Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: "To Serve a the Ends of a Dominant Elite"

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"To Serve a the Ends of a Dominant Elite"


Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Norm Chomsky is a interesting look into the straggle hold the media in this country has on this nation. I hear arguments everyday about how this media group is extreme left, while another is extreme right (left or right of the political "wing"), but are any of them giving us the "News"?


I agree with Herman and Chomsky in the basic sense that the media has a political and elite agenda. The system is setup so that a limited few can own and operate a media group. These laws restricting ownership are put in place by the government - the elite. This, in a way, ensures that they (the elite) can choose and manipulate the heads of news sources.

It also does not help the situation when, by nature of media, the cost to operate a media institution is so enormous that only larger corporations and conglomerates can afford the cost. (i.e. Westinghouse; General Electric.)

The bottom line of this portion of Herman and Chomsky's Propaganda Model is that mass media is not aiming to provide you (the consumer) with the most accurate recent news, but rather, their goal is to fulfill a political agenda and accumulate more of the All-Mighty-Dollar.


R. O'Dell

4 Comments:

Blogger Shawn Hewitt said...

This actually is a universial thing: no media is neutral. All of them are or need to be influenced by different kind of interests goups. Here in the United States, GE, Disney and other corperations control most of the corperate media. At the same time, in some other countries, like England, Frence and even China, the state owns most of media groups.
So, what is the future of media?
Will this become the tool of the rich or the autority or the elite?.\

I don't really know the solution, but the good thing about Countries like China is that Chinese people no longer trust those media goups there. And they are more willing to trust news agencies from anohter country.

But among those news groups, majority of them are actually propaganda groups like the VOA and the AP.

This is another problem. Maybe we have to say in a blurred way: there is no truth on the world, just different interpretations:)

Shawn from CUN

2/02/2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger R. O'Dell said...

That is valid point that I did not make clear in my post.

In response to a "solution" - (without getting grossly off topic) I think that web-logs are the solution to this problem of elite media control. I personally think blogs are nothing more than a fad that will eventually fad-e; they will, however, reshape the public's (nationally, and globally)consumption of news. We saw it with Hurricane Katrina when bloggers brought us the most up-to-date news when the mass media could not, literally, get to the scene.

So, to conclude this venture slightly off topic - I think the elite control could weaken but not in the ownership of Media groups. They will lose their some hold because people will develop a better (more neutral) way to obtain the news.

But, yes, no news, ever, has been without bias.

2/02/2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post. You are raising a key issue. I would agree that the political and economic elite have enormous influence over the news. That said, "control" is a very strong word. News media professionals do aim to inform and provide accurate recent news. But kind of news? Which topics? How is the agenda set?
An analysis of the free market model helps us to understand the constraints on the media that are more powerful than goverment regulation.

Mr. Hewitt's comment is very good.

In response to your comment on blogging. I agree, blogging is not the answer to the failure of the mainstream news media to provide the news that the public would require for a real democratic foreign policy. On the other hand, blogs are a step in the right direction towards more citizen particpation in news analysis.

2/09/2006 12:11 PM  
Blogger R. O'Dell said...

In response yo your question of "what kind of news?" -- Yes they do aim to give us the most accurate news -- or the news they give us is the most accurate they "give" us. For the sake of not knowing exactly how to eloquently guide you to my point, I'll just throw it out there. -- It is a buisness of maniplulating our attention - the best example I can give you of this is the MJ trial last year. The verdict was in - the American people were tired of hearing about the war; we, as a nation, were tired of hearing about all the hardships. MJ provided the news media with a brilliantly timed distraction.

I am speaking about the "24-hour" news groups (MSNBC, CNN, etc.)
Out of all the news that happened in one day - I would put a hefty wager on the fact that 18 hours of the news they provided during that time was about the MJ and his skating around disaster again.

They essentially manipulated our attention away from Iraq or other issues. In part, doing us a service, but in my opinion, pulling the wool over our eyes in a way.

2/09/2006 2:55 PM  

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