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View Diary: Research Study Explains How U.S. Media Brainwashes The Public (288 comments)

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  •  Centralized Media is the linchpin to the 1%'s (63+ / 0-)

    entire enterprise. That we haven't focused on breaking up their narratives and replacing them with the narratives of real people has been the major failing of the blogosphere.

    People think the blogosphere is an end in itself, when it really should be taken as a beachhead on the
    much
    much
    much
    greater realm of mass-reach Media. We should be leveraging this into breaking the de facto monopoly on narrative apart.

    But we don't. Twitter will save us, I hear.

    At places like DKos we're sure to hear, yet again and probably for the rest of our lives, how Fox or its Spiritual Kin has said something dishonest or stupid. Again. Then, we will all be shocked, outraged, full of mirth and mockery as we always are. And call that a win of some sort.

    Can you imagine how different our media landscape would be if stations on TV were simply required to spend 1 minute an hour illustrating how language can be used to deceive; detecting bullshit in logic. Not deep high-level stuff, just "Demagogs will say this kind of thing..."

    Or suppose 1 minute an hour featuring one of the Bill of Rights? How this is yours, your birthright, and it needs protection.

    So even a slight infringement into the Official Narratives would turn our politics upside-down. Because the whole thing is held together by the false version of reality we're all fed. And not just on the news, but in the entertainment and even advertising. (Think "24")

    But nobody, none of the left blogosphere heavy-weights even raises the topic of breaking the monopolistic hold over our discussions and topic-selections.

    I'm starting to think we prefer voguing and styling about political stances, rather than actually dealing with politics as they really are in a serious manner.

    Because nothing we claim to want moves forward, (or if it does, after years and decades of delay, and then in increments), as long as the powerful set the public range of discourse.

    We might win a battle, but we will most certainly continue to lose the war (as we have been since the internet came into existence), if we don't change how media works. And as quickly as possible.

    Like it or not. Think it's possible or not. Believe in the magic of the internet or not. The objective situation is that nothing equals, even comes close to equalling, the formative power of mass-reach media as we have it today.

    And that power is strangling our throats, and our voice.


    Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

    by Jim P on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:53:13 AM PST

    •  The power of TV for education has been wasted (26+ / 0-)
      Or suppose 1 minute an hour featuring one of the Bill of Rights? How this is yours, your birthright, and it needs protection.
      The History, Learning, Discovery, ...etc. Channels are full of pickers, hoarders, and other such nonsense. People learn more from one kids show, Sesame Street, than all these other channels combined. Where do people have a chance to gain, refresh and/or reinforce knowledge today? Even the Weather Channel is more focused on dramatic rescues and tornado footage repeated over and over than basic weather science and global patterns in a more classroom-like arrangement.

      My elementary school participated in a program where TV sets were placed in every room. They could receive the local channels for newsworthy events such as the Mercury flights (we watched the Shephard, Grissom and Glenn flights from launch to splashdown while our teacher explained some of the science behind them) and also receive signals broadcast from a plane over western Ohio for sessions on Spanish, French, arithmetic, etc. The shows presented basics and our teachers expanded from there. That was in the early 1960s, when society and our parents cared that we learned something.

      The local cable channel reserved for the public sometimes has informative value. In the late 1980s, after the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act was passed, we put on some shows with local fire departments. They illustrated hazardous materials found in the area and what to do in case they were released or spilled in your area. I was amazed at how many people told me they saw those programs. It's my opinion that people want more educational and informative material on TV, and they will watch it. Look how people flocked to Nova and Carl Sagan.

      Why not have a government/civics channel, a world geography channel, a world history channel, an American history channel, a geometry channel, a physics channel, a chemistry channel, an astronomy channel, grammar/sentence diagramming channel, a spelling channel, a botany channel, a music channel, a health channel, an art channel, a constitution/bill of rights channel, a biology channel, an English literature channel, a religions of the world channel, ...? I could go on and on, but you get the gist of it. PBS has touches of this all in one channel, but it could be expanded to multiple channels.

