OFF WITH THEIR HEADS: Duplicity, Obstruction and Deception in American Politics, Media, Business, and Life
Morris is mad as hell: liberals, led by the New York Times (which is as biased as Radio Moscow, he says), are trying to prevent the Bush administration from effectively fighting the war on terror. Morris's targets are broad, his charges simplistic: the Times, under the now-departed Howell Raines, slanted coverage, spouting left-wing "propaganda," moaning about civil liberties and the economy in order to distract Americans from the main event. Bill Clinton "just didn't get" the terrorism problem and never took Morris's sage advice about it; worse, Morris charges, he deliberately failed to take action against al-Qaida out of political self-interest. As for the denizens of the "rogue state of Hollywood," "barely educated" celebrities should keep their mouths shut, and the French are appeasement-loving backstabbers. A tone of hysteria reigns throughout, and Morris's arguments have some logical gaps. After pages and pages demonstrating how the Times manipulates poll results, polls subsequently cited in support of Morris's ideas can only be viewed with skepticism. Writing of "Hollywood apologists," he lumps together all antiwar voices, from Barbra Streisand to Noam Chomsky, and engages in needless ridicule. And while taking on various antiwar arguments, Morris doesn't address religious pacifism: he mocks Richard Gere without acknowledging his Buddhist beliefs. The book finally loses all focus in its final chapters, as Morris takes potshots at Congress, the tobacco industry and nursing-home managers, straining to equate them all with terrorists as "evildoers" threatening our democracy. Morris would have done better to either stick to the single issue of terrorism or take time to develop a more comprehensive line of reasoning. (June)
Forecast:Morris is notorious, of course, and he currently has platforms at the Fox News Channel and the New York Post, guaranteeing media chatter directed at his main audience.
Release date: 06/01/2003