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Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin Paperback – August 4, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Professor Douglas Rushkoff recently published that the best way to help the masses see the Truth is to speak plainly. Game on. Beinhart has filled this bill.
In Wag The Dog Beinhart taught me more about propaganda than I had learned from multiple other texts. Fog Facts reveals the path that lead to our modern state of mass delusion. So long as most Americans keep seeing "the other side" as responsible for corruption, our current media system is secure. The greatest trick our media has pulled is the illusion of the two-party system. Both sides are ignoring fundamental lies and unprecedented changes to our constitution. The two-sides is two-faces of the same machine. When humans are two-faced we don't trust them.
Harry Blackstone used to walk a live elephant on stage and nobody would see him do that. It appeared as magic. Beinhart explains how crucial facts are lead on to the main stage of mass media without anybody seeming to notice. Presto, the world has changed. Media is not the magic by misdirection I was envisioning, it is a mass willingness to suspend disbelief.
Thank you Larry for helping me better understand the mechanism. However, I don't think you have gone far enough. Heads of media should be fired for misrepresenting the facts. Those that forged data should be charged with treason. Those that ordered the data be forged should be charged with crimes against humanity. But, as you point out, they changed the courts to preclude this possibility.
If this book disappears without debate, it will simply be one more bit of evidence to show the fix is in.
"Fog facts" are facts that are out in the open, but "invisible" in the sense that no one acts on them. The stolen Florida election--30,000 plus disenfranchised blacks *and* "overcount" votes where Al Gore was both checked and written, rejected as invalid instead of returned for verification--the specious claims against Iraq; the 9-11 Commission apologia; the list goes on. For myself, the most interesting fog facts dealt with the number of terrorists caught and jailed by France and other nations, as a tiny fraction of the cost of invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and with little to show for it excepts casualties, including significant numbers of US amputations being concealed from the public.
The author "outs" Judith Miller as an agent of Karl Rove in the run-up to the war in Iraq, earnestly selling the Administration's line on weapons of mass destruction, and perhaps one reason she was both favored by Rove in the current Valerie Plume case, and also sought to protect Rove.Read more ›
The subtitle that Beinhart gives his website is "Known Facts That Have Been Lost in the Fog," and by the fog he means to indicate, as described in his book, the onslaught of abundant facts and information about unimportant stories: Monica Lewinski and O.J. Simpson are two examples Beinhart gives. But Beinhart suggests at least one other force that helps keep some fog facts in the fog: people's reluctance to believe a really big lie. This, Beinhart writes, is "why it was easy to believe that Bill Clinton lied about having sex with that woman and hard to believe that Bush and his entire cabinet were telling bald faced lies about Saddam's connection to Al Qaeda and his weapons of mass destruction."
In fact, one of the fog facts Beinhart discusses is the Downing Street Minutes.
"Fog Facts" stands in the tradition of Noam Chomsky's poignant analyses "Necessary Illusions" and "Manufacturing Consent" as it shows by example how large scale indoctrination and the selling of obviously wrong, irrational and detrimental policies can succeed in a democratic society with a nominally free media system.
As a slow reader I appreciate how Beinhart focusses on a well selected sample of cases without getting lost in minutiae, how he keeps the writing crisp and entertaining, and the book short (187p). An index and footnotes throughout make it a valuable reference tool, and the associated website offers further material and invites readers to share their own fog facts.
So what's a citizen to do against the evils described? The book itself is an analysis, not a manual. As such it provides case studies of the major issues of recent years and provides excellent ammunition to bring reason into the discussion. But while not given explicitely, answers to the "what to do?" questions are easy to infer: Start with skepticism towards power, read watchdog sites that monitor the players and the political PR industry, and make your voice heard when politicians and the media start obscuring the issues.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Profound insights into a world of fabricated "facts" und "truths" …Published 20 months ago by G. Borghese
Bush bashing but much of it deserved. I much preferred Stop the Coming Civil War: My Savage Truth by Dr. Michael Savage.Published 22 months ago by DBuck
Five stars as the Larry has the same outlook and memory that I do about recent (last 30-40yrs) political morass that this country and the middle class have endured ('course we are... Read morePublished on June 23, 2011 by rwe
This is the first exposure I have had to Mr. Beinhart's writing. He is an excellent author in that he took a fairly well-known subject, (propaganda) and made it an exciting... Read morePublished on October 2, 2008 by J.L. Populist
Novelist and very sharp social commentator Larry Beinhart's main premise in this somewhat breezy but always incisive book is that the truth is right in front of our eyes but we are... Read morePublished on January 27, 2007 by Dennis Littrell
Easy reading, short but informative. I highly recommend this book and believe it should be necessary reading for every american.Published on July 10, 2006 by Michael A. Martini