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Sound and Fury: The Washington Punditocracy and the Collapse of American Politics Hardcover – August, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An elite group of self-declared experts has seized power over the political life of the United States. Is it the Best and the Brightest? The CIA? No, argues Eric Alterman in his first book, a scathing, humor-filled expose: it is the "punditocracy"--the media commentators who intimidate politicians and mislead the public they ostensibly keep informed. After several background chapters focusing on Ur-pundit Walter Lippmann, Alterman beams his searchlight on "The Reagan Punditocacy." In particular he assails syndicated columnist and TV commentator George Will and TV roundtable host John McLaughlin for derelictions of journalistic duty and ethics. Alterman also scrutinizes the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic and the TV news shows, dishing up juicy tidbits of behind-the-scenes gossip spiced with indignation. The final third of the book analyzes pundits' relationships with the Bush administration, focusing on what Alterman contends was their propagandizing for the Gulf War. Successful both as political history and as media criticism, this work deserves a wider audience than the political news junkies it is sure to attract.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (August 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060168749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060168742
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,178,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John C. Landon on December 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
In looking up the author's What Liberal Media I came acroos this interesting piece, from the hyperborean age of emerging punditocracy. Omit the last chapter and the book still works very well as commentary for the age of Bush II. Beginning in the nineteenth century (or else the pamphleteering of the American Revolution)with the appropriation of the Hindu term 'pandit', the book recounts the saga of the first great pundit, Lippman, thence to the age of the Reagan pundit wars. Good starting point for the current media debriefing going on in the reaction to the Bush era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Newman on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is obviously dated -- but still edifying, and even more, hilarious. One of my favorite books on the media ever.
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