'Easy' takes hard look at wartime PR

Do you ever get the sinking feeling that the war in Iraq was foisted upon Americans by an entrenched power structure using ever more refined PR techniques to bend a pliant corporate media to their will?

Do you ever get the sinking feeling that the war in Iraq was foisted upon Americans by an entrenched power structure using ever more refined PR techniques to bend a pliant corporate media to their will?

If so, cheer up. You're not the only one. Norman Solomon, a syndicated columnist and media critic, explores the rich history of this phenomenon in War Made Easy. He focuses on how the current war was sold, dissecting common arguments like "Our leaders will do all they can to avoid war" and "If this war is wrong, the media will tell us."

Solomon also highlights the inevitably high level of collusion between the press and the government in wartime, quoting one military public affairs officer calling the press "cooperative... we're all after the same thing."

The public affairs techniques he discusses will be familiar to most PR pros. But the socio-political context he provides adds a useful real-world gut check for media, PR, and government insiders.

Title War Made Easy

Author Norman Solomon

Publisher John Wiley & Sons (July 2005), 314 pages

Reviewed by Hamilton Nolan

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