Author Topic: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine  (Read 82 times)

Offline DuckFace

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The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« on: March 07, 2017, 08:25:53 pm »
Interesting video on Chomsky's theory of "manufacturing consent":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34LGPIXvU5M

What do you think?  Truth or not?  Some truth, some flaws in this theory?

(didn't know which sub-form to stick this in, so chose US Politics since it's made by Americans)
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Offline dia

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 08:35:34 am »
Interesting video.   I certainly agree with the last one - the "Common Enemy".  But still there are media stories and personalities that run counter to the 'official narrative' so I think the profit motive is the main motivator - media doesn't really care what they are saying as long as people are listening/paying.  Perhaps this creates a divisiveness within the audience, and society, that will ultimately work against the corporations/governments/power-brokers?

 
Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 03:25:51 pm »
I like this thread and want to give it attention when I have the time. I'm just replying so I remember.

Offline segnosaur

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 04:01:44 pm »
Interesting video on Chomsky's theory of "manufacturing consent":
Always amazed that people pay so much attention to Chomsky. He was a linguist, not a political scientist or historian. And while he may produce a lot of "research" to back up his claims, the fact that he seems to take such an extreme (and sometimes hypocritical) approach, coupled with some rather questionable mistakes (e.g. discounting the Cambodian genocide) makes me question whether he engaged in that "research" in any sort of rational manner, or simply cherry-picked sources that supported his pre-determined views.
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What do you think?  Truth or not?  Some truth, some flaws in this theory?
Probably incredibly flawed...

I am not assuming the political system and/or the media is perfect; far from it. (The media's inability to handle Trump properly is a prime example of this.) But it is a far cry to go from "There are flaws" to "the whole system is a sham".

Take for example is complaint about companies having a profit motive. Ok, yes.... newspapers and TV stations want to earn money. But, that ignores a few important points:
- Media companies do not have 100% thought control over their employees, and as such published material may not always follow the "profit" model
- Companies earn profit by connecting with viewers/subscribers. Those subscribers are not a monolithic block, and sometimes the way to earn a profit is for the media company to seek out alternative niches to tap into unused markets. In that way, alternative viewpoints (including those that challenge the status quo) can be heard.

I find it ironic that Chomsky would decry the profit motive when his work has gained him a rather loyal following, even though in theory his work should supposedly be "quashed" by the corporate media.

Offline DuckFace

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 07:22:13 pm »
Always amazed that people pay so much attention to Chomsky. He was a linguist, not a political scientist or historian.

Jon Stewart & Rush Limbaugh and a thousand journalist op-ed writers have no political education, but people hang on their words.  I don't agree with Chomsky all of the time but I respect him because he's extremely well-read/informed.  This thread isn't about Chomsky, this is about his argument.

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I find it ironic that Chomsky would decry the profit motive when his work has gained him a rather loyal following, even though in theory his work should supposedly be "quashed" by the corporate media.

When is the last time you remember seeing Chomsky interviewed on CNN or most any other MSM news station?
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Offline segnosaur

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 03:47:09 pm »
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Always amazed that people pay so much attention to Chomsky. He was a linguist, not a political scientist or historian.
Jon Stewart & Rush Limbaugh and a thousand journalist op-ed writers have no political education, but people hang on their words.
That people listen to what Rush Lymph-node says speaks volumes. Yes, millions listen to him... even though he's pretty much an ignorant blowhard. But he's one that most rational people SEE as a blowhard. Chomsky supposedly appeals to the "intellectual" crowd. People that should no better but for some reason don't.

As for Stewart... there was once a poll that showed that The Daily Show was more trusted than most main-stream media outlets. Stewart said "stop that". He recognizes he is an entertainer and has stated that publicly.

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I don't agree with Chomsky all of the time but I respect him because he's extremely well-read/informed.
Regardless of how well-informed he is, bias always wins out.

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This thread isn't about Chomsky, this is about his argument.
And I've already addressed his arguments, by pointing out things like how the media may rely on profits, those profits are often obtained by catering to left-wing audiences.
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I find it ironic that Chomsky would decry the profit motive when his work has gained him a rather loyal following, even though in theory his work should supposedly be "quashed" by the corporate media.
When is the last time you remember seeing Chomsky interviewed on CNN or most any other MSM news station?
Chomsky has a list of interviews on his web site. He has approximately 50 listed since the start of 2016. While many of those are left-wing sources, several of them are main stream, such as the NY Times, and the Guardian. (And while that's not TV, it certainly does count as 'main stream media'.

Then you have the multiple documentaries he has appeared in over the past few decades.

https://chomsky.info/interviews/

Offline DuckFace

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 09:35:15 pm »
Regardless of how well-informed he is, bias always wins out.

Well everyone has some kind of bias, some kind of philosophical morally of how the world should work that informs heir opinions, yes.

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And I've already addressed his arguments, by pointing out things like how the media may rely on profits, those profits are often obtained by catering to left-wing audiences.

