Manipulation of News
Unhappy with the corporate media? You’ve good reason to be. Martin Lee says, the “U.S. media serve to take people on detours away from finding out where power really resides.” Another major media problem, Lee adds, is the over reliance on official Washington sources. Norman Solomon warns of the danger of the Fourth Estate becoming the Fourth Branch of government. Citing Orwell’s 1984 he points out how language is manipulated to obfuscate understanding. So an invasion of a country is called defensive. Another media technique is the “we we syndrome,” e,g., What are we going to do with Noriega? How can we contain Saddam Hussein? Dissident voices rarely receive attention thus contributing to a narrow and skewed ideological focus. Solomon says, “It will take leaps of imagination and organizing and persistence for us to be able to create some alternatives in the media and society at large.”
Martin Lee is co-founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), the New York-based media watch group. An award-winning journalist, he has investigated the CIA and its drug experiments. His classic book on the topic is Acid Dreams. He is also the author of The Beast Reawakens and Smoke Signals. He is director of Project CBD and a contributing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s.
Norman Solomon is a political commentator and media critic. The National Council of Teachers of English honored him with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. He is director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of Roots Action, an online activist group. He is the author of many books including Target Iraq, War Made Easy and Made Love, Got War.