Sunday, May 23, 2010

System of Infomration Control for Wars and Empire

--Dimaggio, Anthony. When Media Goes to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and the Limits of Dissent. Monthly Review P, 2009. Dissects the limits of dissent in the US press, stressing the government and mass media’s use of propaganda to restrict information in the “war on terror.” That is, the book explains how U.S. mainstream media frame foreign policy on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran in accord with the views of political officials and other elite representatives. The book’s central analytical method is that of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.
--Herman, Edward and Noam Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Pantheon, 1988/2002. Explains the performance of mainstream US media in terms of basic institutional structures and relationships within which they operate, especially the powerful societal and financial interests that control them. Media function to inculcate and defend the agendas of privileged groups that dominate the US in many ways, including selection of topics, distribution of concerns, framing of issues, filtering of information, emphasis and tone, and by keeping the bounds of debate within acceptable premises. Especially, five media filters function to direct access and disseminate information to the public: 1) ownership, owner wealth, profit orientation, 2) advertising the main income source, 3) reliance on government, business, and experts funded by these institutions of power, 4)”flak” to discipline media, and 5) anti-communism as national religion to silence criticism (which today includes anti-terrorism). US bipartisan foreign policy politics function within the boundaries set by these filters.

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