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Manufacturing Consent

Program #CHON083. Recorded in Cambridge, MA on January 22, 1993.

The media like to present themselves as objective, balanced and free from any bias or agenda. Reality suggests something quite different. The media function as weapons of mass distraction. Much of what passes as news is, sometimes subtle, sometimes crude, propaganda. The media are large conglomerates that serve to mobilize support for the special interests that dominate state and corporate power. In democratic societies populations are not controlled by force. Rather, they are subject to more refined forms of ideological manipulation. Emotionally potent oversimplifications and necessary illusions are created and repeated endlessly. Embedded ideas, such as Washington's right to intervene anywhere in the world, go unexamined and unchallenged. Consent is manufactured. The public, reduced to being spectators, is marginalized.

Speaker(s):

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. The legendary MIT professor practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” At 87, he still gives lectures all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, including Propaganda & the Public Mind, How the World Works, and Power Systems with David Barsamian.

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