The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

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hardcover, Pages: 342

Genres: Politics, Nonfiction, History

Language: English

Reads: 46

Downloads: 2780

Rating: Rated: 1502 timesRate It

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Book Description

New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich examines the trail of fictions manufactured by the Bush administration from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, exposing the most brilliant spin campaign ever waged

When America was attacked on 9/11, its citizens almost unanimously rallied behind its new, untested president as he went to war. What they didnt know at the time was that the Bush administrations highest priority was not to vanquish Al Qaeda but to consolidate its own power at any cost. It was a mission that could be accomplished only by a propaganda presidency in which reality was steadily replaced by a scenario of the White Houses own invention---and such was that scenarios devious brilliance that it fashioned a second war against an enemy that did not attack America on 9/11, intimidated the Democrats into incoherence and impotence, and turned a presidential election into an irrelevant referendum on macho imagery and same-sex marriage.

As only he can, acclaimed New York Times columnist Frank Rich delivers a step-by-step chronicle of how skillfully the White House built its house of cards and how the institutions that should have exposed these fictions, the mainstream news media, were too often left powerless by the administrations relentless attack machine, their own post-9/11 timidity, and an unending parade of self-inflicted scandals (typified by those at The New York Times). Demonstrating the candor and conviction that have made him one of our most trusted and incisive public voices, Rich brilliantly and meticulously illuminates the White Houses disturbing love affair with truthiness, and the ways in which a bungled war, a seemingly obscure Washington leak, and a devastating hurricane at long last revealed the man-behind-the-curtain and the story that had so effectively been sold to the nation, as god-given patriotic fact.

Reviews
  •    Faukree Dulkoff
    2020
    II read The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina, Frank Rich’s account of George W. Bush’s presidency, during the run up to the release of the heavily redacted Mueller Report. This was definitely not a good idea.

    Donald Trump’s uniquely despicable personality makes him an easy target of, well, pretty much everyone who isn’t racist or rich. But Trump’s reality-warping presidency obscures the awfulness of Bush’s time in office.

    The story of the Bush administration’s craven dissembling as they manufactured the case for the invasion of Iraq should still fill every American with rage. But they couldn’t have done it without the assistance of a compliant media. The bootlickers at Fox News fell in line, but so did so-called respectable media figures like Bob Woodward, Judith Miller and Robert Novak. They all rolled over for Rove, Rumsfeld and Cheney.

    What was most disturbing to me about The Greatest Story Ever Sold was how the administration went after not just the dissenters, but anyone who exposed their lies. That included people in the CIA and the State Department.

    Sadly, Bush’s playbook has been adopted by the current administration. At a time when massive spin machines churn out partisan talking points designed to keep us in front of our screens, The Greatest Story Ever Sold is an antidote to the breathless reactions to tweets, speeches and press statements.

    Rich lays out the facts in the administration’s own words. These assertions are bolstered by newspaper accounts and augmented with quotes culled from various media sources. It’s an outstanding example of contemporary history that everyone should read because we clearly haven’t learned our lesson.

    Strangely, Rich doesn’t consider the cost to the Iraqi people in his accounting. Rich’s story is hyper-focused on American politicians, media figures and troops. Perhaps this decision was made to present the failings of the Bush administration in a context that would appeal to an American audience. But clearly, the Iraqi people paid the biggest price for America’s unprovoked attack on their nation, and that should be acknowledged.

    While history will not be kind to the Trump administration, at least they haven’t started any wars—yet. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove had war on their minds from the moment they set foot in the Oval Office. The blood of hundreds of thousands of people is on their hands, and they know it.

    Sadly, not enough Americans do.
    Reply
  •    Zugor Frohnmeyer
    2020
    this tells you a lot about the bushes and cheney and rumsfeld ...
    Reply

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