Monday, February 16, 2009

Attack the Messenger or By Order of the President

Attack the Messenger: How Politicians Turn You Against the Media

Author: Craig Crawford

Attack the Messenger is an objective look at the loss of public trust in the news media-and the resulting threat to American democracy. Biased, sloppy, and sometimes deceitful reporting is partly to blame, but this book primarily examines how politicians declared war on the media's role as an honest broker of information-and won. Craig Crawford takes readers who crave truth in news through the power struggle between the government and mainstream media, as well as directs them on how to avoid political propaganda and find the most reliable news sources.

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgments     ix
Turning the Tables     1
The Setup     3
The Sting     4
The Fallout     10
Media on the Run     11
Blame the Messenger     15
The Downside of the Media's Fall     17
Bring Back Believable Reporting     19
Arrogance Is a Blinding Weakness     22
Media Wimps     23
Standing Up to Power     25
A President Lies     29
Parse That Sentence     30
Choosing to Lie     32
That Other West Wing Affair     33
"I Did Not Have Sexual Relations..."     37
Spinning Lies     43
Gambling with the Truth     44
The Rewards of Lying     47
The History of Propaganda     49
Spinning the Drug War     50
The Spin Room     52
A War Story     59
A Press Subdued     61
Jefferson and Lincoln against the Press     62
The White House Briefing as Performance Art     64
The TV Generals     65
Who Will Tell the Truth?     73
Losing Public Faith     74
Dropping the Ball     75
Media Glory Days     76
Drawing Conclusions     79
The "Dover Test"     81
The End of an Era     87
Rather Moments     90
Chilling Effect     90
Vietnam Redux     91
The Son Rises     96
Winners and Losers     97
Old Media versus New Media     99
A "Huge Assumption"     101
At the Mercy of Spin     102
Fear in the Newsroom     105
The Politicians Win     107
Media Culpa     109
Struggling to Matter     111
My Hate Mail     113
Getting It Wrong     117
Why I Don't Vote     117
Explaining Ourselves     118
How to Get the Real Story     121
C-SPAN     121
The Associated Press     122
Public Broadcasting     125
Don Imus     126
The Gray Ladies     127
Ombudsmen and Critics     128
The National Networks     128
Opinion as News     129
Shouting the News     131
Cable Watch     132
The Internet      134
Old Media's Comeback Trail     137
What Now?     141
Taking the Lead     142
Acknowledging Bias     144
Politicians on the Loose     145
Let Us Be Rude Again     146
Keep It between the Ditches     148
Poll Watch: Public Confidence in the Press     149
Media Resource Guide     155
Notes     163
Index     173
About the Author     181

Book about: The Ruby Way or Mmixware

By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans

Author: Greg Robinson

On February 19, 1942, following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and Japanese Army successes in the Pacific, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a fateful order. In the name of security, Executive Order 9066 allowed for the summary removal of Japanese aliens and American citizens of Japanese descent from their West Coast homes and their incarceration under guard in camps. Amid the numerous histories and memoirs devoted to this shameful event, FDR's contributions have been seen as negligible. Now, using Roosevelt's own writings, his advisors' letters and diaries, and internal government documents, Greg Robinson reveals the president's central role in making and implementing the internment and examines not only what the president did but why.

Robinson traces FDR's outlook back to his formative years, and to the early twentieth century's racialist view of ethnic Japanese in America as immutably "foreign" and threatening. These prejudicial sentiments, along with his constitutional philosophy and leadership style, contributed to Roosevelt's approval of the unprecedented mistreatment of American citizens. His hands-on participation and interventions were critical in determining the nature, duration, and consequences of the administration's internment policy.

By Order of the President attempts to explain how a great humanitarian leader and his advisors, who were fighting a war to preserve democracy, could have implemented such a profoundly unjust and undemocratic policy toward their own people. It reminds us of the power of a president's beliefs to influence and determine public policy and of the need for citizen vigilance to protect the rights of all against potential abuses.

Publishers Weekly

In 1942, FDR authorized the army to evacuate more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans from the Pacific Coast states, stripping them not of their citizenship, which he considered "absolute," but of their civil rights, which he considered "contingent." Robinson, a historian at George Mason University, argues that, because of FDR's deserved reputation as a humanitarian, this action has been treated as an aberration and, therefore, not thoroughly explored. In this lucid, comprehensive and balanced examination, Robinson maintains that Roosevelt's decision was, in fact, "not fundamentally inconsistent with his overall political philosophy and world view." Rather, a deep-seated belief that Japanese-Americans were biologically "incapable of being true Americans" enabled FDR, though he "deplored open prejudice," to be "willingly misled" by bad counsel and misinformation about the perceived Japanese-American threat, despite reliable reports, including one by J. Edgar Hoover, to the contrary. Since boyhood, FDR had admired Japan's naval strength, but following Japan's victory over Russia in 1904-1905 and its invasion of China in the 1930s, Roosevelt saw Japan as a potent economic and political rival. Consequently, after the Pearl Harbor attack incited anti-Japanese hysteria, West Coast politicians and the military pressured FDR to take action at home; the president's racist views, compounded by what Robinson describes as his loose administrative style and lack of moral leadership, contributed to his passive indifference toward the physical and psychological fate of a group of Americans. Robinson's conscientious arguments and meticulous documentation movingly clarify a little-understood failure ofAmerican democracy. Agent, Charlotte Sheedy. (Oct. 26) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Prof. John E. Boyd - KLIATT

