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Politics and New Media

Fox, Bill
Publisher:  Key Porter, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1999  
Pages:  288pp   ISBN:  1-55263-037-4
Library of Congress Number:  PN4781.F69 1999   Dewey:  070.4

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Gives the reader a satisfyingly thorough examination of media manipulation in late 20th Century North American politics. The author is both a former journalist and "spin doctor" and is thus uniquely positioned to offer a peephole into how decisions are made (and unmade) at the highest levels of both government and the media. Although his earnest defense of Canada's Mulroney government is unpleasant reading, his indictment of the Chretien Liberals as propaganda masters makes for fascinating stuff. Above all, his closing chapters covering the unfolding of the Clinton-Lewinsky "Zippergate" scandal are gripping reading. They outline not only the whys and wherefores of the incendiary nature of the scandal from its earliest days, but also provide the Canadian reader with some incentive to ponder the remaining differences between the American and Canadian body politics. In the end, Fox draws an interesting conclusion from "Zippergate"

"[T]he American public has given the Washington press corps its biggest wakeup call of this decade. The voters have established that they can differentiate between the interesting and the important."

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