Vanity Fair's famously acerbic cultural critic takes on the so-called news establishment—and dismembers the "news eunuchs" limb by limb. A hilarious work of fiendish wit and scathing relevance.
James Wolcott is fed up. Since 9/11, he's watched the gradual collapse of the U.S. news media. Once a tough, independent force, the fabled Fourth Estate has, in Wolcott's eyes, gotten down on their knees and taken dictation from George Bush.
Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants is a barrage of verbal cluster bombs aimed at Fox News, "where diseased egos seek to shape the world in their image"; at MSNBC, "the shame of a nation"; at CNN, "the other shame of a nation"; at Roger Ailes, who turned anchormen in to "ventriloquist dummies"; at the out-of-control Geraldo Rivera ("Geraldo of Arabia"); and even at the heralded Thomas Friedman ("foreign policy's manic-depressive indicator"). Wolcott watches the professional pundits at the game called spin, and maintains that we are all diminished by it.
Don't look for even-handedness here. This is a polemic and proud of it. Wolcott's book pokes, prods, and stirs up controversy. It annoys and teases. It also makes some serious points about the lamentable state of our news, and our nation.