Opinion Editor

These two media critics and public-interest reporters are still very angry about the Bush administration’s propaganda war following September 11th. So angry that they published this book to help American citizen-consumers learn how to be “better spin detectors.”

Their argument: behind a lot of what the media tells us concerning our own government and its foreign affairs are PR specialists, and thus, not the truth. These spin-doctors control the massive and crucial flow of information through the White House, and thereby are accountable for the propaganda, distortions, and other PR deceptions that made it oh-so-easy for King George to get his blank check for Iraq.

Rampton and Stauber go through the details: they explain the truth hidden by every headline, news show, and press conference to expose the genuine intentions of Bush’s calculated, hard-hitting and ultimately successful PR campaign to sell War in Iraq and the Evils of Saddam Hussein. “War is sell,” and the fall of Baghdad on 4-9-03 proved that an administration with an objective (read: “grudge”) and pant-loads of propaganda and misinformation could sell Americans anything.

You’ll see in this book how Bush’s cronies hired top advertising executives (the same ones that got the Kuwaitis to wave small U.S. flags upon the liberation of Kuwait City) to create the product “Operation: Iraqi Freedom,” which, of course, no red-blooded, FOX-News-watching American could resist.

You’ll see how the Iraqi National Congress, an “opposition group” to Saddam’s government, was actually created by the Pentagon through another P.R. firm. You’ll see how the U.S. news media went along for the ride, committing self-censorship and promoting Bush administration ideals. And in the chapter on doublespeak you’ll come to understand how “shock and awe” truly became something shocking and awful.

Yeah, I know that this book contains a lot of anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-war bias, but that’s what made it fun to read. Rampton and Stauber are Michael Moore-wannabes and definitely not Department of Homeland Security-approved. And lots of what they interpret could easily be taken the opposite way. But if the Weapons of Mass Destruction are as fabricated as they appear to be, then what does it matter about what two out-of-work PR spin monitors think about the Weapons of Mass Deception?