Although Roosevelt had maintained a longstanding friendly relationship with Japan, the situation began to change in the 1930s as Japan cast her eye on her resource-rich neighbors. War with Japan seemed to be inevitable but FDR wanted Japan to make the first strike. This book examines the people, places, and events surrounding the internment of West Coast Japanese civilians during WW II. It should appeal to serious future history and political science majors, students of WW II, and others who are interested in learning about the mistreatment and confinement of this segment of the population. Terms like "concentration camp" and "the Japanese problem" may conjure up images of Nazi Germany. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which provided the legal base for interment. It was met with opposition, its constitutionality was questioned, and there was no evidence that the West Coast Japanese were a danger to the nation. Once the Japanese were interned, it was difficult to reverse the process and the reasons were not only security: prejudice and greed played a part. The author explores FDR's own prejudices and concerns as well as the events following his death in 1945. He concludes that the president could have done more to protect the rights of those of Japanese ancestry. The writing style and format make it unlikely that YAs are the target audience but those with a serious interest in the topic will find it rewarding. Some will be intimidated by the length, fine print and lack of illustrations. Sections could easily be turned into graduate-level lectures. This is definitely not recreational reading but it might serve as a research tool for topics related to Japanese-American relations from1900—1950. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Harvard Univ. Press, 336p. bibliog. index., Ages 15 to adult.

Library Journal

Robinson (J.N.G. Finley Fellow in History, George Mason Univ.) focuses on one aspect of Roosevelt's presidency during World War II, the internment of Japanese Americans. Two recent books, Kenneth S. Davis's FDR: The War President, 1940-43 (LJ 10/15/01) and Thomas Fleming's The New Dealers' War: F.D.R. and the War within World War II (LJ 6/1/01) only briefly mention the internment. Using memos, reports, diary entries, letters, and other documents written by FDR and his staff, this book offers the first in-depth look at the role of Roosevelt and his advisers in making the decision to intern. While racist attitudes were widespread and many people influenced the final decision to issue Executive Order 9066, Robinson also cites Roosevelt's long-held belief that the Japanese were innately different and therefore did not deserve citizenship. This refusal to accept them as citizens along with considerable war hysteria allowed him to strip them of their rights for the duration of the war. The book sheds some light on a dark episode in our history. For academic and large public libraries, especially World War II and constitutional history collections. Katharine L. Kan, Allen Cty. P.L., Fort Wayne, IN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

A thorough, scholarly, and troubling analysis of FDR's decision in the early days of WWII to hold in internment camps more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans. Robinson (History/George Mason Univ.) begins with an FDR news conference on November 21, 1944, one of the few public occasions when the President even mentioned the internment of tens of thousands of loyal American citizens-a disturbing episode that Robinson calls "a tragedy of democracy." Robinson endeavors to uncover the causes of the decision. He notes that FDR's first government appointment was as an assistant secretary of the Navy, a position that led him to worry about Japanese aggression in the Pacific. In the 1920s, FDR urged a conciliatory position toward the Japanese, hoping that liberal elements in Japanese leadership would be able to soften their government's foreign policy. But in 1924, a US immigration act froze Japanese arrivals, legislation that outraged the Japanese. As their military became more adventurous in the Pacific, anti-Japanese attitudes in America hardened, and racists (especially in California) began to sing their ugly songs. According to Robinson, FDR viewed Japanese-Americans as Japanese first, American second. Despite virulent rumors to the contrary, there was no sabotage of US facilities by Japanese-Americans (as J. Edgar Hoover repeatedly informed FDR), but wartime paranoia (especially after Pearl Harbor) soon held sway. The author also believes political pressures from the West Coast influenced FDR, as did his unenlightened racial views (views not shared by his wife, who crusaded for the release of those interned). The president seems to have been uninterested in hearing contrary opinions-even whenhis principal advisers were urging him to rescind Executive Order 9066, the internment authorization, which he signed on February 19, 1942. It wasn't until late summer of 1944 that the releases began. Splendid scholarship shines a harsh light on one of the darkest episodes in American history.

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