How was the Bush administration able to convince both Congress and the American public to support the plan to go to war against Iraq in spite of poorly supported claims about the danger Saddam Hussein posed? Conventional wisdom holds that, because neither party voiced strong opposition, the press in turn failed to adequately scrutinize the administration's arguments, and public opinion passively followed. Drawing on the most comprehensive survey of public reactions to the war, Stanley Feldman, Leonie Huddy, and George E. Marcus revisit this critical period and come back with a different story. Not only did the Bush administration's carefully orchestrated campaign fail to raise Republican support for the war, opposition by Democrats and political independents actually increased with exposure to the news. But how we get our news matters: People who read the newspaper were more likely to engage critically with what was coming out of Washington, especially when exposed to the sort of high-quality investigative journalism still being written at traditional newspapers-and in short supply across other forms of media.
Making a case for the crucial role of a press that lives up to the best norms and practices of print journalism, the book lays bare what is at stake for the functioning of democracy-especially in times of crisis-as newspapers increasingly become an endangered species.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
The most comprehensive investigation into how news coverage influenced American public opinion during the run up to the Iraq War, Going to War in Iraq presents a novel and well-written analysis that will make a lasting contribution to the scholarly literatures on American politics, international relations, public opinion, and political communication. --Scott L. Althaus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"
Investigative journalism is important for democracy and imperative in times of war. Going to War in Iraq engages key issues regarding leadership and public opinion and reflects in a crucial way on the importance of a free press based on the best norms and activity of print journalism in the United States. --Robert Y. Shapiro, Columbia University, coauthor of Selling Fear: Counterterrorism, the Media, and Public Opinion"