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Manufacturing Consent

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman's book, Manufacturing Consent, talks about the power of the media. The media's power comes from the Overton Window.

"The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside." - Allan Bloom

In Manufacturing Consent, they mention a theory that power is used by the powerful to guide the masses, and the main instrument is propaganda through media.  While this sounds like a conspiracy theory, the power of media isn't disputed.  Is the power corruptible?

Manufacturing Consent talks about the conflicts of interest that are inherent within the media business. They say that the national media isn't an independent source of objective information. Rather, there are five filters that information goes through before it reaches the audience.

Filter #1: Media ownership - Interests of the owner. Information that benefits the owner is amplified and information against the owner is curtailed.

Filter #2: Advertising - The monetary interests of the owner.

Filter #3: Access to News Sources - News sources need to be cultivated. Media can not do anything that cuts off access. Especially relevant for official channels.

Filter #4: Flak - Fear of blowback. Media will avoid subjects or themes that will create negative public feedback for them.

Filter #5: Fear. "If it bleeds, it leads." News that creates fear is good for business.

Again, this sounds like a conspiracy theory, that there's a shadowy presence pulling strings to influence people. But Manufacturing Consent argues that these filters appear naturally as a result of human cognitive biases. People who work with these filters will be included in the media and those who fight against them will not.

I saw this in my career. Work within the system or you'll be forced to find another system. If you don't bend the knee, you wind up beyond the Wall.