Covering the Plague: AIDS and the American Media

James Kinsella, Author Rutgers University Press $22.95 (299p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1481-9
Whenever AIDS seemed to pose a threat to ``the general population'' (i.e., non-intravenous-drug-using heterosexuals), the U.S. news media gave the epidemic prominent attention, argues Kinsella. But for the most part, he finds, the media avoided or trivialized the AIDS story in its early years, and even today betrays homophobic bias and a head-in-the-sand attitude. In this thorough, often gripping study, Kinsella, a former Los Angeles Herald-Examiner editor, shows how the media and medical experts fumbled the AIDS story. Randy Shilts, the gay San Francisco reporter who wrote And the Band Played On , is portrayed as an ambitious news-hound who sometimes overdramatized or misreported information. Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw get low marks for their handling or noncoverage of AIDS news. Illustrated. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-0-8135-1482-6
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