War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
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Giving special attention to parallels between Vietnam and Iraq, WAR MADE EASY sets government spin and media collusion from the present alongside virtually identical patterns from the past, guided by Solomon s meticulous research and tough-minded analysis. Rare footage of political leaders and journalists from the past includes Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and news correspondents Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer. According to Solomon, whose work has been praised by The Los Angeles Times as brutally persuasive, the positive attention the film has received may indicate a new willingness to counter years of pro-war media spin and government deception. These deep patterns of ongoing perception management must be demystified and decoded if we're going to move beyond the horrors of perpetual war, he said. The way War Made Easy is being embraced could be an important step in that direction.
An Official Selection of 2007 s International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and the 2007 Montreal and Vancouver International Film Festivals, WAR MADE EASY, directed by Loretta Alper and Jeremy Earp, is an invaluable introduction to war propaganda and public relations that transcends partisan politics, and raises serious questions about the role of journalism and political communication in our society.
Produced by the Media Education Foundation; narrated by Sean Penn (which automatically invites derision from the political right); and assembled from a telling variety of news clips, sound bites and archival war footage, "War Made Easy" is based on the 2005 book by political and media critic Norman Solomon, and deliberately limits its focus to Solomon as its only interview subject.
Armed with decades of documentary evidence, Solomon asserts that, especially since World War II, U.S. presidents have repeatedly sold avoidable wars based on fallacious arguments and deceptive manipulation of public support.
For much of the citizenry, Solomon, Penn and the filmmakers are preaching to the choir. But even the most ardent supporters of President Bush's policies would find it difficult to refute Solomon's thesis, which touches on the historical nature of propaganda, bombing raids approved under the pretense of political "altruism" and the manipulation of news media through omitted facts and outright lies designed to encourage pro-war sentiment while anti-war voices (the film mentions CNN's Peter Arnett and MSNBC's Phil Donahue) are summarily silenced.
It doesn't end there, and Bush is presented as merely the latest practitioner of pro-war manipulation. From the squelching of "Vietnam Syndrome" (the notion that Vietnam left a cynical American public resistant to future declarations of war) to the glaring repetition of slogans designed to lull the public into pro-war submission, "War Made Easy" combines historical perspective with contemporary relevance, focusing on recent events as further evidence that deceptive strategies to justify war are nothing new, but rather an ongoing pattern of calculated misdirection that has proved tragically effective. --Jeff Shannon, The Seattle Times
Top Customer Reviews
How many times have we heard, "no one could have known Iraq didn't have WMDs" or "if i knew then what i know now." The fact is, we did know the chances were extremely low, and the protesters before the war began numbered in the millions. The media, rather than investigating and out of fear of being "unpatriotic" fell in lockstep with the administration.
Times right now are scary, and this movie shows how the freedoms we take for granted are being grievously abused. Watch this movie to be reminded of how the media and the government should work in relation to one another.
Indeed, so-called reporters and news analysts working for corporate conglomerates function today primarily as agents who obediently disseminate an agenda that routinely subordinates corporate profit to justice, truth, fairness, and common decency. Commercial agents of this variety - the use of the term journalists in this regard is outmoded and irrelevant - understand where their bread is buttered, especially while summary eradication from television or radio airwaves constitutes the price such corporate agents pay for an effort to perform credible research, engage in independent analysis and offer in the process worthy sources on behalf of the views they readily espouse on behalf of the corporations that control them.Read more ›
It should be required viewing for high school and college students AND for citizens of the U.S.
Tired of all the lies being told by bush (he doesn't even deserve a "capital b") concerning the war in Iraq? Then watch this film and learn how the government has lied before (Vietnam) in order to get us into a war and how they continue to do so to this day.
As for the "conservative reviewer" who gave this film only one star, have you even seen the film? And do you know how to spell and structure sentences correctly? Funny how alot of those right wingers have trouble spelling (probably due to too much inbreeding).
Anyway, Joe Bob says (concerning this film)"check it out!"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This documentary is about the tight, well orchestrated collusion between the political establishment and main stream news media. Read morePublished on July 14, 2012 by Larry Gilstrap
This DVD makes it apparent, that it is so easy to be conned by the media and our Government. A good citizen is one who refuses to be conned and instead demands the truth from our... Read morePublished on December 31, 2010 by William F. Nerin
Just watched War Made Easy (2007). Great film -how our government, leaders and media have mislead us into war and innocent killing for decades. Something to scream about.Published on September 20, 2010 by GB
The movie's self-explanation nails precisely what you get; the entire movie is a chilling indictment of the fourth estate; the recording of Nixon and Kissinger discussing the... Read morePublished on August 19, 2010 by Bruce Friedrich