Is this one dissenting American documentary too far? Pappas’ film is informed, energetic and important, and he speaks to a good range of academics, journalists, commentators and polemicists – including Greg Palast and Michael Moore – in his quest to examine the media monopoly in his country. Pappas’ main targets are the Fox News channel and Rupert Murdoch, but he is best – and most original – when he’s dissecting the US government’s own attempts to manipulate the media and public thought with distorting and scaremongering demagogic tactics, such as Bush’s rebranding of the Estate Tax (a tax on the richest 1 per cent) to the ‘Death Tax’, which he presented as a threat to the poor. Pappas’ use of Orwell’s ‘1984’ as a dramatic lynchpin for his arguments is effective, if a little obvious.
Friday November 19 2004
Robert Kane Pappas