a lighting rod for comment. Whereas its predecessor provoked a tidal wave of critical comment from the right, with little comment from a left apparently in disarray, from the beginning this administration has prompted an onslaught of books both defending and criticizing its programs and policies.

In answer to the diatribes that have been put forward in support of the president, notably by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Rcilly, there have been books by Eric Alterman, Al Franken, and John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. Alterman and Franken challenge the notion of a liberal media, while Stauber and Rampton, in Weapons of Mass Deception (2003), provide a humorous and alarming (some would say alarmist) condemnation of the media's role in enabling the administration's war in Iraq. Now, Danny Schechtcr adds further heat to the fire in Embedded, a detailed and disquieting indictment of a media incorporated into the war-making process and assimilated into the Pentagon's publicity machinery.

Schechter, executive editor of Mediachannel.org, has written a number of books critical of what he sees as a national news institution increasingly functioning as mere entertainment in the service of corporations and government. Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception-How the Media Failed to Cover the War on Iraq continues this critique and offers ample evidence that the institution of journalism has failed miserably to adequately inform the public in its presentation of the war in Iraq. He denounces a news media that he views as having grown too cozy with the powers-that-be and which has lost its compass in its ostensible function as a watchdog on governmental and corporate power run amok. …