There's no doubt that Gen Z loves to read.
This generation, defined as people born between 1997 and 2015, is often considered phone-obsessed and addicted to technology. But when it comes to reading, Gen Zers say they prefer to pick up a printed book over an e-book.
Book sales in the US and the UK have boomed in the past two years, the management consultancy McKinsey found. Sales in the US hit a record of more than 843 million units in 2021, while last year had the second-highest number sales, at almost 789 million. This increasing popularity was partly because of Gen Z and its social-media trends, including the hashtag #BookTok on TikTok, McKinsey said.
By the way, if you're looking for a good syfy book to read, I recommend Translation State by Ann Leckie. It's a great book. I finished it last night and can't recommend it enough. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, March 14, 2023. CNN 'cleans up' history by omitting the role of the media in selling the Iraq War while Glenneth Greenwald makes clear that the greatest journalistic crime is not inviting him to appear on your program.
Maybe CNN deserves to close shop? If it can't serve the public, why does it need to exist? To offer up garbage like this from Peter Bergen:
Two decades ago, on March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the US invasion of Iraq. Bush and senior administration officials had repeatedly told Americans that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction and that he was in league with al Qaeda.
These claims resulted in most Americans believing that Saddam was involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks. A year after 9/11, two-thirds of Americans said that the Iraqi leader had helped the terrorists, according to Pew Research Center polling, even though there was not a shred of convincing evidence for this. Nor did he have the WMD alleged by US officials.
Does the problem with that garbage float over everyone's head?
The press. Working for CNN, Peter forgets to point the finger at the press. How pathetic and shameful. What a damn liar.
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL documented the role of the press in the documentary BUYING THE WAR. I'm not talking about anything hidden but lying whores like Bergen would prefer that it remain forgotten.
The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn’t have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on. How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 go largely unreported? “What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored,” says Moyers. “How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?”
In 2004, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit and delivered a speech in front of a giant “Mission Accomplished” banner. He was hailed by media stars as a “breathtaking” example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House’s claim that the war was won. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews declared, “We’re all neo-cons now;” NPR’s Bob Edwards said, “The war in Iraq is essentially over;” and Fortune magazine’s Jeff Birnbaum said, “It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context.”
“Buying the War” includes interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of Meet the Press; Bob Simon of 60 Minutes; Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN; and John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder newspapers, which was acquired by The McClatchy Company in 2006.
In “Buying the War” Bill Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes document the reporting of Walcott, Landay and Strobel, the Knight Ridder team that burrowed deep into the intelligence agencies to try and determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration’s case for war. “Many of the things that were said about Iraq didn’t make sense,” says Walcott. “And that really prompts you to ask, ‘Wait a minute. Is this true? Does everyone agree that this is true? Does anyone think this is not true?’”
In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. Journalist Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, who was based in the Middle East, questioned the reporting he was seeing and reading. “I mean we knew things or suspected things that perhaps the Washington press corps could not suspect. For example, the absurdity of putting up a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda,” he tells Moyers. “Saddam…was a total control freak. To introduce a wild card like Al Qaeda in any sense was just something he would not do. So I just didn’t believe it for an instant.”
The program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press, which was then seized upon and amplified by an army of pundits. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media. The New York Times reported on Iraq’s “worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb,” but according to Landay, claims by the administration about the possibility of nuclear weapons were highly questionable. Yet, his story citing the “lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons” got little play. In fact, throughout the media landscape, stories challenging the official view were often pushed aside while the administration’s claims were given prominence. “From August 2002 until the war was launched in March of 2003 there were about 140 front page pieces in the Washington Post making the administration’s case for war,” says Howard Kurtz, the Post’s media critic. “But there was only a handful of stories that ran on the front page that made the opposite case. Or, if not making the opposite case, raised questions.”
“Buying the War” examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what’s changed? “More and more the media become, I think, common carriers of administration statements and critics of the administration,” says the Washington Post’s Walter Pincus. “We’ve sort of given up being independent on our own.”
The media didn't do their job -- their defined job. That wasn't an accident. They bullied people intentionally. Fall in line or the press would mow you over. It was widespread. As someone speaking out against the Iraq War since the month before it started, I heard one story after another as I visited various cities. Early on I was doing press but I gave up on that because reality didn't make it into the corporate media. But after the interview, people would want to confess. An entertainment reporter for a daily newspaper in one of the top ten (population wise) cities in the country would explain guilt felt over an attack on Sheryl Crow in print. Why did you write it? Because the editor said to. Why was Crow attacked? For the most meager stand against the war. Artists were attacked, films were attacked, music was attacked, all due to the fear that the voices against the war might break through.
