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Despite Freedom of Internet and New Media, Today’s News More More Managed Than Ever

By Cliff DuRand

Forty years ago, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman analyzed management of the news in an iconoclastic book, Manufacturing Consent. In those days, it was harder to see how the commercial mass media was manipulating opinion. They were all on the same page, so to speak, and so reinforced a shared view of reality. This helped to produce the national consensus of the post-WWII years.

Now we see competing cable news channels manufacturing their own realities, each appealing to a segmented audience that they each ideologically manipulate in furtherance of their political agenda. This makes it easier for us to recognize that the news is managed, at least in the case of those we disagree with. We can see how FOX News is a state propaganda organ. But do we recognize how MSNBC is a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party? Some even call it MSDNC.

All news is managed these days, and is best understood as entertainment that is designed to make us hate each other. That is the message of media gadfly Matt Taibbi in his new book, Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another.

Here’s Taibbi’s message in one paragraph: In the old days, the media was official, bland, and boring. The news manufactured consent and represented the ruling consensus. The Internet, the New Economy, and the nineties changed that. New media—cable news and clickbait sites—upended everything, including our politics and our brains. Trump is the symptom of this, not the cause. Hate’s a profitable business, not only for Trump but for the corporate media as well.

The media helped make Trump, and the Fourth Estate had a disturbing symbiosis with the “Orange One” from day one, giving millions of dollars of free airtime to build their ratings. Taibbi is honest, intelligent, and observant enough to see class interest, including his own. He understands the craven and managerial character of modern American journalism.

This Monday, OccupySMA will present an hour-long recorded interview with Matt Taibbi by social critic Chris Hedges. They will discuss his book, updating the Chomsky/Herman propaganda model for the age of Trump. If you’ve enjoyed Taibbi’s biting journalism in Rolling Stone, you’ll find this interview eye-opening and disturbing. Come and join in our discussion as the US launches into its 16-month electoral blitz. Taibbi’s critique may help you keep your bearings through the inevitable onslaught of media deceptions.

 

Meeting and Film

OccupySMA presents

Matt Taibbi’s new book

Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another

Mon, Aug 5, 1pm

Quinta Loreto Hotel

Loreto 15, Centro

Free

FILM OCUPPY

 

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