In “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,” published in 1988, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky exposed the techniques that the commercial media used to promote and defend the economic, social and political agendas of the ruling elites. These techniques included portraying victims as either worthy or unworthy of sympathy.
I think when the term “alternative facts” was introduced to national audiences it was quite apparent that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. In a land where so much importance is given to the concept that one must have a belief in (preferably the Judeo-Christian) God it should be recognized that the important thing is indeed belief. People who tend to believe things in contrast to thinking for themselves are much easier to control. The entire “news” media has adapted to this paradigm no matter their particular slant. Critical thinking has been abandoned, which is why we see science-based policies easily assailed in the public forum. That the anti-science crowd tweets on their iPhone through the ether and into a network that feeds the information systems of the world according to the laws of physics is wholly lost on it. Perhaps such messages should be restricted to notes in corked bottles randomly tossed into bodies of water, which better represents a mechanism in proportion to their value. We are entrenched in an intellectual war and the anti-intellectuals have been winning and continue to do so because they can be used by the one percent to garner profits. The world has always known a small class of individuals who see the fallacies of society yet don’t have the means by which to correct them. The Enlightenment is and has been since the start in peril.
My respect for Taibi – and Hedges for citing him-- continues to grow. Maybe Hedges could start a quick response forum/website to help us sort through the upcoming presidential primaries. Invite people like Taibi, Aaron Mate, the Real News to join. I see this next year as critical. I live in rural Illinois and talk to other “deplorable” neighbors and yesterday one said “I’m worried about Biden.” That tells me that Fox and the RNC have started building Biden up to be the “heal” for their viewers. While that same neighbor struggles with his addiction to the Fox narrative he also is very unsettled about our imperial wars (his grandson survived a tour in Iraq), is questioning his addiction to Monsanto type farming and struggles with his white vs brown tribal identification. Bottom line for me: i’m going to continue my struggle locally which means that I listen, respond, question, challenge and agree with my deplorable neighbors.
I’ve personally used the term “the outrage industry” for a lot of years now, and it applies to the entire constellation of news/punditry platforms used to generate traffic by the leveraging of outrage. This very site is one small piece of that system. Almost all political sites are.
It’s nearly impossible to follow political and social affairs and not be tainted with this goo. And my personal interest since graduate school has been researching and occasionally experimenting with ways to interrupt the delivery of “outrage fixes” to eager consumers hyped up to get pissed off.
After about 15 years of this, I concluded it was a toxin with no viable antidote, so I gave up the scholastic angle of boards like this and settled for the occasional run of agitation, if only to not let the chorus of “me, too!” (sort of intended) get so loud in unanimity that it would explode.
To this day, no one’s come up with a real “cure” for propaganda in the modern age of the mind screw. I figure something like that can’t possibly end well.
Corporate Citizens United = political power / junkyard dog / ego / pay your dues exceptionalism / political duty to hold your advantage / actions to gain advantage / short term metrics / add other criteria
Civic responsibility = societal equity/equality / stewardship to conserve well being / constant fact-based education / community sharing and discussion to develop fact-based actions / both long term and short term metrics considered / add other criteria
I value the recognition of the distinction between ego based advantage seeking and living in discovery of a planetary and cosmic reality. Sounds very strange to link the known and unknown, the local and the ‘cosmic’ - but it would seem that that is what we need to break through. Culture is a set of agreed upon boundaries to enable to best use practices for the good of all/everything. Capitalism DOES NOT recognize that set of boundaries and is destroying the full spectrum of necessity in the delusion of “full spectrum dominance”. This is the toxic triumvirate of Bolton, Pompeo, Trump and their deluded ilk/sycophants/circus audience.
“If it bleeds it leads”
“Good news makes bad copy”
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
There is nothing in the record of the past two years when both Houses of Congress have been controlled by the Republican Party which can lead any person to believe that those promises will be fulfilled in the future. They follow the Hitler line - no matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as truth.
John F. Kennedy
The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits—a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.
Hunter S. Thompson,
Should be also mentioned how this media formula of us versus them, Democrat versus Republican, conservative versus liberal reporting has also served to keep third party and another alternative viewpoints marginalized, ignored and, overall, out of mainstream American politics. Even CD is guilty, here. When has anyone seen a single article on a third party on CD? In the same view, how often do you see an article that does not frame issues in other than a Democrat versus Republican format? To be sure, the only time the Green Party or other third or fourth party gets a mention, here, is in the comments section.
