Review by Choice Review
The driving force behind this well-written book is the authors' fierce allegiance to the primacy of international law. Friel (editor of a newsletter on global policy and the press) and Falk (emer., international law, Princeton) look at what they consider the abysmal journalism of The New York Times surrounding the US invasion of Iraq. They meticulously document what they call The Times's "refusal to incorporate international law into its editorial policy," but they falter in resurrecting Times founding father Adolph Ochs to explain the paper's sins. Ochs was known for his relatively cool approach to journalism. Friel and Falk contend that the editorial policy of the paper long has been "a muddle of non-crusading, centrist impartiality." But when Ochs decreed impartiality, he was reacting to the sensationalism of other newspapers. Furthermore, The Times actually has crusaded: for example, in defending Dreyfus; in publishing the Pentagon Papers; in fighting both antisemitism and overzealous Zionism. Those who believe that the Bush policies on Iraq did not violate international law will consider the authors' arguments damnable, quaint, or irrelevant, and they will shrug off the contention that The Times midwived an unlawful war. The converted may be more supportive of the authors' claims. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. A. R. Cannella Central Connecticut State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Despite its vaunted reputation as the nation's newspaper of record, the New York Times 0 has failed to provide the kind of objective, thoughtful coverage the nation needs, according to journalism critic Friel and journalism professor Falk. The authors are scathing in their criticism of the New York Times 0 in particular and, by extension, the U.S. press in general for failing to provide a more global perspective on the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. Through meticulous research, the authors show how the Times0 has ignored international law issues and helped to promote the unilateral perspectives of the Bush administration and the American public. They excoriate the "liberal hawks" of the editorial page, who assiduously position themselves between the Left and the Right in an effort to simulate balance. Friel and Falk advocate incorporating the basic standards of international law into American foreign policy and into the editorial policies of leading news organizations. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Although the New York Times is often attacked by conservative critics, this meticulous dissection of its foreign policy reporting comes from two international law experts who have more in common with Noam Chomsky than Rush Limbaugh. Friel (Dogs of War: The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page) and Falk (Unlocking the Middle East) use substantial research to argue that the Times has long "ignor[ed] international law when it applies to US foreign policy" and that the paper has willfully "failed to make a serious effort to expose government deception and misconduct." Presenting insightful chapters on coverage of the 1954 Geneva Accords on Vietnam, the Reagan administration's policy toward Nicaragua, the short-lived coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and more, the authors detail how the Times presented official U.S. government policy instead of what the authors would consider a real investigation (and how publication of the Pentagon Papers was the exception to the rule). Regarding more recent incidents, Friel and Falk provocatively argue that the Times's front-page coverage of Iraq's supposed possession of WMDs may have been the result of Iraqi National Congress head Ahmed Chalabi "being paid by the US government to plant stories in the Times." This argument, combined with the other more historical examples, should bring much attention to this skillful work. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
If you were one who, during the Vietnam War, said that the true motto of the New York Times should be "All the news that fits," this book is your vindication. Friel (Hegemony of Realist Ideology) and Falk (Unlocking the Middle East) have produced a meticulously researched and damning indictment of biases in the venerable paper's reportage related to U.S. military operations in Iraq and Vietnam and proxy incursions into Venezuela and Nicaragua. As the authors state in their introduction, "It is our judgment that the United States government has repeatedly violated international law with respect to its war-making over the past half-century." For each of these questionable entanglements, the paper has engaged in a "persistent refusal to consider international law arguments opposing recourse towarand [a] disturbing editorial policy" that precluded-and continues to preclude-considering various ramifications of our foreign policy. Despite its depth of research, this book is accessible to general as well as academic readers. Indeed, the current state of affairs expands the importance of the book far beyond the domain of journalists.-Ari Sigal, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.