Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

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Pantheon Books, 2002 - Political Science - 412 pages
111 Reviews
In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.

Based on a series of case studies—including the media’s dichotomous treatment of “worthy” versus “unworthy” victims, “legitimizing” and “meaningless” Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the U.S. wars against Indochina—Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media’s behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications. These include the manner in which the media covered the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent Mexican financial meltdown of 1994-1995, the media’s handling of the protests against the World Trade Organization, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund in 1999 and 2000, and the media’s treatment of the chemical industry and its regulation. What emerges from this work is a powerful assessment of how propagandistic the U.S. mass media are, how they systematically fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the kind of information that people need to make sense of the world, and how we can understand their function in a radically new way.

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The book made good and true points, but then went on and on and on as if it had to hit us a thousand times over in case we didn't get them. So much so that I didn't want to hear another word. I started to wonder if the book wasn't just hate trying to fill us with condemnation.

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User Review  - Leah Proudfoot - Goodreads

I read this in college. Count on Noam Chomsky to really get your mind moving, and your thinking of something, in this case Mass Media, with a different perspective. Read full review


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News Culture
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About the author (2002)

Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Noam Chomsky is Professor, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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