Dept. of Misunderstood Filmmakers | Letters | Chicago Reader

Dept. of Misunderstood Filmmakers 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

To the editor,

It's always bad form to respond to a review of your film--especially when, in the case of Weapons of Mass Deception at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, it was so positive [Section Two, August 13]. But the film is about issues and arguments--and the two that your reviewer picked on actually obscured the points.

First he states, "Schechter veers off into vague theories about U.S. ground forces targeting critical journalists." Actually what I offer is not a "vague theory" but allegations by experienced war journalists, not just critics, concerns by the International Federation of Journalists, and the thoughtful opinion of the author of The First Casualty, the leading history of war and journalism. The point is that the Pentagon has yet, as of this date, to investigate the attack on Baghdad's Palestine Hotel or punish the attacker.

The other argument that is questioned deals with the lobbying by media companies at the FCC as the war begins. As I show, savvy members of Congress and media analysts believed that the media waved the flag to encourage the Bush-dominated FCC to waive the rules. I have five media pros commenting. My suggestion to all who are intrigued: see WMD and consider the evidence.

Danny Schechter

News dissector and director of Weapons of Mass Deception

J.R. Jones replies:

If I served you an omelet, would you refer to it as eggs, milk, and butter? In both cases the video's arrangement of opinion and allegation has the cumulative effect of theory, not proven fact. And my capsule--which ran long but was still about three-quarters the length of your letter--did note that the Palestine Hotel shelling has never been satisfactorily explained. The balance of Weapons of Mass Deception is more persuasively argued, and interested readers will find it screening this week at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and at No Exit Cafe (see movie listings for details).

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Monet and Chicago Art Institute of Chicago
February 11
Music
June 12

Popular Stories

  • Surfing Sandy

    Lake Michigan's turbulent waters offer die-hard surfers a prime opportunity to shred some waves
    |
  • Queer to the Left came to raise hell

    The group rejected the mainstream gay rights movement and kept alive the spirit of radical LGBTQ+ activism.
    |
  • Skinheads

    There's a credo among skins: they take care of their own. So when Scott Gravatt came up from Atlanta with his swastika earring and his white power tattoos, a few of the local guys took care of him.
    |
  • Listen to The Ben Joravsky Show

    Livestream and podcast
    |
  • The 15th floor

    On losing a loved one at the Thompson Center
    |