War Made Easy
When The New York Times published its explosive "Pentagon Pundits" story on April 20, the result was a wave of criticism directed at the Defense Department for manipulating TV news coverage of the
Routinely lost in the current uproar is the extent to which media managers have gone out of their way to suck up to the Pentagon. Top network executive Eason Jordan - who ran CNN's news operation during the invasion of
The documentary film "War Made Easy," based on my book of the same name, shows the pervasive and long-running partnership between key news outlets and high-ranking warmakers in
Years later, some news outlets like to critique the previous media spin for war. It's part of what amounts to a repetition compulsion disorder - which includes participating in the corrupted process and then critiquing it long after the damage has been done.
Unfortunately, when the next agenda-setting for war gets underway, as is now the case for
From the "War Made Easy" transcript:
SEAN PENN [narrator]: CNN's use of retired generals as supposedly independent experts reinforced a decidedly military mindset, even as serious questions remained about the wisdom and necessity of going to war.
NORMAN SOLOMON: Often journalists blame the government for the failure of the journalists themselves to do independent reporting. But nobody forced the major networks like CNN to do so much commentary from retired generals and admirals and all the rest of it. You had a top CNN official named Eason Jordan going on the air of his network and boasting that he had visited the Pentagon with a list of possible military commentators, and he asked officials at the Defense Department whether that was a good list of people to hire.
NORMAN SOLOMON: It wasn't even something to hide, ultimately. It was something to say to the American people on its own network, "See, we're team players. We may be the news media, but we're on the same side and the same page as the Pentagon." And that really runs directly counter to the idea of an independent press, and that suggests that we have some deep patterns of media avoidance when the