There's not a paper in the country whose hands are clean, there's not a network.
Was anyone held accountable in the press?
Judith Miller. Apparently, Judy not only wrote and co-wrote bad journalism, she also ran the NYT editorial board, ran the editorial boards for all papers, anchored and produced every network and cable news program and commanded the op-ed pages of every newspaper.
Everyone else is going to keep their head down for fear being held accountable.
But now, an the 20th anniversary approaches, CNN wants to pretend the press didn't have a role? Wants to pretend the press didn't silence voices objecting to the war? Wants to pretend they didn't platform voices cheerleading war? The voices that they would go on to reward and still do?
In February 2003—a matter of days before the start of the war in Iraq—MSNBC axed Donahue’s primetime show, citing poor ratings. (Though it lagged behind its competitors on other networks, Donahue was then MSNBC’s highest-rated show.)
It had been only eighteen months since 9/11, and so Donahue’s vocal opposition to the war was often cited in media reports as the real reason for his firing. Evidence emerged to support this contention. An internal memo leaked to allyourscreens.com’s Rick Ellis expressed fears of MSNBC becoming “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag.”
In the months after 9/11, NBC chief executive Bob Wright had “pointedly” told MSNBC news chief Neal Shapiro to challenge Fox from the right: “We have to be more conservative than they are.” Soon, “swirling graphics of the American flag” appeared on MSNBC alongside a new tagline, “America’s NewsChannel,” as Gabriel Sherman revealed years later in New York magazine.
“I was naive,” Donahue said when reached by phone recently. “I honestly thought I might survive because I was different. Nobody was knocking Don Rumsfeld except me, at the time.” MSNBC was then owned by General Electric, a huge defense contractor, and he suspects this was not an unrelated factor.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Phil, I’d like to bring in another subject in terms of this whole issue, the—what happened to you, directly, as a host on MSNBC in the midst of the run-up to the war, and the responsibilities of the press in America and its—the mea culpas that have rarely been uttered by the pundits and by the journalists over what the American press did in the run-up to war.
PHIL DONAHUE: Well, I think what happened to me, the biggest lesson, I think, is the—how corporate media shapes our opinions and our coverage. This was a decision—my decision—the decision to release me came from far above. This was not an assistant program director who decided to separate me from MSNBC. They were terrified of the antiwar voice. And that is not an overstatement. Antiwar voices were not popular. And if you’re General Electric, you certainly don’t want an antiwar voice on a cable channel that you own; Donald Rumsfeld is your biggest customer. So, by the way, I had to have two conservatives on for every liberal. I could have Richard Perle on alone, but I couldn’t have Dennis Kucinich on alone. I was considered two liberals. It really is funny almost, when you look back on how—how the management was just frozen by the antiwar voice. We were scolds. We weren’t patriotic. American people disagreed with us. And we weren’t good for business.
AMY GOODMAN: You know, I had this unusual experience, Phil, in July of 2006. It was the 10th anniversary of MSNBC, and I was invited on Hardball by Chris Matthews to celebrate the 10th anniversary. I think first Brian Williams was on the show, and then the Israeli ambassador, and then I was on the show. And we were standing outside 30 Rock. It was a big deal. All the execs were on the top floor of 30 Rock, and they were all about to have a big party. And we were just coming out of a commercial.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to congratulate you, Chris, on 10 years of MSNBC, but I wish standing with you was Phil Donahue. He shouldn’t have been fired for expressing an antiwar point of view on the eve of the election. His point of view and the people brought on were also important.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I don’t know what the reasons were, but I doubt it was that.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we have the MS—the NBC memo, that was a secret memo—
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, OK, good.
AMY GOODMAN: —that came out, that said they didn’t want him to be the face of this network, an antiwar face, at a time when the other networks were waving the flag.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Could I answer the question? I’d love to answer that question.
AMY GOODMAN: Phil Donahue is a great patriot.
AMY GOODMAN: I said there, Phil, you were a great patriot. We did have the NBC memo, the secret memo that said they didn’t want their flagship show to be you, when the other networks were waving the American flag.
PHIL DONAHUE: That’s what it said. And, by the way, that memo was written by a Republican focus group, a Republican counseling group that took the focus group and that revealed that most of the people in the focus group didn’t like me. But I saw that, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: And yet, you were the most popular show.
PHIL DONAHUE: Well, often we led the night for the—nobody burned the town down on MSNBC, including me. Fox just ran away with the ratings and continues to enjoy that success.
AMY GOODMAN: Were you watching MSNBC that night?
