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The Exception to the Rulers : Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them Paperback – Bargain Price, March 30, 2005

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist and radio host Goodman brings her hard-hitting, no-holds-barred brand of reporting to an array of human rights, government accountability and media responsibility issues, and the result is bracing and timely. Goodman isn't about to let anyone slide by with easy explanations, not even then President Clinton when he called in on her daily Pacifica news show. And she is fierce and tireless in her commitment to dig behind official versions of the facts to get to very different stories. Her analysis of Iraq War contracts won by certain key Bush campaign donors will open many eyes, not only with its neat comparison of donation amount with contract value but also with its bold presentation of "Crony Connections." A gadfly's life in these turbulent times is neither restful nor boring, and Goodman's perspective on events like genocidal massacres in East Timor and mainstream coverage of the Jessica Lynch rescue is both important and alarming. Instances in which newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post have published stories based on leaked reports from unnamed government sources only to have to retract the stories later as being unfounded allow Goodman to argue that sophisticated news management techniques of spin, disinformation and controlled access to sources are undermining the reliability of media reporting. How, she asks, could journalists "embedded" with U.S. troops in Iraq be objective reporters of all that was occurring there, and whose interests were being served? These and other provocative questions power Goodman's stirring call for a democratic media serving a democratic society.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Goodman's high-octane blend of investigative journalism and political activism has been the force behind Pacifica radio's Democracy Now!, earning her praise and vitriol alike (not to mention nearly getting her killed by Indonesians in East Timor). Her first book, coauthored with her brother, David, recounts some of her most hard-hitting confrontations with corporate types and politicos of all persuasions, covering much of the same territory as other anti-Bush books and then some, at a compelling, breathless pace. Her real target, however, is not the oil-defense-politics Establishment, but their enablers, the media, which are cowed less by their corporate owners than by their own capacity for self-censorship in the guise of patriotism. NPR listeners, New York Times readers, you're not off the hook; Goodman is just as frustrated with your news outlets' silence when it comes to dead Iraqi civilians and antiwar viewpoints. Although her suggestions for how, exactly, to infuse media with integrity are perhaps quieter than her condemnations of hypocrisy, Goodman's vision for media's role in society is as vigorous as her confidence in the power of motivated communities. Brendan Driscoll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (March 30, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 140130799X
  • ASIN: B000ETQQ1Y
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book will shake up a lot of people who thought our media were trying to inform us.
I make a point to write "the message" instead of "their message," because, for the most part, others have written on the topics in this book.
Jacqueline D'Agostino
Her book is a mighty illustration of how actually the powerful who control the US government, are attacking and violating civil rights.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Nikolas Sokol on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Amy Goodman effectively expresses a rare and necessary voice in The Exception to the Rulers. Few, if any, journalists have so tirelessly investigated, analyzed and articulated to the public the innumerable, disheartening examples of failed policies of US power politicians and profiteers and the resulting dire consequences. This awesome work has the potential to slice through the media cloud that typically veils these people and issues for what they really are. Congratulations to the Goodman's, Pacifica and the Democracy Now team.
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121 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If a reader has to choose one exposé book on the Bush Administration amongst those of Woodward, Clark, Dean, etc. the Goodman siblings is the one to select. One just needs to read the authors' logical argument on the Bush "oilopoly" to understand why especially in light of the alleged oil deal with the Saudis and the oily résumés of much of the leadership.
The Goodmans' analysis of the Iraq War ignores the pronounced ever changing root reasons for armed combat, but instead follows the money of who gained (via contracts); the authors make a powerful case that major Bush campaign donors are the winners while soldiers and their family members, and the American tax payer pay the price. Underlying this and other arguments is their basic tenet that professional gurus manipulate the media using incredible spins and leaks of "dis and misinformation" that Spielberg would envy, and the worst gimmick to date is the in your pocket access that rigs the journalist's feelings. Can one really say something negative about the troops who feed a reporter, keep them safe, and share stories about home? Though readers will wonder why Amy has not been declared an enemy combatant, this insightful cautionary tome condemns the loss of truth, justice and the American way of freedom under the pretext of spreading democracy to oil slicks.
Harriet Klausner
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Steve Koss VINE VOICE on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Founding Fathers of the United States, well-versed in the principles of Athenian democracy, understood the relationship between democratic government and an educated, informed electorate. To choose just one from among those distinguished framers and implementers of our Constitution, James Madison wrote: "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy. A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives them."

Amy Goodman, the tirelessly crusading host of radio and public access television's "Democracy Now!" program, brilliantly demonstrates in THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULERS just how far we have strayed from Madison's (and Jefferson's) ideals of an educated electorate. At a time when Americans have more news sources than ever - newspapers, magazines, radio, public television, cable television, books, 24-hour news channels, weblogs and Internet websites - we are less well-informed than ever. Rather, we are more ill-informed than ever, bathed every day in such news as the six major corporations who control over 75% of our media outlets choose to present.

As Ms. Goodman aptly illustrates, these six companies are not only motivated by profit, they pander to government officials to preserve their all-important access to even more government propaganda. Ms. Goodman identifies their collective failings as sins of both commission (one-sided reporting, willingly adopting the official government viewpoints, and allowing themselves to be co-opted through such techniques as embedded reporting) and omission (failing drastically to present alternative viewpoints). The end result is a dramatic failure to inform the populace.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on January 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I try to listen to "Democracy Now" 4 days a week on the radio or watch on public access TV. It takes a bit of courage to listen because Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez can be counted on to tell the story that hasn't been told about people who have no voice and that can shake up my soul.

The "Exception to the Rulers" is most critical of the media, both written and over the airwaves and how they are all in the power and access game and play by the rules. Goodman, however, is fearless and takes advantage of any opportunity to stop power in its tracks with the deer in the headlights look and possibly answer a real question while their guard is down.

I learned to enjoy the anticipation of what Amy Goodman would ask as she described being handed opportunites to question Bill Clinton over the phone and appear on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show.

If you have noticed you haven't heard "Imagine" or "Peace Train" or "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on Clear Channel radio stations lately, there is a reason. (150 songs)

"Shortly after 9/11, filmmaker Michael Moore wrote about an e-mail he had received from a radio station manager in Michigan. The manager forwarded Moore a confidential memo from the radio conglomerate that owns his station: Clear Channel. 'The company, Moore wrote,'has ordered its stations not to play a list of 150 songs during this national emergency.....

Rah-rah war songs, though, are OK."... "And then there was this troubling instruction: No songs by Rage Against the Machine should be aired. The entire works of a band are banned? Is this the freedom we fight for? Or does this sound like one of those repressive dictatorships we are told is our new enemy?'"

That is just music, there is so much more we are not allowed to hear or see as we head into another 4 years. Shake off the fog and listen to, watch and read Amy Goodman as she uncovers the lies of the rulers and gives voice to the people.
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