      These channels (or channels with groupings of subjects)could be oriented at basic knowledge levels. If you want more, go to a community college or university. It's all about hoarding knowledge and charging people out the ying-yang for obtaining it.

      There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

      by OHeyeO on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:52:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (10+ / 0-)

        Personally, I'm just more into reasonable and relatively honest adults deciding what happens in the shared and Common Space tv functions as.

        of course, i think the result of that would be: people would want to know things. Practical things, general knowledge things... if the public had a real say in programming (and no, choosing whether Big Brother or American Idol is what you'll watch tonight is not "real say)....

        We'd be much better off.

        Plus, I think it could be fun. My suggested "How People Use Words to Lie" "Debating Tricks" or whatever, spots could be created by various teachers and students: every school making what they want and having some mechanism for the best 20% or so to be broadcast.

        Thing is: media-as-is does not exist for our purposes; in fact works against our purposes. And without changing that, there's not going to be real change.


        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:23:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your suggestion used to be taught (9+ / 0-)

          routinely in high school English classes as part of the unit on logic and rhetoric in writing, and by debate coaches/instructors in their classes.

          Sadly, I guess that's one more useful thing in schools that has fallen victim to the standardized test monster. There is no time left to teach anything actually useful in the real world that might make a person more aware of the hidden persuaders he or she encounters each day.

          I'm not sure schools even have debate classes any longer -- or even debate teams. That might be money diverted from athletics, and we can't have that. /s

          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

          by Brooke In Seattle on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:31:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  On Time-Warner Cable, you can't get (8+ / 0-)

        the Weather Channel any longer except on the TV with a digital box. At least in Central Texas where I live.

        They recently moved a bunch of the regular access channels like that into the top tiers. So, what used to be on the basic level, and accessible on all the TVs in the house, can now only be seen on a single set.

        I agree about TVs in the classroom. We had them when I was in school, ages ago, and my twenty-something kids had them too.

        I've often wished I were independently wealthy enough to start a network just as you've described. I was thinking about it again on Saturday as I watched a PBS show about literature and realized how lame it was.

        Sadly, even if we had the money to create that product, I don't think The Powers That Be would allow it to be broadcast on "their" airwaves.

        That's yet another reason we need media de-consolidation as soon as possible. It's not the "Fairness Doctrine" that destroyed media. It was, as the diary notes, the ability for a single entity to buy up all the media outlets in a town.

        Whatever happened to competition being "the American Way"?

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:24:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just force the FCC to issue (9+ / 0-)

          a "1 company, 1 market, 1 outlet" rule, forcing, say, Fox, or Time Warner, Comcast, etc to break up and spin-off into thousands of new outlets, and everything is suddenly very different in our politics.

          We could also do the same thing with organized boycotts of cable stations. Two million people drop their stations in protest, that's near $2B annual loss to those companies. They'd have to sell-off.

          There's a lot we could do, if we were thinking clearly to change our political life at it's root, and in a year's time or less.

          But (too many) front-pagers here (and other prominent bloggers) would rather talk about inside baseball in the Braindead Beltway or mock Fox news than actually focus on real power changes.


          Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

          by Jim P on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:59:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We still have Weather Channel in SW Ohio (0+ / 0-)

          in the basic non-digital tiers, but the channels with anything remotely educational are disappearing into the digital box tiers one-by-one.

          There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

          by OHeyeO on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:22:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You get as much if not more info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          from the NOAA National Weather Service website as you do from the Weather Channel. The Weather Channel gets its info from the National Weather Service. That is until RWNJ's like Rick Santorum get the National Weather Service defunded.

          Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

          by NoMoreLies on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:21:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        And what channel would Here Comes Honey Boo Boo be on?  Or Amish Mafia?  Hmmmmm?

