Here's what I was expecting:
A collection of articles and essays about things the mainstream media have avoided covering, whether by accident or design. I also fully expected to be confronted by articles that I didn't agree with, or found uncomfortable reading.
Instead the 1st (political) half of the book is generally made up of opinion pieces of the type I used to see in various far-left newspapers such as Socialist Worker when I was at Uni. Pieces where the facts have been distorted to deliver the desired point of view.
Let's take as one example, the article "The Media and their Atrocities" by Michael Parenti where he talks about the NATO action against Yugolsavia.
According to Michael Parenti, here's why NATO acted against Milosevic: "Yugoslavia was the only country in Eastern Europe that would not dismantle its welfare state and public sector economy."
Calling Yugoslavia a socialist paradise is beyond ludricous.
Even most people on the mainstream European left who opposed the NATO actions agree that Milosevic was a socialist in name only.
Also, Parenti ignores one important fact. If the West was so hell-bent on destroying the socialist paradise of Yugoslavia, why did it generally just wring its hands and do nothing during the first phase of the Yugoslav wars from 1991-1995?
Then there's the claim that there were only "several dozen" rather than thousands of rapes during the Bosnian conflict. An outrageous statement bearing in mind that mass rapes were corrobated by a range of human rights groups and charities including Amnesty International, who last I heard wasn't in the pay of the Pentagon.
Finally there's the old chestnut that there were no large scale atrocities against Kosovo Albanians or against Muslims in Bosnia. Again the facts speak otherwise.
The Dutch Government recently resigned after a report showed that Dutch UN troops did nothing to stop the massacre of muslims in the safe haven of Srebrenica in 1995. If there was no massacre why did the Dutch Government feel the need to step down?
I could go on. For example the article on Northern Ireland starts by telling readers that there are two "parties" in Northern Ireland - Unionists or Loyalists and Republicans.
Wrong. There are about a dozen parties in Northern Ireland and four (not two) main strands of opinion. "Unionists" and "Nationalists" are broad labels given to groups who respectively want to remain part of Britain or join the Republic of Ireland but have advocated peaceful democratic means.
"Loyalists" and "Republicans" have (until recently) advocated violence as a means of remaining part of the UK or joining Ireland. A crucial distinction.
There were articles that were interesting, for example how the US media never talks about the fact that Martin Luther King spent his last years crusading about poverty and against the Vietnam War.
However, once you start to read articles where you know that the basic facts aren't true, you start to doubt the ones which you don't know very much about. All in all a disappointment.