Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Propaganda By Way Of Filtration

Monday, January 30, 2006

Propaganda By Way Of Filtration

In Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman's Manufacturing Consent, the reader is given insight into the propaganda model that exists in the United States. According to the authors, the inequality of wealth and power in this country creates a propaganda model in a which a very few control the content of the news that is disseminated to the masses. This is done by way of what Chomsky and Herman call "filtration." From the very beginning of media in the United States the powers that be have found subtle ways to avoid change. The creation of libel laws and various taxes were designed to drive out the radical media and strip the working class of their voice in society.
Today, the power to disseminate news is divided amongst 24 "media giants." By making it all but impossible to create a new media outlet, these 24 media companies are able to cater to the ideas of those whom they are owned by. By keeping the amount media outlets limited, we have a limited number of views on existing issues.
Another of these methods of filtration discussed in this piece is anticommunism. The government, by way of media, essentially creates a bogeyman for the people to fear. This helps "mobilize the populace against an enemy..." They kept the the concept of communism so fuzzy to the public that people were able to redirect the ills of society as a fault of communism. This same technique exists today in the United States. Communism has effectively been replaced by Terrorism. The Cold War seems to have become the "War on Terror." The American people are never told exactly what the "War on Terror" is or what the overall goal is. Once again the American people have a faceless evil to fear. An evil with which we use to make monsters of those we disagree with. This is not to say that terrorism does not exist. Nor am I implying that those whom engage in terrorism are not evil. What I am suggesting is that in today's media anyone who does not disagree with the United States' government can be painted with the stigma of terrorist or terrorist sympathizer. Such an observation leads me to agree with Chomsky and Herman with regards to the existence of a propaganda model in the United States.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good introduction to the material, and you have hit on a key question: Now that the Cold War is over, is anti-communism no longer a force that limits debate? And the next question is: Can we substitute "anti-terrorism" for it if it has the same chilling effect on open debate and dissent?

1/31/2006 12:44 AM  

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