Monday, March 25, 2013

Television and the Iraq War

I recently watched the MSNBC documentary Hubris: Selling the Iraq War. For those of you that don’t know, the documentary is about the lies and deceptions that the government used after 9/11 to convince America that they should go to war with Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Before the documentary begins, Rachel Maddow opens the show by comparing the Iraq War with the Vietnam War. Specifically, she discusses the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and points out that the government lied to the American people to convince them that they should go to war with Vietnam.

In the Postman text, the author claims that advertising and television prevent the public from gaining a historical perspective: “In the Age of Show Business and image politics, political discourse is emptied not only of ideological content but of historical content, as well” (136). Based off the similarities between the Iraq War and Vietnam War it seems to me that Postman may be on to something. Thoughts?


  1. I think he is definitely on to something. I feel as though the government understands that as long as they can keep the people happy and distracted, the easier it will be for them to control what they want. They allow companies to push their products without actually explaining what the product does or why its better. We have become a culture that is fixated on images.

  2. Well, I think Postman is right in a sense that - yes, we can use and public discourse to sway many people's views on a certain topic. But I don't think this is anything new. Look at WWII- all of the propaganda that surrounded the Jewish people and Germany. I think that if a group of people want to express something or gain acceptance for their actions they will find some way to do it. It is however the publics responsibility to make themselves well informed individuals and not someone who just believes everything they hear.