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Lecture

POL 128 Lecture Notes - Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch, Iran–Contra Affair


Department
Politics and Public Administration
Course Code
POL 128
Professor
Joseph Zboralski

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Wag the Dog
-displays how media can alter politics
-was made shortly after the Lewinsky/Clinton scandal (which Clinton reacted to by
attacking Sudan)
Real life examples of how media/politicians manipulate and fabricate stories:
After the war in Iraq started and it became evident that there were no weapons of
mass destruction in the country, only the New York Times formally admitted to lazy
journalism and printing something that wasn’t true
NFL linebacker Pat Tillman joined army after 9/11 and became a token of patriotism.
Soon after going into combat he was killed. It was withheld from the public, though,
that he was killed by US troops accidentally
Jessica Lynch, an all-American (blonde hair, blue eyes) woman, fighting in Iraq, was
injured/taken prisoner by Iraqi terrorists. Video footage captured her rescue and it
became a story of American bravery. She later admitted that she wasn’t a prisoner, nor
was she treated with any hostility, but that she was being taken care of by Iraqi
doctors.
American soldiers were told that when they “liberated” Iraq, they would be met with
flowers and a celebration by Iraqi people. This was not the case, so American officials
had to pay Iraq citizens to tear down Saddam Hussein’s statue and appear to be
celebrating.
1980’s “Iran Contra Affair”- US officials were found to be selling missiles and other
arms to Iran on the black market. The money from this was used in part to help fund
Nicaraguan “Contras” (anti-communist rebels). Raegan managed to cover up for
himself by claiming that he didn’t know what was going on. His top 4 men, however,
went to jail, and his good friend William Casey (director of Central Intelligence Agency)
died suspiciously two weeks before his testimony.
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