    •  This ^^^^^ (13+ / 0-)

      Frankly, I think one major contributing factor to the failure of the left to do as you suggest is that so many ostensibly on the left are, in fact, entrenched in the establishment, beholden to the establishment, attached to laissez faire approaches to supply-side economics, and/or committed to easily manipulated and thwarted incremental strategies and tactics. The net effect has the unintentional impact of an internal PsyOps program, directed within, which produces dis- and mis-information and misconceptions about the economy, supply-side economics, the plutocracy and even the environment and Climate Reality. Trying to get traction in this fog of internal war, in essence, on anything, especially the struggle to combat the MSM, is almost impossible under these conditions.

      Solving any problem begins with recognizing the problem and then identifying and pursuing a solution with a custom tool. We have so many among us who either do not recognize the problem, appreciate its severity or impact, or understand it well enough to develop and use appropriate, effective tools.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:07:53 AM PST

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      •  We really have no option. (12+ / 0-)

        There's no fixing anything as long as baldfaced lies and distractions are given to the entire population within a day, two, and the most.

        It's gone down the memory-hole, but some might remember when it was a solid majority who understood that Saddam, Iraq, had no Weapons of Mass Destruction. 60% or so.

        Then there was a push on tv, there'd be these characters showing up on the news shows, on CNN, saying Saddam gave them to Syria, to Russia, even to Iran.

        In two weeks, the number of people who thought there were WMD's was almost the same as those who knew they weren't. And it's still the same.

        We can't beat mass-indoctrination with tweets and likes.


        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:28:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. If we can't squelch the denial movement (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1

          within--which I described above--it's going to be damn near impossible to take on the opposition and its supporters.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:53:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  p.s., love your sig. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mkor7, Laconic Lib

          I would add that putting "actual representatives" in the rigged system is impossible. Just won't happen unless we confront the establishment with over-whelming, asymmetric, unrelenting, irresistible, non-traditional, non-violent force. (Basically, forget about working through the system, by the rules designed to prevent opposition and change.)

          And too few people, including Markos, refuse to recognize the situation and the only truly practical, serious option left to us, or are simply unwilling to commit to it.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:00:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  talk radio kicks internet ass (7+ / 0-)

          it starts with RW radio and it is not only ignored but it is often endorsed by our universities. i'll repeat my post from below, below.

          democracy was designed to allow us to fix ownership rules but we can't if the left keeps ignoring the right's best weapon.  radio is where the GOP and blue dogs are enabled and intimidated.

          the problem cannot be seen on TV until after it has already been blasted into the earholes of 50 mil a week. in most part of the country including all those low pop states with 2 senators there are NO free alternatives for politics and current affairs while driving or working.

          start with radio- there is no organized response to it except for the great (but limited) limbaugh related boycotting.

          and it can be fixed by monitoring what they're selling (maybe transcription software and computers?) and getting our universities out of the business of endorsing RW radio stations with athletics broadcasting. the RW radio monopoly can't survive without university sports (see sig).

          radio is best tool but is ignored, not studied (0+ / 0-)
          except in terms of ownership, a ridiculous state of affairs in america. it makes these studies bad indicators of what is going on. democracy can fix ownership rules if progressives would pull their iPods out of their ears long enough to fix the radio.

          ownership/censorship is not a good measure of propaganda power.

          ignoring the talk radio monopoly is the biggest political blunder of our time considering the time lost on global warming alone.

          major owned TV, papers, internet are significant for what they leave out. that is significant. but radio is what they use to create, distort, lie, and generally create their alternate reality.

          radio is where the benghazis and debt ceiling stupidity came from. why susan rices or elizabeth warrens or true liberal supremes can't be passed and aren't worth nominating. from our local RW radio stations.

           it is radio that is the corporate right's most effective tool in politics  and not only it is not being studied, it is being ignored by the people it hits the hardest. talk about shooting self in foot.

