- Series: Open Media Series
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Seven Stories Press; 2 Sub edition (September 3, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1583225366
- ISBN-13: 978-1583225363
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 110 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Media Control, Second Edition: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (Open Media Series) 2 Sub Edition
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About the Author
NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings as well as for his groundbreaking linguistics work. He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 and remains one of America's most uncompromising voices of dissent.
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Fundamentally, it should be a neutral term. However, it grew up with a negative connotation by association with the world wars.
In 1924, Adolf Hitler wrote that "propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert". While the term propaganda might evoke oceaninc crowds of people rising arms and shouting "Heil Hitler" it is important to note that it was not invented by the Nazis.
The original latin word refers to the biological reproduction of flora and fauna (to propagate, things that must be disseminated), whereas the Papacy coined the phrase propaganda fide.
The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of Faith is a Congregation of the Roman Curia for the Evangelization of Peoples (Congregation pro Gentium Evangelizatione). In 1622, Pope Gregory XV founded the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (sacra congregatio christiano nomini propaganda) but it was Pope Urban VIII who made it an institution.
Noam Chomsky's Media Control is a little and easy to read book. Loved it. If you get a chance and you would like to know what is the role of the media in contemporary politics (and open your mind to new ways of thinking if you are not familiar with Propaganda) this is a book for you.
Clearly, it is U.S. centric (as pretty much all the books available to market).
It will take one hour of your time (more or less depending on your reading skills) to be read.
Noam Chomsky goes directly to the point and his thinking will not leave the reader disappointed. You might wish to try it as an appetizer. Then, if you want more. There's much more Content worth reading/watching/listening to from Noam's brilliant mind.
"Media Control" is both brief and informative. The great thing about thi book is you can apply the concepts to instances in the past and present. The omniscient and omnipotent media. It dictates what most of us discuss at the dinner table, or over a cup of coffee or beer. The topics at hand are spoon-fed to us, and often our very own opinions are spoon-fed to us also. Often, we get a narrow pre-defined "choice" of 2 positions to take on these complicated topics. Often the two positions are oversimplified and more nuanced than actually opposing one another. These issues and circumstances are not that simple. But the media constructs and defines the parameters, simplifies and narrows them, and dishes them out to the public. This is the narrow field of play the mainstream media hands to us. We sheepishly accept it, often without being aware of it nor critically thinking about it. Our opinions on these chosen topics are often limited.
"Media Control" is applicable for the past, present, and future. The rules basically stay the same.
"Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose."
"It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion." -Joseph Goebbels
Recent real-life instances of "Media Control" include Freedom Fries, pre-emptive attacks, war-mongering, PNAC, and the Neo-con fad that has infiltrated the US government via appointments, and influenced the US public in recent years: A high percentage of the American public according to polling data is not interested in attacking and overthrowing governments in foreign countries. Therefore, the public has to be influenced, excited, and engineered to endorse such endeavors. Fear is the best motivator to influence public opinion.
One example cited among many was the American public's perception and belief that Iraq would invade the United States. Iraqi armed forces landing on the shores of New Jersey or California? Imagine that. The Americans had to "fight them [the Sunnis) on their soil or they'd have to fight them on our soil." 7/10 American polled believe Iraq & Hussein were involved in 9-11 during the media onslaught that began with Judith Miller of the NY Times and the GWB administration. The Iraq conflict is near (perhaps) the end of US troop involvement, but it's a great illustraion of Media Control.
Another example from this book is former Panamanian ally, Manuel Noriega: a small time operator that dealt drugs in cooperation with the US the government, until he fell out of favor. Noriega was made larger than life. Made into a caricature of a dangerous thug. A threat. The USA removed him and restored power to the 8% white minority elite, having U.S. military officers in positions throughout the government.
Before this in the 1980s, there was the Emergency Threat to the United States: Latin American, Lessor Developed Countries, with ill-trained, and ill-equipped armies.
Ironically, the Creel Commission (CPI) is noted in "Media Control," and appriately so. The Creel Commission was a propaganda campaign to get the USA involved in WWI. It's widely considered by historians to be the center of the creation of the Public Relations (PR) industry.
The media is all-powerful. The thoughts most think, the tenets most believed in, and the words people say, are the words of others.
The public thinks they make their own decisions but in truth they are led to specific outcomes through well-established methods. The lengths to which this propaganda can take the population are practically without limit; typically it involves whipping up public support for wars (sometimes ridiculously unjust, like the overthrow of the Guatemalan government, leading to decades of civil war, for the sake of the United Fruit Company), for the benefit of the military-industrial complex.
It's a very quick read, and your understanding of how the US really works will become qualitatively better.