Hyping A Hero

"Jessica Lynch, the wounded Army private whose ordeal in Iraq was hyped into a media fiction of U.S. heroism, was set for an emotional homecoming on Tuesday in a rural West Virginia community bristling with flags, yellow ribbons and TV news trucks," Reuters reports. "But when the 20-year-old supply clerk arrives by Blackhawk helicopter to the embrace of family and friends, media critics say the TV cameras will not show the return of an injured soldier so much as a reality-TV drama co-produced by U.S. government propaganda and credulous reporters. 'It no longer matters in America whether something is true or false. The population has been conditioned to accept anything: sentimental stories, lies, atomic bomb threats,' said John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's magazine." PR Watch's Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber take a close look at how the White House manipulated U.S. public opinion on Iraq in their upcoming book "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq."