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Monday, February 18, 2013

When the Media on Iraq Were 'So Wrong for So Long'

Rachel Maddow's "Hubris" special tonight on the run-up to the Iraq war was very fine as far as it went--in showing the Bush administration lies, with the help of George Tenet and the CIA, and Colin Powell at the UN and on and on.  But the media complicity--and enabling--got only about 30 seconds in the hour: one reference to a cooked NYT front-page story and a brief Mike Isikoff critique of the media at the very end.  I understand that her focus was on the White House and Pentagon but still a viewer who did not closely live that sad era might ask, "How did they get away with it?"  Or: "Why did so many in the public go along with it?"  Needless to say, there was no MSNBC criticism of NBC's role in all this.

As it happens, I wrote a fairly well-known book about the media crimes a few years back that's still relevant today.  It's called So Wrong for So Long:  How the Press, the Pundits and the President Failed on Iraq.   The blurbs for the book follow. It features a preface by Bruce Springsteen and a foreword by Joe Galloway.  This interview covers some of my main points.  Here I am on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, but I also sat with Bill Moyers and Jim Lehrer. 

"Greg Mitchell has given us a razor-sharp critique of how the media and the government connived in one of the great blunders of American foreign policy. Every aspiring journalist, every veteran, every pundit—and every citizen who cares about the difference between illusion and reality, propaganda and the truth, and looks to the press to help keep them separate—should read this book. Twice."— Bill Moyers

“The profound failure of the American press with regard to the Iraq War may very well be the most significant political story of this generation. Greg Mitchell has established himself as one of our country's most perceptive media critics, and here he provides invaluable insight into how massive journalistic failures enabled the greatest strategic disaster in the nation's history.”— Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com writer and author of A Tragic Legacy and How Would a Patriot Act?

"With the tragic war in Iraq dragging on, and the drumbeat for new conflicts growing louder, this is more than a five-year history of the biggest foreign policy debacle of our times—it's a cautionary tale that is as relevant as this morning's headlines. Read it and weep; read it and get enraged; read it and make sure it doesn't happen again."— Arianna Huffington

"Anyone who cares about the integrity of the American media should read this book. Greg Mitchell asks tough questions about the Iraq war that should have been asked long ago, in a poignant, patriotic, and thoughtful dissection of our war in Iraq. Mitchell names names and places blame on those who’ve blundered. Examining the most complex issue of our time, he connects the dots like no one else has."— Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America and author of Chasing Ghosts

1 comment:

Harlesbarkly said...

Dear Mr. Mitchell,

Hello, my name is Harley Bartelstein and I am currently attending New Trier High school ,Winnetka Illinois, in my junior year. I have attempted to contact you twice via Email and you have not responded. I just wanted to tell you that I have just listened to your contributions to On The Media and have started reading your novel;"So Wrong For So Long" the segment in which you talk about the continuous decline in information about the Iraq War. Your ideas have caused me to think deeply on why the media have stopped giving the public unbiased information and why American media is no longer even talking about one of the most important issues of my generation. I have decided to write my Junior theme, the major paper of my junior year, over the pressing matter you revealed to me. I know that this is kind of sudden, but would please allow me to interview you to help broaden my knowledge on the subject. I would appreciate it greatly if you would reply to me if you are available for a interview in the following methods: person to person, phone, or Email. Your vast knowledge would help me greatly expand my evidence to help support that the news is failing the public> Also, If you are not interested just send me an email, at harlesatbwa@hotmail.com and just tell me if you can commit to a interview.

From a Fan,

Harley Bartelstein