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The Media: Manufacturing Consent 
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Post The Media: Manufacturing Consent
Chomsky's work is especially important in highlighting the manufacturing of consent that is required in keeping the population of the US under control. The consent of the governed is largely (but not entirely) a matter of media manipulation: the creation of necessary illusions.

Interventions is an interesting case-in-point. Since 2002, the New York Times Syndicate has been distributing op-eds written by the pre-eminent foreign policy critic and scholar of our time, Noam Chomsky. The New York Times Syndicate is part of the same company as the New York Times newspaper, and while readers around the world have had a chance to regularly read Chomsky's articles, the New York Times newspaper has never published a single one. Only a few regional newspapers in the US have picked up the Op-eds, such as the Register Guard, the Dayton Daily News, and the Knoxville Voice. Internationally, the Op-eds have appeared in the mainstream British press including the International Herald Tribune, the Guardian, and the Independent.

Let's use this thread to explore Chomsky's theses regarding the role of media manipulation in shaping/deterring democracy.

Here are some quotations from the documentary The Manufacturing of Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

In a totalitarian state, it doesn't matter what people think, since the government can control people by force using a bludgeon. But when you can't control people by force, you have to control what people think, and the standard way to do this is via propaganda (manufacture of consent, creation of necessary illusions), marginalizing the general public or reducing them to apathy of some fashion.



Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:22 pm
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Post Re: The Media: Manufacturing Consent
Manufacturing Consent is a great study. Unfortunately, it is just that: a study. I loved the introduction and the definition of the propaganda model. As a media critic, that introduction was a defining part of my research into the issue. But I could get much past page 120 or so due to the laborious research study style of the writing which bored me to tears despite being fascinating. A 200 page summary to their full title would have been much more readable. But that is the problem I have with Chomsky: I love hearing him speak but have a hard time reading his works. And I am by no means uneducated having a B.S. and also seek out educational titles.




Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:59 am
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Post Dangerous Memories
rivercoil: But that is the problem I have with Chomsky: I love hearing him speak but have a hard time reading his works.

My experience is similar. I've found his interviews to be far more accessable, as are the hundreds of letters he's kept in correspondence over the years with critics and fellow travellers across the planet. I think his lectures (from which many of his books are transcripted) can be overfull of minutiae: names, dates, events, major and minor players, statements and quotations, references from state documents, journal articles, newspapers and other media outlets...the history of the event is hyper-documented with Chomsky. Perhaps this is in response to the "memory hole" process in which the unwanted, disturbing, incriminating and otherwise essential data of the past are flushed away. Chomsky is a protector of memory: his books might be seen as attempts at saving the memories of those details deemed dangerous by elites and their allies.

After carefully, and perhaps painfully, exploring his arguments of politics and history...it becomes overwhelmingly clear that his narratives are firmly rooted in the facts, supported by massive data both official and otherwise, and the result of meticulous attention to detail...his is the science of defending democracy.

Of course Chomsky always expects his readers to draw their own conclusions and examine the data with their own eyes. He is no oracle. Perhaps his less-than enjoyable reading style is one way to ward off the acolytes and disciples of the world hungry for yet another guru to explain everything?

In any case, I think Interventions is by far his most accessable to date. He doesn't waste a word and the arguments are pinpoint direct.

By the way, I think the most enjoyable read I've discovered regarding Chomsky has been UNDERSTANDING POWER: The Indispensable Noam Chomsky. This book assembles transcripts from multiple seminars and group discussion with Chomsky from over a number of years. Chomsky in conversation and give and take with students and comrades discussing what is always on his list of concerns: who has the power and how are they abusing it?

Interventions is Chomsky at his best. Don't let earlier experiences keep you away.




Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:12 am
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Post DVD's ?
If his lectures are generally better, how 'bout DVD's then? Isn't Mfg Consent also a documentary? I went looking for it, but found the following. Are these good, are they available on NetFlix? (I'm considering joining NetFlix mainly to get obscure documentaries like these...)

www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_s...y=12&Go=Go

Edited by: LanDroid at: 7/14/07 7:26 pm



Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:24 pm
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Post Re: DVD's ?
I got the DVD from Netflix and is very good and partially where a base my statement that I enjoy Chomsky speaking compared to his written works. The DVD is excessively long but definitely worth watching.

