To The Nurture Assumption home page
Impact Weekly [Dayton, OH]
April 19-25, 2001
Posted with permission on judithrichharris/tna.
Copyright © 2001
and may not be republished without permission.
This review is a lie. Or maybe it's a half-truth. Truth is, after reading You Are Being Lied To : The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths -- a dissection of hot-button issues as digested by today's media from a host of relevant, cutting-edge economists, social analysts and yes, media themselves -- it's hard to know what to believe anymore.
Published by Disinformation®, an online resource dedicated to "be the search service of choice for individuals looking for information on current affairs, politics, new science and the 'hidden information,' that seldom seems to slip through the cracks of the corporate-owned media conglomerates," You Are Being Lied To's essays touch on everything from how the mainstream media is controlled by the U.S. military and corporate interests (duh) to common misconceptions about the Oklahoma City bombing and Columbine tragedies.
The great thing about these pieces is they're chewy. The book contains plenty of fully researched, in-depth articles that question personal beliefs about various issues. "Why Does the Associated Press Change Its Articles?" by editor Russ Kick explores how the news wire service has often softened the language of later versions of stories on controversial subjects such as the Waco bombing. "The Female Hard-on" by Tristan Taormino explores the billion-dollar male-focused drug industry that has brought us Viagra but done little to nothing to advance studies of female sexuality and arousal.
One of the most noteworthy and thought-provoking essays is "Don't Blame Your Parents," an interview with Judith Rich Harris, a former author of psychology textbooks on child development. Without a Ph.D. tacked to the end of her name, Harris has brought forth one of the most singularly fascinating concepts today: Despite the longstanding "nature versus nurture" theory, Harris theorizes a child's development has little to do with parental involvement and everything to do with peer relations. In her book, The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out The Way They Do, Harris discusses how children learn to behave differently in their respective environments (parental and peer), and how peer socialization is an overwhelming factor in how a child develops into the adult he/she eventually becomes.
You Are Being Lied To is overwhelmingly liberal, through no fault of the editor: Kick notes in the beginning how plans to work with several leading right-wing theorists and authors fell through after they decided not to participate or completely cut off contact.
However, the absence of conservative views doesn't hinder this collection, which has enough suspicion of the government, mistrust of big corporations and commonly-held conceptions, and roundups of conspiracy theories to make any doubter realize this isn't about left-wing or right-wing: It's about what they're not telling you and why. Unfortunately, there isn't room to expound on the essays about Columbine and Waco cover-ups, why the "Bible Code" can also be used on great works of fiction or why Nutra-Sweet is a dangerous nutra-sham.
For some of the most fascinating reading you'll find this year -- or even this millennium -- log on to disinformation.com to order this gem.