I don't think his points are a left-wing or right-wing issue.

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Chomsky has a list of interviews on his web site. He has approximately 50 listed since the start of 2016. While many of those are left-wing sources, several of them are main stream, such as the NY Times, and the Guardian.

Yes those are MSM, how how many of them are corporate media?  But i'll point out that The Guardian is a non-profit entity to remain independed (which isn't to say it doesn't have bias, it obviously leans left, but it just doesn't have a conflict of interest with corporations advisers).  Go on their website right now and tell me how many ads you see anywhere...

Democracy Now he seems to go on a lot, and is also left-wing, but also non-profit & doesn't take corporate ad dollars.

Concerning which media outlets Noam goes on, not sure how much of it is Noam personal preferences on how much he likes the outlet VS corporate MSM's unwillingness to have him on.  But i've heard him say in interviews the corporate MSM largely won't invite him on.

I don't see how anyone can disagree with the argument that corporations not only buy influence with politicians and parties, but also buy influence on what will and will not be reported in the news from their ad dollars.  When corporate ad dollars are the way you generate revenue, any outlet is going to face massive conflicts of interest & pressure to please those who pay you.  Also consider that if you're a huge publicly traded company, profit & pleasing shareholders is going to trump "the truth" as long as they can get away with it in the viewers eyes, & considering how stupid most people are, it's probably easier than we realize.
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Offline segnosaur

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 12:01:30 pm »
Well everyone has some kind of bias, some kind of philosophical morally of how the world should work that informs heir opinions, yes.
But the problem is, people automatically assume "Chomsky is well read therefore his work has validity". What I'm saying is that if your bias is SO extreme, then regardless of how much research you do, your work may not be trusted.

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Yes those are MSM, how how many of them are corporate media?
Admittedly, not as many as on non-traditional, left-wing sites like Counterpunch. (I even admitted earlier that not all his interviews were with 'corporate' media.) But such interviews DO exist.
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Concerning which media outlets Noam goes on, not sure how much of it is Noam personal preferences on how much he likes the outlet VS corporate MSM's unwillingness to have him on.  But i've heard him say in interviews the corporate MSM largely won't invite him on.
That doesn't mean he is being rejected because of his viewpoints... he may just not be a very interesting subject for many in the main stream media.

I should also point out that focusing only on Chomsky is rather short sited. There are many other left-wing pundits out there providing alternative viewpoints. Even if Chomsky doesn't appear on network or cable television, others with left-wing views do.
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I don't see how anyone can disagree with the argument that corporations not only buy influence with politicians and parties
Never claimed that corporations don't try to buy influence. (Koch brothers are a prime example).

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...but also buy influence on what will and will not be reported in the news from their ad dollars.
No corporation (or even a group of corporations) has the power to completely "buy out" all media sources to prevent 'alternative' messages from getting out.

Seriously, watch something like The Daily Show. Look at how often the republicans (generally seen as pro-business) get attacked. (Granted, they do attack democrats too, but Republicans end up looking worse.) The Daily show appears on Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom (i.e. corporate media.). Now, why would a big corporation air something that makes the pro-business republicans look so bad? Because 'corporate control' is not as all-powerful as Chomsky claims.
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When corporate ad dollars are the way you generate revenue, any outlet is going to face massive conflicts of interest & pressure to please those who pay you.
Different corporations market to different demographics. No corporation is going to be foolish enough to say "I'm not going to market to my main customers base" just because the network/newspaper/etc. happens to be critical of business.

Offline MH

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Re: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 12:18:17 pm »
I finally got around to watching this.  As a person who has been rightfully accused of careless argument, not defining terms etc. I feel uneasy but must accuse Chomsky of doing the same.

What is 'media' ?  McLuhan defined media as extensions of man.  This definition seems to mean 'television'.  And that's the problem - his argument is so specific to a certain specific problem and point-in-time that it doesn't befit an academic to call this a 'theory'.  More like an observation about 1990s television.

The five filters:

1. 'Media Ownership' is by corporations.  That is not a truism of all media, nor is it an immutable truth since the beginning of networks.  Also, all communication is filtered by the owner.  At best, it's a facile observation.

2. Advertising pays the cost.  But it doesn't if we're talking about web media, books, publicly owned media etc.

3. Media Elite... this refers to the very people who flock to Chomsky's work.

4. Flack - isn't this the kind of thing that media should encourage ?  Self-criticism. 

5. Common Enemy.  Again - this is a product of all communication, ie. humans act and believe in a self-interested reality.

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Chomsky isn't wrong with these ideas, but they're not grand theories.  They're easy-to-see notes on what is in front of us.  At worst, they lead people to believe in conspiracy theories around information as he seems to imply in (film version) Manufacturing Consent about the NY Times op-ed piece on East Timor.  There's a saying about not ascribing to evil what incompetence can take care of.  Something like that.

Chomsky is boring - if you want a real challenge try to digest McLuhan.