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Borjesson, an award-winning investigative reporter turned media critic, gathers an impressive list of journalists in what purports to be "an oral account of the current era of crisis," but the author is less interested in her group's answers than whether they agree with her premises: the Bush administration is evil, the American media are largely complicit, and the American public is idiotic. Throughout, Borjesson focuses on botched coverage leading up to the war in Iraq. Her "questions," some amounting to an entire paragraph, others more statement than inquiry, rankle some subjects and motivate others. Ted Koppel bristles at Borjesson's sweeping judgments, while New York Times writer-economist Paul Krugman follows the author's lead almost to the edge of reason. Other times, Borjesson doesn't even listen to her subjects' answers; upon hearing Washington Post special projects reporter Barton Gellman give a thoughtful argument for reconstruction stories ("journalism after the fact") as a valuable way to explain how things happened, including the Bush administration's successful campaign for war, Borjesson smugly rejects the notion: "But you understand how presenting this evidence after the war instead of while the case for war is being made is totally moot." Flawed, yes. Totally moot, no. And Gellman, for anyone who cares to pay attention, impressively explains the difference. In fact, this book is full of such insightful commentary. Just skip the questions.
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American media has garnered severe criticism, particularly abroad, for failing to more vigorously question the Bush administration's insistence on going to war against Iraq. In this collection of interviews with 21 journalists, Borjesson offers a penetrating look at how top reporters regard the efforts by themselves and their colleagues to cover the war and the efforts of the administration to conceal or obfuscate their policy on Iraq. Ted Koppel, anchor of Nightline, known for asking tough questions, asserts that he has never been censored, while White House correspondent Helen Thomas laments the pressure on reporters not to appear unpatriotic by questioning the motives for the war and how she has become persona non grata with the administration. Among others interviewed are author Ron Suskind, Washington Post reporter Anthony Shadid, historian-blogger Juan Cole, former New York Times correspondent Christopher Hedges, NPR's Deborah Amos, and Knight Ridder correspondent Hannah Allam. Editor of the highly acclaimedInto the Buzzsaw (2002), Borjesson once again shines a penetrating light on the failures and virtues of American journalists at this crucial time. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Sad & disturbing but necessary reading.Amazing responses to same questions makes the reader wonder if some journalist are simply living in a parallel universe..Published on April 14, 2013 by Mary Lou Edwards
Kristina Borjesson's "Feet to the Fire" is essential reading for anyone who cares about how we as Americans get our information and what top journalist have to say about the... Read morePublished on January 2, 2010 by S. Serpa
Feet to the Fire: The Media after 9/11 stands as an extraordinarily well-documented warning about what happens to a citizenry when its press has been intimidated, bullied, or... Read morePublished on December 15, 2009 by Charlotte Dennett
This is quite an interesting book, comprised of in depth interviews with many of the leading reporters who have covered Iraq and other wars over the years. Read morePublished on June 25, 2008 by Buckeye
As a broadcast journalist I read this book to understand how my colleagues could have been so laxed in reporting and investigating the issues, post 9/11, that led to war with Iraq. Read morePublished on August 14, 2006 by VKC
Author Borjesson strings together fascinating interviews. The words of David Martin(CBS) and Ted Koppel(ABC) go a long way to explain how most big media FAILED us in the march to... Read morePublished on August 11, 2006 by Douglas Desalles
In the interests of full disclosure, I worked as an editorial consultant on Feet to the Fire. Having said this, I can't begin to emphasize enough, how solidly reported, how... Read morePublished on August 9, 2006 by Girl
This book has a bunch of interviews, so I would normally expect it to be okay. But it isn't. There are twenty-one chapters, and we see interviews with people such as Peter... Read morePublished on August 5, 2006 by Jill Malter