Netflix in general is totally worth while. We have been a subscriber for two years. We do not have cable Television so Netflix is our entertainment. Definitely a lot cheaper and far more interesting without the commercials and inane ridiculousness plaguing modern television. Lots of these random documentaries and harder to find stuff that your neighborhood rental shop will not have. For example, we recently watched all seven seasons of Star Trek: TNG for less than half the cost of buying the entire series and rental shops would not have this stuff available.

/hyjack




Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:48 am
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Post Re: DVD's ?
Try doing a Google Video search for Noam Chomsky...I got this. Goldmine!

Check out the debate between Chomsky and William Buckley from 1969. I'd be interested in others' opinions on the dialogue...I think Chomsky outclassed, outthought, and outright delivered a painful lesson in history, logic, and hypocrisy to Mr. Buckley.

UC Berkeley's Institute of International Studies interviewed Chomsky as part of their Conversations with History series...accessable, easily understood, funny, encyclopedic, blistering criticisms, very good stuff
Quote:
Background ... family influences ... his uncle and the New York newsstand ... Zionism ... Orwell ... the Spanish Civil War ... dread of fascism and palpable sense of anti-Semitism ... commentary by a ten-year-old

Anarchism and Power ... distinctiveness of U.S view... 19th century workers' movements and culture ... defining legitimate power ... burden of proof ... even for the powerless

Thinking about Power ... scientific inquiry and political questions ... the centrality of human freedom ... media control of the debate ... "concision" ... manufacturing consent ... the power to frame the issues

The U.S. Role in the World ... the case of Iraq ... the cases of Serbia and Turkey ... the case of Indonesia ....two kinds of intellectuals ... the case of Kosovo

Activism ... joining together ... changing consciousness ... the real heroes ... elementary moral principles ... courage ... the hard work

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 7/16/07 5:40 pm



Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:39 pm
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Post Re: DVD's ?
Ali G interviews "my main man Norman Chomsky"! AHAHAAAAAA! ::100 Noam is a good sport. :o

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOIM1_xOSro




Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:47 pm
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Post Re: The Media: Manufacturing Consent
To learn more about conservative control of the media, read the following books instead of Chomsky.

Toxic Sludge is Good for You by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

What Liberal Media? by Eric Alterman

Both of those books are far more readable than Chomsky. The authors are liberal but not leftist, which makes their arguments more persuasive to people who aren't already on the left.

There are tons of books about the media, but those are the best two I've read. I got part way through Manufacturing Consent; it's too dense and long for most readers.

Edited by: JulianTheApostate at: 7/31/07 8:31 am



Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:30 am
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Post The Propaganda Model
JuliantheApostate: I got part way through Manufacturing Consent; it's too dense and long for most readers.

I agree that Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, a 1988 book by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky is a challenge to complete.

Here is a brief excerpt from Edward Herman's The Propaganda Model: A Retrospective 2003
Quote:
What is the propaganda model and how does it work? Its crucial structural factors derive from the fact that the dominant media are firmly imbedded in the market system. They are profit-seeking businesses, owned by very wealthy people (or other companies); and they are funded largely by advertisers who are also profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to appear in a supportive selling environment. The media also lean heavily on government and major business firms as information sources, and both efficiency and political considerations, and, frequently, overlapping interests, cause a certain degree of solidarity to prevail among the government, major media, and other corporate businesses. Government and large nonmedia business firms are also best positioned (and sufficiently wealthy) to be able to pressure the media with threats of withdrawal of advertising or TV licenses, libel suits, and other direct and indirect modes of attack. The media are also constrained by the dominant ideology, which heavily featured anticommunism before and during the Cold War era, and was mobilized often to induce the media to support (or refrain from criticizing) U.S. attacks on small states that were labeled communist.

These factors are linked together, reflecting the multileveled capability of government and powerful business entities and collectives (e.g., the Business Roundtable; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the vast number of well-heeled industry lobbies and front groups) to exert power over the flow of information. We noted that the five factors involved--ownership, advertising, sourcing, flak, and anticommunist ideology--work as 'filters' through which information must pass, and that individually and often in additive fashion they greatly influence media choices. We stressed that the filters work mainly by the independent action of many individuals and organizations; and these frequently, but not always, have a common view of issues and similar interests. In short, the propaganda model describes a decentralized and nonconspiratorial market system of control and processing, although at times the government or one or more private actors may take initiatives and mobilize coordinated elite handling of an issue.


Have you seen the video Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick? Far more accessable and a damn good film too. Mark Achbar went on to create the 2003 film The Corporation (which also includes brief conversations with Chomsky).




Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:13 am
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