Like all private corporations, privately owned media corporations must maximize profit, which means they must maximize ratings, using the same target marketing techniques that every private business uses.
It explains why Fox and MSNBC are who they are.
It also explains why quality is so low. Facts, data and information do not sell. Headlines, the more sensational the better, do.
A society that depends on a private press will never be well informed.
And no press is better than the demands that the public places on it.
Doesn’t this article just fan the flames?
It becomes more and more obvious to me that, as long as you identify with one Party or the other, you can’t really see the big picture, what is really going on.
Well, it (and astute documentaries, like Fox Film’s “Idiocracy”) certainly sees the obvious: Comcast made spectacular amounts with CNBC’s ‘Bagger, astroturf protection scheme under Obama. White flight suburbanites flocked to Wally World to fetch’ em up sum BushMASTER rifles & Chinese 223 ZombieMax rounds fer too waddur dat tree o’Freedum! So, why couldn’t their MSDNC division make a whole lot more, selling David Brock’s lame ass RussiaRussiaRussia excuse (that still seems like Robby, Debbie & John cooked up one Nov evening, at some dive bar in Chelsea?) The fahklempt pussy hat hordes control about 40% of the nations’ wealth and were as frightened of their stock portfolios’ valuations, Manhattan pied-à-terre & undocumented au pair, as they were of a Nazi Judiciary, Klan Congress and 63 million pissed-off, inbred opioid addicts tottin’ EZ Credit firearms they’d no capability of fixing? I think the professional wrestling, ringside shouting match metaphore’s been done to death (figuratively) well before Mike Judge. Tag-team kleptocracy of dualing protection schemes IS governance, and blog-aggregator comments threads’ troll feeding frenzies, even before Correct the Record K Street stomp down of dissent, whistle blowing or nascent attempts at journalism? Don’t mean nothing, not a thing.
They do it because imo it’s the easiest conflict to cover. Plus it keeps the conversation in a small box, where it is easier to control. And a lot less investigation reporting.
It’s really hard for me to go from deep concern to a model of hate, or hate mongering. Hate is too ugly a thing to carry around.
As a species we collectively drove ourselves insane long ago by way of religions and magical thinking in general. Propaganda is simply the evolution of that same process.
It is wielded by the same kind of individuals for the same purpose and is spread in much the same manner.
We are entering a new version of the dark ages where dissenting voices are once again silenced by any means, although this time around they are called terrorists or foreign agents instead of heretics and witches.
Food for thought. What if we just turn off all media?. Could you do this?. I mean do you really think you could go 3 weeks without your TV, Phone or computer?. May 28th ,2019. Try it and get back to me in 3 weeks.
Biden as a heel…well not like he don’t belong there.
i’m going off-topic, but it’s just one more absurdity that it is framed as “the Judeo-Christian God,” when obviously and inescapably it is “the Judeo-Christo-Islamic God.” Same God. Unbroken historical line among the three major Abrahamic religions. But we (in the “Christian” USA) must “other” Islam, make it different, make it the enemy, to justify “our” “God blessed” war-making and neo-colonization of resources.
“The template for news, Taibbi writes, is professional wrestling.”
This was the key takeaway for me from the article. Because it really distilled down what we have in terms of news reporting today. Our corporately controlled duopoly that we call politics is just a game for show. It has nothing to do with voting or democracy or truth.
We the people can only chose between D or R to have any say at all. Those that don’t make a choice within that box have no real voice at all and will not be heard.
I come here to Common Dreams comment section to listen and to be heard. To have a genuine conversation without taking sides except against the corporate oligarch empire. I’m not looking for bias confirmation. I truly appreciate all of the contributions of my fellow posters here. I learn a lot lot from you all, whether I agree with you or not.
Keep it coming!!
Like you just did?
Ooops. I guess like I just did too?
Ooops. Now I fanned the flames against my own fanning the flames.
Oops… (this could go on and on…)
Sometimes the best medicine is just to laugh.
Actually, have not had a t.v. literally since the 70’s. Use a cell phone for emergencies only or traveling and have a desk top for news and commentary that I choose not that chooses me.
It is do-able and preferable for sane participation in society.
and…From Rudy G
Truth isn’t Truth