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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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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Didn't tell me anything about the general behavior of American news media that I didn't already know just from watching them myself and/or reading Greenwald's column, but I did learn a bunch of (horrible) stuff about our role in Vietnam and Cambodia. ( )
  jhudsui | Nov 3, 2014 |
One of the founding motives of the United States was that it didn't and doesn't care about the rights of brown or red people. The silly British tried to respect the treaties with the natives in contrast to the Americans' god-given right to Western expansion. The big fault of Chomsky's book is his idealism, the faulty assumption that Americans care what their Buffalo soldiers do in places far away. They don't.

Firstly, caring would demand some minimal knowledge about geography and history. Even after a decade of war, most Americans would probably not be able to correctly identify Afghanistan or Iraq on a world map. Neither could they point out Guatemala or Laos. That the New York Times doesn't cover or relegate events is to a large extent due to customer demand. Americans prefer cheap, salty, fat and saccharine fast food not ugly stories about massacres and bad deeds from far-away places. The dis-intermediation of the media industry has shown that "news" is a poor business, even a loss leader.

Given the cost of reporting and the low demand on the one hand and the corporate ownership of the US media on the other, it is hardly surprising that US news is vastly different from what is served in other advanced countries. Cat pictures attract much more views at much lower cost. While Chomsky's explanation is fine, it is overly complex.

For this anniversary edition, Chomsky and co. revisited whether their cases presented held up: Depressingly, they passed with flying colors. The reality uncovered was in most cases even more damning. More helpful, though, would have been a look at the media in other countries. Just like commercial TV stations in European countries survive and prosper with vastly fewer ads and interruptions, the US could have a much more healthy media structure. ( )
2 vote jcbrunner | Sep 30, 2013 |
This book will teach you to think of the media in a whole new way. ( )
  EricKibler | Apr 6, 2013 |
Highly recommended a solidly built thesis of Chomsky's Propaganda model and how it exposes anti-left war against all groups and states seeking to democratically espouse a socialist true left position. ( )
  wonderperson | Mar 30, 2013 |
With the recent growth of the PR industry, Manufacturing Consent is even more important now than it was when first published in 1988.

Chomsky has repeated many times that the propaganda model of the West does not require a conspiracy. This book is a thorough - and thoroughly brilliant - explanation of how it is simply an emergent property of free markets.

Although Ed Herman receives authorial first billing, this reads like a Chomsky book, like an academic work. That is, it is packed with documented evidence for their claims. If you are unfamiliar with the tone of Chomsky's writing or find the density of the information provided daunting, it may be a bit of a chore to read. In this case I suggest first reading the intro and the first and last chapters, then going on to the bulk of the book (chapters 2-6) if you like. ( )
1 vote jeffjardine | Aug 13, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375714499, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

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Discusses the ways in which the mass media are manipulated to present the news according to an underlying elite consenus which affects the manner in which similar events in different parts of the world are presented.

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