8 stars: Very good. (individual essays ranged from 7-9, with an average sense of 8 stars for the book.
From the back cover: Two dozen award winning print and TV journalists have collaborated to produce a book of devastating essays about the dangerous state of American journalism today. Writing in riveting, often gut wrenching detail about their personal experiences with the "buzzsaw"-concerted corporate and/or government efforts to kill their controversial stories and their careers-- the contributors to Into the Buzzsaw reveal the awesome depth and breadth of censorship in America today. Their essays portray a press corps that regularly engages in self censorship and attacks reporters who come under fire for not doing so. They describe a Fourth Estate that has largely relinquished its watchdog role and that has been coopted by corporate and government powers. The bigger picture is that of a press actively contributing to the demise of democracy in america.
Riveting first person accounts detail what these investigative reporters risked and what they uncovered about the governments' investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800; the CIAs involvement in the war on drugs, the US military's efforts to cover up the massacre of hundreds of civilians during the Korean War, and the conspiracy to court martial a returning POW from Vietnam; the writing on the all foreshadowing the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and much more.
Some quotes that I want to remember:
[Discussing a Fox news station]: "We paid 3 billion for these television stations. We'll tell YOU what the news is. The news is what we say it is. [said to the reporter, trying to get info about Monsanto aired].
The veteran lawyer told the judge, "There is no law, rule, or regulation against slanting the news." [so much for 'fair and balanced'].
The First Amendment does not cover reporters inside a news organization. It is a protection to keep government from restricting a freepress. When the press itself is willing to disregard its public trust and individual reporters who are employees stand up to stop it, it will always be a "labor dispute".
Terrorists don't have a chance against the United States. Terrorists will never destroy America. Greed might.
Discussion of "Project Censored", which is put out annually by Sonoma State university. Lists the most un/underreported stories of the year.
Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. ITs free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff, stories like Tailwind, the october Surprise, the Mozote Massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficing--that's when we begin to see the limit of our freedoms. In today's media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion.
Back in 1938, when facism was sweeping across Europe.. George Seldes observed:" It is possible to fool all the people all hte time-when government and press cooperate."
As for the book/essays themselves? As books of this type are wont to be, they were unevent in tone, as well as portraying/convincing me of their message. Greg Palast, for example, merely went on a rant, with no information and no evidence. Others, however, shared their investigative findings with many notes, and told how they were edited or censored.
Overall, 8 stars, and a very important read.