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Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy…

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988)

by Edward S. Herman, Noam Chomsky

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2,390184,303 (4.12)15
From the Publisher: In this path breaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order. Based on a series of case studies-including the media's dichotomous treatment of "worthy" versus "unworthy" victims, "legitimizing" and "meaningless" Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the U.S. wars against Indochina-Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media's behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications. These include the manner in which the media covered the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent Mexican financial meltdown of 1994-1995, the media's handling of the protests against the World Trade Organization, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund in 1999 and 2000, and the media's treatment of the chemical industry and its regulation. What emerges from this work is a powerful assessment of how propagandistic the U.S. mass media are, how they systematically fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the kind of information that people need to make sense of the world, and how we can understand their function in a radically new way.… (more)
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» See also 15 mentions

English (17)  Italian (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A long and exhaustive read that was terribly fascinating, and definitely worth looking into if you’re interested in how contemporary mainstream media upholds existing hegemonies (in like, the leftist way, not the weird infowars “chemicals turning the frogs gay” way). To be honest I'd only really known about Chomsky's linguistic work, so finding out about his radical political beliefs kind of blindsided me. I'm eager to look into his other works sometime in the future ( )
  hatingongodot | May 3, 2020 |
Noam Chomsky is quite possibly the most intelligent man alive (this is being written after Stephen Hawking's death and noting that there are probably more intelligent women around but the media ignores them), and "Manufacturing Consent" covers his life and belief that the media is to blame for much of which ails the earth.

This is a well written polemic that points out times the mainstream media has twisted the truth or not covered at all. Of course, being a polemic means there is little nuance involved. Hermann and Chomsky are preaching to the converted, and while I agreed with them far more than disagreed, the preaching did grate after a while. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jul 8, 2019 |
If there's one book that changed my life it's this one. I read it many years ago when I was a student, probably shortly after it came out and it has helped ensure that I always look into things in depth and assume nothing. It should be compulsory reading for everybody. Bravo Chomsky. ( )
  SuziBaker | Nov 27, 2018 |
An absolutely brilliant analysis of the ways in which individuals and organizations of the media are influenced to shape the social agendas of knowledge and, therefore, belief. Contrary to the popular conception of members of the press as hard-bitten realists doggedly pursuing unpopular truths, Herman and Chomsky prove conclusively that the free-market economics model of media leads inevitably to normative and narrow reporting. Whether or not you've seen the eye-opening movie, buy this book, and you will be a far more knowledgeable person and much less prone to having your beliefs manipulated as easily as the press.
  Cultural_Attache | Aug 1, 2018 |
Hard to rate. The ideas were great but it was a real slog of a read, so I can't recommend it. Paragraphs like the following were not uncommon:
"Meanwhile, because of the power of establishment sources, the flak machines, and anti-Communist ideology, we would anticipate outcries that the worthy victims are being sorely neglected, that the unworthy are treated with excessive and uncritical generosity, that the media's liberal, adversarial (if not subversive) hostility to government explains our difficulties in mustering support for the latest national venture in counterrevolutionary intervention."

Yes, that was a paragraph, and it was from chapter 1, so it didn't exactly help my experience. I don't even think it's the best example of what bothered me about the writing. If it didn't bother you, you'll be fine. I have issues with any book where I have to reread sentences 3 times just to parse their meaning. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
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Edward S. Hermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chomsky, Noammain authorall editionsconfirmed
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