IEET > Contributors > Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon wrote the nationally syndicated “Media Beat” weekly column from 1992 to 2009.His latest book is “Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State.”

Solomon’s book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” was published in 2005. The Los Angeles Times called the book “brutally persuasive” and “a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come.” The newspaper’s reviewer added: “Solomon is a formidable thinker and activist.” The Humanist magazine described the book as “a definitive historical text” and “an indispensable record of the real relationships among government authorities and media outlets.”

A documentary based on the book was released in 2007.

Solomon is the founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts. He was IPA’s executive director from 1997 to 2010.

His book “Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You” (co-authored with foreign correspondent Reese Erlich) was published in 2003 by Context Books. “Target Iraq” has also been published in German, Italian, Hungarian, Brazilian and South Korean editions.

A collection of Solomon’s columns won the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. The award, presented by the National Council of Teachers of English, honored Solomon’s book “The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media.”

In the introduction to that book, Jonathan Kozol wrote: “The tradition of Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, and I.F. Stone does not get much attention these days in the mainstream press ... but that tradition is alive and well in this collection of courageously irreverent columns on the media by Norman Solomon. ... He fights the good fight without fear of consequence. He courts no favors. He writes responsibly and is meticulous on details, but he does not choke on false civility.”

[Click for more comments about Norman Solomon.]

Solomon’s books include “Target Iraq,” “Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News,”  “The Trouble With Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets the Last Laugh,” “False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era,” “The Power of Babble: The Politician’s Dictionary of Buzzwords and Doubletalk for Every Occasion,” and “Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience With Atomic Radiation.”

Solomon has appeared as a guest on many media outlets including the PBS “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, public radio’s “Marketplace,” and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.”

In the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, Norman Solomon appeared on CNN a dozen times as an in-studio guest. In addition, he was a guest on MSNBC and Fox News Channel, and appeared on live broadcasts of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” He voiced commentary that aired on the nationwide public radio program “Marketplace.” In addition, Solomon appeared on such international outlets as the BBC Radio World Service, CBC Radio, CBC Television, Voice of America, Al-Jazeera Television, Australia’s ABC television and radio, and SBS radio networks. He also appeared on radio outlets in Ireland and South Africa.

Solomon’s op-ed articles have appeared in a range of 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, the Toronto Star and the Jordan Times.

In 1997 Solomon co-authored “Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News.” A review in the Nation magazine said: “One of the great values of this book is that it demolishes the myth that liberalism dominates the media. ... This nifty, easily digestible compendium ought to be used in high school and college courses to help the young learn how to be discriminating news consumers.”

Solomon co-wrote “Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media,” published in 1990. A review in the Washington Post concluded that the book “makes a worthy addition to the library of any student of American news media, social structure and political science.” Kirkus Reviews said that the book provides “an extensive record of recent media distortions.” Publishers Weekly said that Solomon and co-author Martin A. Lee “make a compelling case for the contention that newsmen and women distort current events.” The San Francisco Chronicle reviewer wrote: “Their command of information is matched by committed, eloquent writing that plumbs the psychological and political complexities of mass-mediated experience.” Utne Reader called the book “an essential text.” USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds described it as “a thinking person’s book.”

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.”

His journalistic experience includes many years of free-lance writing for Pacific News Service and other media outlets, and several reporting visits to the Soviet Union during the mid-1980s. He is a former associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Norman Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting).

"A Misleading Moment of Celebration for a New Surveillance Program"  (Jun 7, 2015)

"The Invisible Man: Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Whistleblower"  (Jan 27, 2015)

"Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling"  (Jan 20, 2015)

"Digital Grab: Corporate Power Has Seized the Internet"   Ethical Technology  (Jun 14, 2013)