Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Republican Noise Machine: Right Wing Media and How it Corrupts Democracy (Random House Large Print) Hardcover – Large Print, May 18, 2004
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
The author, once notorious as a conservative attack-journalist trashing the likes of Anita Hill and the Clintons, repudiated his past in the confessional Blinded by the Right. In this blistering j'accuse, Brock mounts a less gossipy and more systematic assault on the right-wing media juggernaut of think tanks, publishers, talk radio shows, Web sites and cable networks. He treats it as a disciplined political movement, inspired by Communist subversion techniques, bankrolled by a handful of right-wing zillionaires through corporate and foundation spigots, tightly yoked to the Republican policy agenda and masterminded by arch-conservative Grover Norquist at weekly strategy meetings. By Brock's account, it constitutes a seamless propaganda machine conveying dubious scholarship, Republican talking points and antiliberal smear campaigns from think tanks and Internet rumor mills to the FOX News and talk radio echo chambers and thence through a network of conservative pundits into the quality press. Meanwhile, Brock charges, the mainstream media, cowed by spurious charges of "liberal bias," have abandoned their role as objective arbiters of truth in favor of an uncritical airing of partisan ideology in the name of "balance." The result, he says, is a public discourse in which the line between fact and opinion is blurred, poorly funded liberal voices get shouted down, "no issue can be honestly debated and no election can be fairly decided." Brock's critique echoes that of other liberal media critics like Eric Alterman and Al Franken, and cannot be accused of nonpartisanship. He is dismissive of the conservative nostrums whose purveyors he pillories, and his biting takedowns of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and their ilk show he hasn't lost his taste for blood. But Brock's incisive, well-supported analysis and his street cred as an apostate from the conservative press make this a spirited challenge to the contemporary mediascape
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
“This is the most important book of the past ten years and mandatory reading for all who want to understand American politics and history.” —Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., author of Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy
“A spirited challenge to the contemporary mediascape.” —Publishers Weekly
“In clear prose, Brock shows convincingly how . . . the accusation of a liberal bias has been based on shabby research and nonexistent evidence.” —Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I think a lot of people will get hung up on the partisanship that is very thick in the book. The real issue is not so much what Conservatives are doing to advance the Conservative agenda, but that they these uber rich people are pulling the wool over the eyes of the american people. They are influencing public opinion with spin and lies. The degree to which we are misinformed about the goings on of government is the degree to which we forefit our liberty. It is interesting how the conservatives preach freedom and liberty while they take it away from us. It is much like saying the media has a "liberal bias." As David Brock reveals, the "liberal bias" line is to deflect attention from their own biases and journalistic lapses and as a rationale to justify their presence in the mainstream media conversation in the name of providing "balance" or "the other side." They are also deflecting our attention from the truth about government as they steal our liberty. In a country where the rallying cry of the Revolutionary War was "Give me Liberty or give me Death," it is ironic that we so passively allow our liberty to be taken from us now. Perhaps soon there will be another revolution. Will you join it when it comes?
Essentially the Republican noise machine was creates as a deliberate strategy to promote conservative views and talking points in the mainstream media (television, newspapers, radio etc...) The strategy features three main strategies: 1) foster the illusion that the mainstream media has a liberal bias, 2) create a phony academic body of entities (primarily think tanks, but also funded university programs) to manufacture "scholarship" that promotes the right-wing talking points so that they appear objective, 3) leverage the perception of liberal bias in the media to demand "equal time" for presentation of the laundered right-wing media talking points as news.
The roots of the right-wing noise machine start back in the days of Goldwater. The civil rights movement succeeded in part because of the public outrage following television news coverage of civil rights protests and backlash. Nixon's new republican coalition of South and West was based in part by frustrated southern racist feeling stymied by a de-facto media position of racial tolerance. Later, the Vietnam war's outcome was partially determined by public protest in the US and the media coverage of the war and the anti-war protests. Brock traces the roots of the strategy for the noise machine in detail - both the writing that defined the strategy and the individuals and entities which funded and created the various organizations that were created to carry out the work. It's not conspiracy theory because the whole thing is mostly out in the open. It's easy to check the facts and I've done so. I'm totally convinced.
The fruits of the right-wing noise machine aren't simply the echo chamber of right wing radio and Fox TV shows that pick up stories and then quote each other to up the air time and give the appearance of validity. It's also been a relentless moving of the main body of mainstream media further to the right. This has led to a host of consequences ranging from millions of taxpayer dollars being wasted on right-wing anti-Clinton witch hunts in the Whitewater and Vince Foster cases to the fact that much of the coverage of the Bush administration in the first term and half consisted of basically reprinting the press releases without critical evaluation. Brock gives dozens (perhaps hundreds) of examples.
There are times when the wealth of information in this book get in the way of the narrative. However, this wealth becomes valuable if you choose to really get into it. Brock has built an irrefutable argument. Those who dismiss it are either specifically partisan, or haven't read it. All this data is rigorously end noted. You can chase every bit of it down yourself. Brock's thesis seemed pretty outrageous to me at first - so I double checked him. I found him spot on. That's when I started delving more deeply into what I was reading in the media myself and I started discovering the bias for myself first hand (for example there were allegations in the recent election coverage that Acorn was involved in the explosion of bad debt that caused the recent economic collapse and that Obama was involved in that - reported in the NY Post. It was all specious and it turned out to be sourced from a "consumer group" that had just been created by a man who was on the board of the libertarian Cato Institute. All this isn't in the book - but an example of how this book taught me to think critically and I've been able to independently verify the noise machine's existence and tactics myself).
This is very good stuff indeed. If you want to know Brock's story, I recommend his memoir "Blinded by the Right" which fully details his earlier career writing right wing hit books like "The Real Anita Hill". This book is radically different from that. This is Brock wearing his investigative journalist hat. This book is a synthesis from other sources - there's very little original reporting here. It's a brilliant synthesis that ties it all together. The conclusions sound outrageous (and indeed they are) - but the outrage is real.
Most recent customer reviews
Fair and Balanced.Read more