Weapons of Mass Deception 0+

Danny Schechter, USA 2004, 100 min

Before the American bombardment of Iraq only 3 % of the media in the USA, despite massive anti-war demonstrations, were unambiguously against the war. The journalists preparing to go to Iraq underwent a special training course organized by the Pentagon and when the well-known reporter Peter Arnett was discovered on Iraqi television, he became a national traitor and public enemy. The American documentary filmmaker and journalist Danny Schechter, using a very personal and in places clip-like style, delves into a thorough analysis of the role of the American media in the Iraq War. Bitter irony, humorous juxtapositions, pictorial metaphors, and a sharply critical tone towards the politics of American President George W. Bush make this picture an interesting variation on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. In thematically divided chapters we see examples of news from the major American television channels, humorous internet sites, and the ideas and reflections of individual journalists. Schechter's documentary film, which received awards at festivals in Denver and Austin, uses concrete examples to examine whether the key American media in the case of the War in Iraq fundamentally failed to fulfill its role as "watchdog", which according to custom has always objectively and critically examined the words and actions of politicians. The filmmaker himself points to the fact that even the most respected American media for a certain period of time became a means of manipulating and deceiving the public, and undertakes to discover if such behavior was knowingly organized by media owners and editors, or rather arose out of the exceptional situation caused by the wave of patriotism and fear stemming from the events of September 11th.

 

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