          it is almost completely ignored by those who study this subject because there is no  way to read what's going on- they can't study what  topics are pushed and how often, or where. there is no readable transcript database of the main local and national talkers.

          right now the local saturday morning twit on the giant state limbaugh station, a former boxing ring 'girl' (the one who walks around the ring in a bikini with a sign with a round number to indicate to the drunken fans what round it is), is standing on a giant public airwaves soapbox with NM Lobos stickers on it, talking to thousands of new mexicans with a state legislator who wants to fund a program to let janitors and principles carry guns in schools. it is possible (possibly very often), that some of the callers are sitting in the basement of the NRA building.

          that formula is used on more than a 1000 stations around the country every day to push their alternate reality and make real discussion of national issues like global warming impossible. how many millions of activists are negated by these well coordinated carnival barkers?

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:34:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Brock's The Republican Noise Making Machine (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            certainot, YucatanMan

            has the story of the RW takeover of am radio, for anyone interested.

          •  RW radio deals in emotion, not reason. (7+ / 0-)

            That emotion is powerful stuff.  Rush always sounds angry.  A lot of people getting the short end of the stick in this economy are angry.  Anger is the connecting point. It's easy to identify with angry.  Then Rush wraps that anger around some object or idea and ridicules it.  That becomes an OK object of anger for angry people, whether they ever rationally thought about it or not.  That anger validation is what counts.

            The liberal left counters with facts and reason.  Explains clearly the situation or idea.  But logic no emotional traction.  It might be 100% correct, but it doesn't connect with a lot of people.  "What do pointed headed liberals know?  Bunch a educated idiots."  How many times have you heard a variation on that?  

            People have every reason to be angry in this economy.  Talk radio and MSM carefully channel that anger away from the real causes of the misery.  Logic and reason alone won't be enough to counteract the MSM message machine.

        •  It's strange, but when that whole thing that led (7+ / 0-)

          to the war in Iraq was happening, I saw what the propagandists were doing very clearly, in real-time.  I thought is was so transparent, and actually, carelessly so, that the whole narrative was totally absurd.  An yet, the country bought into it.  I was dumbfounded!

          •  That's right Ray (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, DelilahOhMy, Jim P

            and anyone who doesn't believe large scale conspiracies are possible wasn't paying attention to the leadup to the invasion of Iraq.

            I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

            by Eric Blair on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:57:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow. I'd forgotten. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              I'm always making mental lists of large scale conspiracies which happened either in my lifetime, or sometimes stretching into my father's.

              The 100,000+ troops marched through freshly made ground zeroes of atomic tests; the 20,000 Nazis & SS sheltered, then employed, by the US after WWII; the Vatican's pipeline to South America for other escaped Nazis... just for the ones involving tens of thousands of people, and which didn't come out for 30 years and more.

              And I leave that one off the list. But good grief! That's exactly what it was. And one of the largest and most brazen on record!

              Thanks for the memory.


              Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

              by Jim P on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:35:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Interestingly, (7+ / 0-)

          CNN International broadcast a very different message to the rest of the world during the build up to Iraq. Here in South Africa people couldn't figure out what the hell was wrong with Americans because it was so clear that the whole WMD thing was a setup. "Don't they watch CNN?" they asked.  

      •  You obviously understand the problem, and have (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, midwesterner, YucatanMan

        a pretty clear concept of the steps necessary to address it.  That's a good thing.  We all need to continue waking people up, one person at a time.  What we can't never do is to give up.

    •  Shrug. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Nada Lemming

      I don't get it.  I really don't get it.  Why anyone would have one of those things even turned on in their general vicinity VOLUNTARILY completely escapes me.

      Intelligent people watch little or no TV.  They pull what video they want from the internet or buy disks, avoid the ads, and live their lives in peace from the continual background noise.  They get news from the internet, or some of them do like the Amish and just do without news.  Having done this for a couple of months when I was moving, out of the country, or up at the electricity-less cabin, I have to say, they're not missing anything useful except the weather reports.  The rest is nothing but gossip, and gossip is only useful if you actually know the people.

