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

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  •  It's partly the responsibility of our educational (28+ / 0-)

    system.  Years ago during the height of the "teach the canon" silliness, Katha Pollit made the point that the hysteria about making sure that undergrads were exposed to as many classics as possible stemmed from the professoriate's fear that most undergrads would never read another book after they left college.

    Exhibit No. 1:  My brother has a B.A. from a quality Jesuit college and an M.B.A. from an Ivy League university, and he was head of the board of trustees of a large technical university.  Yet he says that he has never read a book in its entirety since leaving grad school, claiming that he is well-informed since he reads the NY Times, the WSJ, and the WaPo everyday and watches Fox News.  And, as you'd expect, he parrots all the crap propounded by Pete Peterson, the Koch brothers, and other malefactors of great wealth -- the entire party line spewed by what Krugman calls the Very Serious People.   Since the only things from his regular reading sources that I read regularly are Krugman and Ezra Klein's "Wonkbook," neither of which he is likely to read very often, it's like we live in different universes -- not just of opinion but of fact.  

    This has been going on a long, long time.  IMO, it really got into gear during World War I -- e.g., the silencing of Mencken, the imprisonment of Debs, the Palmer raids, etc.  Obviously in the '30's it was impossible for the oligarchically-oriented press to deny what was going on in the streets, but the establishment-mainstream media marriage was cemented during World War II and the early Cold War and the Red scare.  After somewhat of a remission during Vietnam, the disease progressed to its climax in the run-up to the Iraq invasion and, now, the bogus debt/deficit crisis.   That's why Chomsky was saying by the mid-'60's things like he says in the quotes in this diary and why truth-tellers like I.F. Stone and, somewhat later, Gore Vidal got marginalized.  

       We're living in a society not unlike that in Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," except the oligarchs have figured out that marginalizing the writers and readers of real books (as opposed to mendacious  extended Sunday morning news show screeds put between covers by people  like Colter and Golberg) is much more effective than actually burning the books.

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