Book reviews

Towers of Deception — the Media Cover-up of 9/11
by Barrie W. Zwicker
New Society Publishers: 400 pages, $25.00 (includes DVD)

Towers of Deception
(Canscene) — On the fifth anniversary of 9/11 a myriad of questions concerning the attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and an unknown destination remained unanswered.

In Towers of Deception they’re addressed in depth by Canadian Barrie Zwicker, veteran journalist, media critic and five-year investigator of the tragedy.

In this book, Zwicker asks: Why was the military response to the news that four planes had been hijacked so slow? Why did president Bush spend eight minutes placidly reading a story about a pet goat to a group of schoolchildren after he heard news of the hit on the second World Trade Centre tower? Why did it take 441 days to convene the 9/11 commission? And why did the vast majority of North American media just parrot the official White House line without question?

Zwicker firmly believes 9/11 was a conspiracy generated by Project For the New American Century a neo-conservative think tank founded n 1997. A founder of the shadowy organization was Vice president Dick Cheney; other original members were Jeb Bush, J. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, all of whom became White House insiders on the election of George W. Bush.

And Zwicker is backed by some highly respected sources. who at worst believe American lives were sacrificed to raise sentiment against oil-rich Arab countries and are dissatisfied with the official version emerging from the 9/11 Commission report.

Zwicker assembles his facts and suppositions in a highly readable fashion, naming sources and questioning why media which have uncovered such scandals as Watergate and the Ollie North/contra deal endorsed without question the official White House story.

The monstrosity of committing such an act as Zwicker alleges is almost unbelievable, but he shows that “false flag” operations are not uncommon. What nags at this reviewer is this: we know Bush and his followers and Britain’s Tony Blair lied about weapons of mass destruction, costing thousands of lives. Might they not have had the same lack of compunction over the mere 3,00o in New York?

Towers of Deception also contains a DVD on the subject; it is of a presentation Zwicker made for television but which was pulled before the air date.

Pet goat

Morals and the Media — ethics in Canadian journalism
by Nick Russell
UBC Press

(Canscene) — This is the second edition of a text book by a retired journalist and teacher in which the author takes on a weighty task. It’s a little tilted on the side of print journalism and raises the usual arguments about the morality of revealing sources, sensationalism, plagiarism, titillating prurient audiences and so on.

Unfortunately, alternative media such as aboriginal, ethnic and internet media get little or no mention which reflects an all-too-familiar attitude of mainstream media.

In the main, however, this is a book which points the journalism student towards his/her own conscience, a conscience which could lead to difficult choices in the face of bottom-line management.

One virtue of Morals and the Media is at the end of each chapter, the author includes a Tough Calls section the resolution of which he leaves to the reader. For instance: a local radio station reports that Santa and his sleigh are on the way from the North Pole. Are such liberties acceptable or should they be considered as hoaxes?

The chapter on “pack journalism” makes a good introduction to Barrie Zwicker’s highly critical view of media for lacking investigative initiative following the 9/11 tragedy.

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