Solomon to speak at middle east/war alternatives forum Tuesday (Nov. 27)

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Solomon to speak at middle east/war alternatives forum Tuesday (Nov. 27)

Nationally syndicated journalist Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, will speak at California State University, Fresno on Tuesday, Nov. 27, in the second of a series of educational forums presenting different perspectives on U.S. involvement in the Middle East and U.S. engagement in Afghanistan.

Solomon, an author and columnist on media and politics, will discuss “Media and the War: Journalism or Propaganda?” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in University Center, Rm. 200 (5240 N. Jackson Ave.)

The forums are sponsored by the Campus Coalition for Peace and Civil Liberties and the College of Social Science among others. Two other forums are scheduled Dec. 6 and 12.

Coalition member Carole Snee of Fresno State said that Solomon will provide insights to what she called a lack of important facts surrounding the war in Afghanistan.

“Similar to the period of the Gulf War, restrictions by the government on the mainstream U.S. media coverage of current events have meant that the U.S. public has not been kept fully informed about important facts surrounding the war in Afghanistan that would allow people to assess the course of action the U.S. government has chose to follow,” Snee said. “Access to full and accurate information is crucial to the functioning of an informed democratic society.”

Solomon is the winner of the 1999 George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, presented by the National Council of Teachers of English, for his ninth book, “The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media.”

Solomon’s op-ed articles have appeared in many newspapers including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, New York Times, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun. His articles have also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Canada’s Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

Solomon’s book “Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News” (co-authored with Jeff Cohen), was published in 1997. A Nation magazine review said: “One of the great values of this book is that it demolishes the myth that liberalism dominates the media.”

Solomon co-authored the 1990 book “Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media.” A Washington Post review said the book “makes a worthy addition to the library of any student of American news media, social structure and political science.”

Solomon has appeared on hundreds of media outlets including the PBS “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” C-SPAN’s “About Books,” CNN’s “Crossfire” and “TalkBack Live,” MSNBC, Fox News Channel, PRI’s “Marketplace” and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.”

Solomon’s 1995 book, “Through the Media Looking Glass,” co-authored with Jeff Cohen, drew praise from Booklist, which called it “a lively counterpoint to the dominant conservative critique of the ‘liberal’ media.”

A review in the Los Angeles Times declared: “The bold, muckraking tone of these columns offers a welcome respite from the decerebrated discourse that too often passes for contemporary journalism.

Solomon’s appearance on campus is funded by the Beth Anne Harnish Lectures, as are the final two forums scheduled for early December.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil, a politics and public administration professor at California State University, Stanislaus, will talk on “Bin Laden and the Taliban: The New U.S. War Against Terrorism” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in University Student Union, Rm. 317 (5280 N. Jackson Ave.).

The fourth forum, “The September 11 Attack and Its Aftermath: An Indonesian Perspective” will be presented by Goenawan Mohamad, University of California Regents Professor at UCLA, on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 12:15 to 2 p.m. in the University Center, Rm. 202 (5240 N. Jackson Ave.).

The first forum on Nov. 27, “Regrettably Shortsighted Policies,” focused on a case study of U.S. foreign policy toward Iran by Dr. Sasan Fayazmanesh, Fresno State economics professor.

In addition to the coalition, the College of Social Science and the Harnish Lecture, the other co-sponsors of the forums are Fresno Peace, KFCF 88.1 FM and Fresno State’s Economics and Anthropology departments.

For more information, contact Carole Snee at 278-2811 or Dr. Vida Samiian, 278-3056.