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Premediation : affect and mediality after 9/11 /

"In an era of heightened securitization, print, televisual and networked media have become obsessed with the pre-mediation of future events. In response to the shock of 9/11, socially networked US and global media work to premediate collective affects of anticipation and connectivity, while also per...

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Main Author: Grusin, Richard A.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Basingstoke [England] ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
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Review by Choice Review

Grusin (English, Wayne State Univ.) offers an intriguing original theory of media behavior. He proposes that the US media produce stories about potential terrorist targets--the "premediation" of the title--so that when an attack occurs Americans will be prepared for deaths, injuries, and destruction. Grusin argues that frequent news stories about possible bad future events can generate a constant low-level of public anxiety that serves as an affective prophylactic. The author provides convincing evidence that the American media orient themselves toward the future so that nothing can happen that has not been pre-mediated. He argues that this keeps Americans from being surprised, as they were when terrorist-guided commercial airliners deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11. Likewise, Grusin posits that pre-mediation of war with Iraq prepared the public to believe the war was inevitable, and he is persuasive in showing the serious impact pre-mediation can have. Grusin is less convincing when he argues, from a critical-theory perspective, that the media act as agents of government and that pre-mediation is a form of social control. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. L. Aucoin University of South Alabama

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.