      Personally, I think that instead of attempting to take over or break into the tools of corporate domination, we should work to make them irrelevant.  Don't contest an overwhelming force for possession of a territory that is only made important by their occupation.  Holding the main road and the main pass is only important if you want to move tanks and heavy guns.  Light infantry can go anywhere.  Rumor moves at lightspeed by Twitter, requires no Authorized Source, and isn't subject to liable suits.

      Entrenched power is a tool of entrenched power.  But meeting force with force is very messy.  Guile, subterfuge and evasion takes less power and is much easier on the landscape.

      •  you probably don't listen to talk radio either (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, Pluto

        hopefully intelligent people feel  the need to know what's going on around them- ignoring it doesn't make it go away. eventually it gets to where it can't be ignored, like more tornados, bigger hail, drought, flooding, guys with semi-automatic weapons, tomatoes with fish genes, pine beetle infestations, forest fires, janitors carrying handguns in schools, senators who don't believe in evolution or global warming , etc.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:43:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Someone was pointing out to me (4+ / 0-)

        that a post at Emptywheel got 148,000 views.

        I then pointed out that the mass-reach media can, and does daily, give an identical impression to 300,000,000 people in a day or two.

        The ratio, then, is 1 : 0.0004 in terms of reach. The speed, of course, is much greater.

        Even if you don't watch tv or don't have a radio you'll be talking and thinking about whatever they say. Because almost all that appears about politics on the net is based on what the mass-reach media puts out.

        And mind you, with mass-reach, it doesn't matter what faction you identify with, unlike the internet. Liberals go to their DKos ghetto, rightwingers go to there World Net Daily ghetto, and never the twain shall meet.

        Divide and rule, the 1%'s technique since bloody Rome? The internet is perfect for that.

        The idea that Twitter will replace mass-reach media is just a demonstration of how powerful advertising is, having made it almost a reflex in people's mind that when they hear "new" it automatically means "better."

        Well, it's going on 20 years of the internet's availability. And go look at every nation where twitter, facebook, blogs, etc reached a point where the status-quo was threatened, and then you'll have a list of the nations which simply pulled the plug on it.

        Go look at how, in the real world, the position of the people has steadily degenerated through the entire life of the internet. Then ask how this came to be?

        And, what? Suddenly 150 million Americans are going to STOP watching TV? And everyone will use the internet exclusively, sometime in the next 20 or 30 years? But still atomized. And that's going to lead to real change? Not likely, is it?

        Mass-reach media and internet have only "communication means" in common. Outside of that it's a comparison of elephants and molecules. Not nearly the same effect and power in political life. Not in anyone's wildest imagination.

        Revolution 101's basic rule going back hundreds of years now? "First, seize the Presses." We keep losing the war if we don't change mass-reach Media's monopoly control of wide-spread narratives and content.


        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:56:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          I still find direct interpersonal communications enlightening.  And one of the things I learn from them is that even those who watch lots and lots of TV believe less and less of it.

          •  Just consider that the 1% are (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador

            happy to let us have as many subjective reactions as we care to have. And those reactions can be anything, positive or negative, about politics or not, it doesn't matter to them.

            The one thing they really care about is making sure we're as atomized as possible. And atomization is the very nature of the internet.

            Being "connected" [sic] on the web is  an entirely different thing from all communities, factions, and subsets, getting the identical info on the same day, whether any of them seek it out or not.


            Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

            by Jim P on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:59:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Antonio Gramsci, the Italian communist... (10+ / 0-)

      ...who died in one of Mussolini's prisons, wrote extensively of how important it is for the people to control the means of cultural reproduction and it is for them to control the means of production.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:57:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That was brilliant! I completely agree. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

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