FAIR associate Norman Solomon (Creators Syndicate, 2/14/09) tells why he's concerned the potential lifting of the government ban on press photography of war casualties' coffins isn't "particularly good news": I wrote in my book War Made Easy that ambiguity is part of the process that we bring to the media-consuming table: "Visual images may be among the most powerful messages we receive about war, but those graphic messages still leave it to us to assign them meaning. And we, in turn, assess meaning not so much because of what's in front of our eyes as because of what's behind them–our [...]
Norman Solomon's latest column (Creators Syndicate, 1/31/09) looks over a decade in which "the false truism of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction led to the horrors of the Iraq invasion and occupation," and "in the wake of 9/11, overall, the main journalistic outlets of the United States fed us falsehoods, hysteria, self-righteousness and endless permutations on rationales for waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq." Luckily Solomon noticed that "sometimes the best journalism is something else" that might not "pass the muster for soundbites or long-form televised discourse as historic events unfold": During the second year of the "war on [...]
A January 23 New York Times column by Bob Herbert distilled the message of Barack Obama's nascent administration as "No more crazy wars." FAIR associate Norman Solomon's reaction (AfterDowningStreet.org, 1/26/09): "I wish." Lamenting the current "narrowness of political vision–while news outlets are reporting that the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is expected to 'as much as double this year to 60,000 troops'"–Solomon recalls the Lyndon Baines Johnson inaugural speech that "foreshadowed the massive slaughtering of people in Vietnam": Pundits and congressional leadership nodded sagely as the president cited the threat of Communism and proceeded to boost U.S. troop levels [...]
Finding it "more than ironic" and even "disturbing and more than a little sad," Norman Solomon (Creators Syndicate, 1/17/09) points out that "at the same time that the United States is inaugurating a new presidency that marks the crashing of a racial barrier at the White House," the African-American-centric News & Notes–a show "actually staffed by African-Americans"–is being canned by National Public Radio: One of the ironies is that NPR, an outfit which many people regard as a bastion of wide-ranging discourse, has an internal atmosphere so corporate that many journalists there are afraid to talk publicly–to journalists! Check this [...]
FAIR founder Jeff Cohen and longtime FAIR associate Norman Solomon have compiled their 17th annual list of "P.U.-litzer Prizes" (OpEd News, 12/18/08). Among this year's "stinkiest media performances": HOT FOR OBAMA PRIZE — MSNBC's Chris Matthews This award sparked fierce competition, but the cinch came on the day Obama swept the Potomac Primary in February–when Chris Matthews spoke of "the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." BEYOND PARODY PRIZE–Fox News In August, a FoxNews.com teaser for the O'Reilly Factor [...]
Recalling that "during the mid-1960s, the conventional wisdom was what everyone with a modicum of smarts kept saying: higher U.S. troop levels in Vietnam were absolutely necessary," FAIR associate Norman Solomon is distressed to find (AntiWar.com, 12/9/08) that "today, the conventional wisdom is that higher U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan are absolutely necessary." Responding to news that "'the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan' within the next 18 months," Solomon writes that right now, the basic ingredients of further Afghan disasters are in place–including, pivotally, a dire lack of wide-ranging debate over Washington's options. In [...]
FAIR associate Norman Solomon pens (Columbus Free Press, 10/13/08) a "Requiem for the Bailout Storyline": More recent events should not be allowed to obscure the reality that the news media played a pivotal role in stampeding the country into a bailout that was unwise and unjust….
FAIR associate Norman Solomon tells Real News viewers (9/29/08) of lessons to be drawn from corporate U.S. media's non-coverage of what was big news overseas during the run up to war on IraqÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬”ÂU.S. spies used the U.N. arms inspection process to identify future bombing targets and track Saddam Hussein's movements