makes as little sense as Barraclough’snview of prewar society. World War Inbegan between the eastern- and central-nEuropean empires over a crisis in thenBalkans that affected the European powernbalance; the Moroccan problem, likenevery other colonial issue between thenGreat Powers from 1815 to 1914, wasnresolved by compromise. Had coloniesnand the underdeveloped world beennthe decisive issue before World War I,nthe Triple Entente could never havencome into existence. Conflicts over colonialnissues were more numerous andnmore serious between Britain and Russia,nas well as Britain and France, than betweennany of the future allies and thenCentral Powers. Even Barraclough admitsnthat by 1914 colonial issues had becomenmerely a diversion, but this recognitionnof the obvious has no influencenon his basic thesis.nThe climax of the book is Barraclough’sndiscovery that the underlying pattern ofntoday’s international politics is “striking­nTV News & Other FixednGames of ChancenStephan Lesher: Media Unbound:nThe Impact of Television Journalismnon ttie Public; Houghton MifSin;nBoston.nby Herbert I. LondonnIt is apparent from Stephan Lesher’snMedia Unbound that television journalismnis to journalism what plastic decorationsnare to flora In the television era, it seems,nwhatever is presented is thus newsworthy—antautology that can have meaningnonly for the progeny of McLuhan. EssentiaUy,nthis book is a television book:nheadlines and occasionally riveting storiesnare presented, but one hopes in vain fornexplanations and ratiocination. For ex-nMr. London is director of Visions of thenFuture, Hudson Institute.nS6inChronicles of Cultarenly similar” to his version of the past. ThenUnited States and the Soviet Union are innthe same position as Britain and ImperialnGermany in 1911. The United States isnjust “defending an empire” in the MiddlenEast. Any assertion to the contrary justnshows the extent to which we are dominatednby “imperialist” thinking. In Barraclough’snphantasmagoric world, thenSoviets are not exactiy good guys, butnthey are playing by the traditional imperialistnrules; maybe they are just playingna defensive game. The Soviet occupationnof Afghanistan, after all, was provokednby the Americans, it is claimed; thenSoviets are only defending their spherenof influence. As did the British ForeignnOflSce in 1911, Barraclough insists, thenAmerican leaders are erroneously basingntheir policy on “mutual suspicion,” andnthis is “bound to lead to an explosion.”nThe rather tiresome question of whetherntheir suspicions might be justified is onenthat Barraclough, like the Ground Zeroncrew, would prefer to avoid. Dnample, the following critical and poignantnquestions are mentioned in the book,nyet they are treated superficially, obliquely,nor not at all. Does television newsnmake journalism’s weaknesses manifest,nas Mr. Lesher asserts, or does it create anunique set of journalistic problems all itsnown? Do distortions result from the naturenof journalism—^again as Lesher indicates—ornfrom the intrinsic prejudice ofnjournalists trained in an ambience thatnconfuses liberal judgment with truth? Isnthere any meaning to the journalist’sncode of truth, honesty, and integrity whennhe is in search of “the big story”? Arenjournalists a menace to the very socialnorder that provides them with protectionnand sanctuary?nCertainly the time constraints on televisionnnews broadcasts set this form ofnreporting apart from print journalism. Annntelevision story is invariably headlinesnand subheadlines; the text is merely backgroundnaccompaniment for a visual depiction.nThe average story is two minutesnin length. “Pictures tell the story, notna talking head” is a well-establishedncliche in the industry. Those who preferna bright talking head who tells a storynwell are informed by the cognoscenti:n”That may be journalism, but it isn’t televisionnjournalism.”nAnother condition of television newsnto which Lesher alludes but doesn’t explorenis “news provincialism.” This is thenphenomenon of “What happens to Americansnis what’s happening.” Rare is thenstudent who when asked the question,n”What is the bloodiest war in the lastnthree decades?” responds with any answernother than “Vietaam.” The correctnresponse is the war in the Sudan—annevent that American television camerasndid not cover and which, as a consequence,nremains an event about whichnAmericans are completely ignorant. Relatednto this matter is the way in whichntelevision cameras make the news. Posturingnis a natural response to the camera.nWhen the news crew arrives thentarget audience is “on stage,” as was thencase with Iranians holding Americanndiplomats hostage or students holding andean captive at the University of California.nThe news is often manu&ctured, anninauthentic event staged by authenticnactors. Dan Rather is quoted by Leshernas su^esting television news is a “crudenart.” Yet Rather—^like other reportersnand anchors—^projects an image of assuredness.nHe and his confreres couchntheir news items in sincere, straightforwardnreporting. But all too often what isnseen can’t be believed and what is saidnwith assurance should be said with qualification.nThis is particularly evident innthe case of 60 Minutes, wiiich Lesherndetails.nAn examination of the contentiousnquestioning style of Mike Wallace makesnit quite obvious that queries made byn”reporters” are structured to support anpreconceived point of view. Althoughnthis is described as “advocacy journalism”n