The Political Economy of the Mass Media
One of the all time great Chomsky talks. He discusses the Salman Rushdie case and the mega merger between Time and Warner. He connects the two by relating an incident he had with a Warner publishing subsidiary. He and Edward Herman had written a book, Counter-Revolutionary Violence. The first print run was in the thousands. When ads started appearing to promote the book they caught the attention of William Sarnoff a top Warner executive. He demanded to see a copy of the book. He called it a “pack of lies.” and had the book not only pulped but dissolved the entire subsidiary. Ben Bagdikian in his The Media Monopoly tells the story and calls it a classic example of “corporate interference in and control of the dissemination of information and ideas.”
Recorded at the University of Wisconsin.
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. His contributions to modern linguistics are legendary. 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.” The New Statesman calls him “the conscience of the American people.” He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. At 95, he continues to inform and inspire people all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, his latest are Consequences of Capitalism, Chronicles of Dissent and Notes on Resistance.