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Foreword by David Binder, former Washington/Balkan Correspondent for the New York Times.
Five years in exhaustive preparation and writing, Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting, is the blockbuster book by American journalist Peter Brock that exposes the shocking record of the Western media’s war reporting in the breakup of Yugoslavia and their collusion that deceived the world during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo.
This book will reveal why mainstream media refuses to interview this award winning journalist. At the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on March 17th, 2006, David Binder called for the revocation of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting awarded to John Burns of the New York Times and Roy Gutman of Newsday saying: “…in all fairness and honesty, the Pulitzer should be revoked …or give Janet Cooke’s Pulitzer back.”
This is THE story that the pack journalists, correspondents and editors would not, and will not write.
Here are the documented contradictions, the profession-wide errors, admissions, confessions and suppression by the reporters and correspondents who were co-participants in the deliberate dismantling of a sovereign nation, inflaming governments and the United Nations, politicians and manipulating public opinion.
This is the book that was feared by the mainstream American and European press since 1993 when “Dateline Yugoslavia: The Partisan Press” was published by this author in Foreign Policy, the journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington, D.C.). It reverberated throughout Western capitals, shattering the media’s self-illusions about impartiality, objectivity, fairness and truth and provoked an unprecedented reaction and backlash from media organizations, journalistic societies, academics and government leaders, leading to street protests in Europe, and even a “press trial”!
Media Cleansing…, adapted from the outcry of “ethnic cleansing” that drove the decade-long civil wars, shows how Western journalism became THE essential war propaganda. Invasion, occupation, repression, and selective prosecution of war criminals resulted from the media hysteria over so-called “rape camps,” “concentration camps,” and deliberate policies of atrocity, mass murder and chemical warfare being re-introduced to mainland Europe. Hundreds of thousands were brutally evicted from homelands occupied for centuries by their ancestors. Horrific economic sanctions were deliberately inflicted, causing generation-wide disease, birth defects and chronic maladies unseen since medieval times – and that will persevere for decades! Agricultural lands are laced with radioactive debris from depleted uranium and toxic chemicals. Widespread air and water pollution contaminate not only former areas of conflict in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo but adjacent Balkan nations, as riparian ecosystems in the lower 600 miles of the Danube River watershed are disrupted if not destroyed forever. Uncounted land mines, explosives, live ammunition – including undetonated NATO missile warheads and cluster bomb components – are unaccounted for.
TODAY, the national and regional economies in “former Yugoslavia” are being further decimated. Ranks of unemployed expand exponentially. And worse, presidential assassination and the failure of caricature Balkan elections accompany the alarming rise of ultra-nationalism as factions in the region are increasingly volatile. The extremist scourge that ruined Yugoslavia only a decade ago is reviving rapidly to re-ignite and destabilize the whole of Europe – again!
Media Cleansing… traces the pathology of media complicity that consumed and obsessed trusted international news organizations and news professionals. Scores of interviews with examinations and analyses of the published record compelled the correspondents and their editors to confront their negligence, co-belligerence and admitted collusion that deceived the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mr. Brock’s career as a newspaper journalist for more than 30 years is highlighted by 17 professional awards – including being named a finalist for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize competition in Public Service.
Recognized as a political and environmental writer and investigative reporter, Mr. Brock holds the Southern Journalism Award for Investigative Reporting (Duke University), the Thomas L. Stokes Award for Environmental Reporting of the Washington Journalism Center, and other distinctions.
He has widely traveled the Balkans, Western Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and other regions since 1976.
A specialist in the role of the Western media in the Balkan wars, Mr. Brock’s controversial articles and reports were reprinted in major newspapers worldwide. He appeared on nationally-televised panel discussions that focused on the Yugoslav wars, and he was interviewed by numerous domestic and international newspapers, television and radio.
He began his newspaper career at The Philadelphia Inquirer, served for 20 years with The El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post, and wrote/reported/edited for newspapers in New Mexico, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
Peter Brock has done a masterful job – through patient and unbiased documentation and cool, logical reporting – of highlighting the great failure of the media in fairly and accurately covering the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and the subsequent wars in its constituent parts. As someone intimately involved in covering the wars of the 1990s in the Balkans, I can attest that Brock’s writing is restrained and, if anything, understated, and the indictment of the media for its bias and the resultant contribution to the start and ongoing conduct of the war is valid. That there were genuine initial misunderstandings on the part of the world’s media with regard to the Balkan situation is clear. But the fact that the media – on whose judgments governments made policies – allowed itself to be duped by propagandists, and that editors then refused to recant when their errors became obvious: there lies the essence of Brock’s indictment. The free press of the world fought to be recognized as the guardian of truth and as a pillar of good governance. It cannot now deny culpability and reject criticism, or avoid the growing sentiment that it – as with all aspects of public life – requires constant review, and reform. It is evident from Brock’s vital and eminently readable book that for freedom to perish, all it takes is for the media to exempt itself from its ethical responsibility toward impartiality. If Watergate was the modern starting point for agenda-based reporting, then the Balkan wars showed that, unchecked, the media could, without accountability, bring about the downfall of nations. The resultant emergence of terrorist coordinating centers in the Balkans, intimately involved in the 9/11, Madrid, and London attacks, can be laid directly at the door of the editors who allowed bias to rule their coverage of the Balkan wars. We have yet to see the full consequences of the media’s shameful unprofessionalism in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. But to start to remedy the problem it is essential that Brock’s Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting be widely read, and its message taken to heart. Peter Brock’s book should be the basis for both Congressional and independent media enquiries.
— Gregory R. Copley, President of the International Strategic Studies Association, and Editor of Defense & Foreign Affairs publications.
Those of us who served as UN commanders in Bosnia realized the majority of the media reports were biased to say the least. Whenever we tried to set the record straight we were and continue to be accused of being, “Serbian agents,” refreshing to see a journalist, not a general, dispel some of the myths that characterized the professional propaganda paid for by two sides in a three-sided civil war.
— Lewis MacKenzie, Major General (retíd) UNPROFOR Chief of Staff and Commander Sector Sarajevo March to August 1992 Author of, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, 1993
Reporting “Serbian genocide” became a highly profitable industry that produced Pulitzer prizes and million-dollar best sellers. Media careers and fortunes were made through a campaign of anti-Serb hate and hysteria allowing no response from the Serbian side. Peter Brock has written a book meticulously correcting such past media lies and exaggerations. For those open-minded and willing to read another point of view, Brock’s book will be a revelation.
— Professor Raju G. C. Thomas, author and editor of a dozen books, and recently the contributing editor of Yugoslavia Unraveled: Sovereignty, Self-Determination, Intervention, Lexington Books, 2003.