Douglas Kellner's Persian Gulf TV War attacks the myths, disinformation, and propaganda disseminated during the Gulf war. At once a work of social theory, media criticism, and political history, this book demonstrates how television served as a conduit for George Bush's war policies while silencing anti-war voices and foregoing spirited discussion of the complex issues involved. In so doing, the medium failed to assume its democratic responsibilities of adequately informing the American public and debating issues of common concern. Kellner analyzes the dominant frames through which television presented the war and focuses on the propaganda that sold the war to the public–one of the great media spectacles and public relations campaigns of the post-World War II era. In the spirit of Orwell and Marcuse, Kellner studies the language surrounding the Gulf war and the cynical politics of distortion and disinformation that shaped the mainstream media version of the war, how the Bush administration and Pentagon manipulated the media, and why a majority of the American public accepted the war as just and moral.
Introduction -- The Road to War -- The “Crisis in the Gulf” and the Mainstream Media -- Bush Bombs Baghdad -- Out of Control -- The Media Propaganda War -- TV Goes to War -- The Pounding of Iraq -- Countdown to the Ground War -- Endgame -- Aftermath