March 6, 2017

Let Amy Goodman explain Noam Chomsky’s “five media filters” to you with this excellent cartoon


Propaganda. Many use the word when talking about countries like North Korea, Kazakhstan, Iran — countries viewed as authoritarian through the lends of the Western media.

Press freedom. Freedom of thought. People use those terms when talking about countries like the United States, France, Australia. Democracies.

In 1988, Noam Chomsky co-authored a book with Edward Herman, called Manufacturing Consent. It blasted apart the notion that media acts as a check on political power, that media inform the public, serve the public, so that we can better engage in the political process. In fact, media manufacture our consent; they tell us what those in power need them to tell us so we can fall in line. Democracy is staged, with the help of media that work as propaganda machines.

If you’re glad you just read that, but would have preferred hearing it narrated by legendary journalist Amy Goodman and illustrated with a cartoon in which engorged, tentacled eyeball-kings scream gibberish at each other, cook up some Jiffy Pop and sit yourself in front of this:



Today’s the tail end of our semi-hiatus — we’re posting some good stuff, but our regular writers have the day off. Don’t worry, though: we still love you, and will resume our usual activities tomorrow.