PHIL DONAHUE: I did. I saw it. And I called the kids. I said, “Hey!” I’m not sure I did it soon enough. But I certainly was grateful for—I mean, I needed the pat on the back at the time.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Phil, the irony that MSNBC now is supposedly this liberal—
PHIL DONAHUE: It’s amazing, really.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —the liberal network now?
PHIL DONAHUE: Yeah.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: You wonder, though, if another—if another move to war came, how liberal it would remain.
PHIL DONAHUE: Well, you know, the coin of the realm is the size of the audience. It’s important to see this. When a broadcasting executive gets out of bed in the morning, before his foot hits the floor, his thoughts are ratings. “What are my ratings?” Not unlike Wall Street people, who get their—and CEOs, their first thought is the price of their stock. So, you know, what—and I was replaced by Michael Savage. So there was a desperate need to get numbers.
From the transcript to Bill Moyers' documentary:
WARREN STROBEL: The first rule of being an intelligence agent, or a journalist, and they're really not that different, is you're skeptical of defectors, because they have a reason to exaggerate. They want to increase their value to you. They probably want something from you. Doesn't mean they're lying, but you should be -- journalists are supposed to be skeptical, right? And I'm afraid the NEW YORK TIMES reporter in that case and a lot of other reporters were just not skeptical of what these defectors were saying. Nor was the Administration...
FOX NEWS ANCHOR (8/1/02): A former top Iraqi nuclear scientists tells congress Iraq could build three nuclear bombs by 2005.
CNN NEWS ANCHOR (12/21/01): Well, now another defector. A senior Iraqi intelligence official tells VANITY FAIR in an exclusive interview that Saddam Hussein has trained an elite fighting force in sabotage, urban warfare, hijacking and murder. David Rose wrote the story; he joins us now from London.
BILL MOYERS: IN VANITY FAIR'S DAVID ROSE, DEFECTORS FOUND ANOTHER EAGER BEAVER FOR THEIR CLAIMS. THE GLOSSY MAGAZINE, A FAVORITE OF MEDIA ELITES, GAVE HIM FOUR BIG SPREADS TO TELL DEFECTOR STORIES. THE TALK SHOWS LAPPED IT UP.
DAVID ROSE: (MSNBC 12/21/01) What the defector Al-Qurairy, a former brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence service, told me is that these guys, there are twelve hundred in all and they've been trained to hijack trains, buses, ships and so forth...
JONATHAN LANDAY: As you track their stories, they become ever more fantastic, and they're the same people who are telling these stories, until you get to the most fantastic tales of all, which appeared in VANITY FAIR Magazine.
DAVID ROSE: The last training exercise was to blow up a full size mock up of a US destroyer in a lake in central Iraq.
JONATHAN LANDAY: Or, jumping into pits of fouled water and having to kill a dog with your bare teeth. I mean, and this was coming from people, who are appearing in all of these stories, and sometimes their rank would change.
LESLIE STAHL (60 MINUTES, CBS 3/3/02): Musawi told us that he has verified that this man was an officer in Iraq's ruthless intelligence service the Mukhabarat .
JONATHAN LANDAY: And, you're saying, "Wait a minute. There's something wrong here, because in this story he was a major, but in this story the guy's a colonel. And, in this story this was his function, but now he says in this story he was doing something else.
LESLIE STAHL: The defector is telling Musawi that in order to evade the UN inspectors Saddam Hussein put his biological weapons laboratories in trucks that the defector told us he personally bought from Renault.
LESLIE STAHL: Refrigerator trucks?
DEFECTOR: Yeah, yeah.
LESLIE STAHL: And how many?
BILL MOYERS: LESLIE STAHL AND CBS RETRACTED THEIR STORY A YEAR AFTER THE INVASION WHEN NEARLY ALL THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY DEFECTORS PROVED TO BE FALSE.
VANITY FAIR'S ROSE LATER SAID HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAD CONFIRMED HIS STORIES. BUT THESE WERE THE VERY OFFICIALS WHO HAD BET ON CHALABI AS THEIR FAVORITE MAN O'WAR. TO THE KNIGHT RIDDER TEAM IT ALL SMELLED OF A CON GAME.
It is dishonest, all these years later, for CNN to publish garbage like what Peter wrote. The media was a willing partner in selling the illegal war. Their lies destroyed their own credibility. Their refusal, over 20 years later, to be honest about that continues to destroy their reputation.
Glenn, for those who forgot or never knew, was a cheerleader for the Iraq War. Instead of getting honest about that, he uses his time to attack Amy Goodman not for what she said or did on air but because she doesn't invite him on as a guest anymore.
The following sites updated: