Something to think about the next time you read or watch the news. Reminds me of another good book I read some time ago, Neil Postman's "How to Watch TV News".
Methods of Media Manipulation, by Michael Parenti
Thursday, May 13 2004 @ 05:13 PM EDT
We are told by media people that some news bias is unavoidable. Distortions are caused by deadline pressures, human misjudgment, budgetary restraints, and the difficulty of reducing a complex story into a concise report. Furthermore, the argument goes, no communication system can hope to report everything. Selectivity is needed.
I would argue that the media's misrepresentations are not all the result of innocent error and everyday production problems, though such problems certainly exist. True, the press has to be selective--but what principle of selectivity is involved? Media bias does not occur in a random fashion; rather it moves in the same overall direction again and again, favoring management over labor, corporations over corporate critics, affluent Whites over low-income minorities, officialdom over protesters, the two-party monopoly over leftist third parties, privatization and free market "reforms" over public-sector development, U.S. corporate dominance of the Third World over revolutionary social change, and conservative commentators and columnists like Rush Limbaugh and George Will over progressive or populist ones like Jim Hightower and Ralph Nader (not to mention more radical ones).
The corporate mainstream media seldom stray into territory that might cause discomfort to those who hold political and economic power, including those who own the media or advertise in it.
What follows are some common methods of media manipluation.