Fooling America:

How Washington Insiders Twist the Truth and Manufacture the Conventional Wisdom

In this reprint of the classic 1992 book, Robert Parry reveals how the “Watergate” press of the 1970’s was co-opted by Washington Insiders in a calculated attempt to “Kick the Vietnam Syndrome” and sway the public opinion.Conventional Wisdom is the collective judgement of insiders in government, the media, academia and business, whose thought is accepted as virtual law. It serves to enforce the dominant Washington attitudes of the moment.

Guided by the Conventional Wisdom’s judgement on what is news, the Washington press corps managed to miss nearly every major scandal of the 1980’s, including the Iran-Contra affair and Saddam Hussein’s military and political ambitions. How were the insiders able to seduce the free press into abandoning hard investigation and insight? Parry reveals that the press’s number one priority is continued access to government leaders, and reporters are encouraged to go soft on issues for fear of losing that access.

In the final chapter, Parry offers a set of proposals for the country to escape the tyranny of the Conventional Wisdom. He calls on the public, the press, and Congress to reassume their bipartisan responsibility to challenge the Conventional Wisdom and uncover the truth.


About the Author


  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: The Media Consortium; First Paperback Edition edition (October 8, 2015)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (July 1, 1992)


Editorial Reviews



Amazon Reviews

Robert Parry is one of my favorite investigative reporters

This book gives tremendous insight into the overlapping worlds of proxy warfare, media collusion, and propaganda. Robert Parry is one of my favorite investigative reporters. He’s one the top experts on the Iran-Contra scandal. In fact, his hard-hitting, independent coverage of Iran-Contra led to him leaving his job at the AP.
His website,, was a trailblazer for independent online news and it has remained that way.


should be more journalists doing this kind of work

everyone who wants to know what really happened should read this.
should be more journalists doing this kind of work


Love good Writing

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