Rdgs Seminar in US History
Rdgs Seminar in US History HIST 6393
Popular in Course
Popular in History
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mr. Branson Mitchell on Saturday September 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 6393 at University of Houston taught by Robert Buzzanco in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see /class/208356/hist-6393-university-of-houston in History at University of Houston.
Reviews for Rdgs Seminar in US History
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 09/19/15
Nicholas Cox HIST 6393 Prof Buzzanco Herman and Chomsky s Manufacturing Consent Now almost twenty years old this classic criticism of media coverage from the left continues to impact current investigations of the press and its role in creating and maintaining American consent for imperial adventures abroad Traditional evaluations qualify the media in two fashions a fiercely independent monitors of government andor b the necessary apparatus that keeps the citizen capably informed so they can exercise their political rights in a democracy Herman and Chomsky posit that the press does no such thing According to the authors the press is subservient to power and fails in its historic responsibility to inform the citizens For the authors the media is simply a privately operating propaganda wing in service to elite political military and economic interests In the first of six chapters Herman and Chomsky define a propaganda model for which subsequent media coverage will be examined against For the authors propaganda is not information purveyed by the government to shore up support for its policies good or bad It is not a simple PR campaign by the government for the government In nondemocratic states like Fascist Europe or the USSR propaganda may well be government fabrication however in the United States the government has no such need There is a fully willing private partner available and ready to promote the elite agenda the independent press Herman and Chomsky attribute this service to power to five traits inherent in American media limited diversity of media ownership profit minded advertising chosen media sources flak or pushback and general American anticommunism For the propaganda model it is central that media must answer to its owners and customers These people are a relatively homogenous group of wealthy white Americans who have deep connections with the Ivy League the corporate world and the elites in public government They own and publish the media they purchase the ads that keep the media profitable when subscriptionviewership alone are not sufficient Media generated by newscaster and reporters is dependent upon sources which are often assessed not on value for truth and accuracy but for their availability The press favors sources closer to home and cheaper especially from power centers like the presidential administrations or State Department It is quite simply easier to repeat administration claims than to investigate them abroad Also to criticize the administrationelite goals is to open up media to flak and criticism from supporters Herman and Chomsky demonstrate the vicious backlash against PBS s airing of a liberal documentary history of Vietnam as well as countless editorial page arguments about cover that criticizes the elite Finally the press controlled by corporatemilitarypolitical elites expounds the general anticommunism line that dominated foreign policy from the end of World War II beyond the publication of Manufacturing Consent in 1988 Nicholas Cox HIST 6393 Prof Buzzanco All of these qualities restrict the press from treating world events objectively Chapters two and three apply the propaganda model most effectively to media coverage of Latin America The authors demonstrate that the media applies double standards when covering worthy victims and unworthy victims For example the press coverage of the brutal slaying of a Polish priest by probably agents of the USSR provided the media with a quick story that allowed them to repeatedly denounce Soviet repression in its satellites By examining The New Y ark Times Newsweek Time and CBS the authors located 94 articles consisting of 1496 inches of column space not to mention 46 news programs that kept the story in the public view Concurrently the authors identify 72 priests and nuns including four American nuns and Archbishop Oscar Romero who were slain by rightwing death squads or military forces in American client states like El Salvador Guatemala and Nicaragua These seventy deaths certainly do not elicit 72 times the coverage of the single Polish priest Indeed they are only treated to 67 articles of 851 inches space and 37 news programs nearly fully a third less coverage for 72 times more victims The glaring media bias confirms that the press is less likely to embarrass American elites by covering the victims of their policies The third chapter examines press coverage of the civil wars of Central America Again bias is confirmed when coverage of the deeds of US sponsored death squads in El Salvador or the Contras are compared to the leftist rebels or the Sandinistas Double standards maintain the propaganda mode of American press coverage Chapter 4 applies the propaganda model to coverage of the assassination attempt of the Pope in 1981 A Turkish right wing activist was captured yet his wide ranging travels through Europe before the attack allowed the US and Italian governments to paint the assassin without credible evidence as an agent of the USSR via Bulgaria Herman and Chomsky evaluate the purported evidence demonstrating that the Turkish assassin worked within the rightwing antipapal Grey Wolves movement not the international KGB ring However true to form the American media parroted the claims of the Reagan administration which was openly attempting to tie in international terrorism with the Soviet Union The press willingly allowed and assisted in purveying the unproven accusation the that USSR was seeking to derail Turkish entrance to NATO as well as Papal support for Polish Solidarity in this shocking act of violence yet Herman and Chomsky riddle the administration explanation with a dozen holes proving that the assassination attempt was really coopted for use by the administration to elevate support for the anticommunist arms race of Reagan s first term Backing up chronologically the authors use chapters five and six to apply the propaganda model to coverage of the wars in Vietnam Laos and Cambodia Not surprisingly the authors provide overwhelming Nicholas Cox HIST 6393 Prof Buzzanco evidence of unwarrantable violence by the United States and its various proxy forces in South Vietnam Cambodia Timor and elsewhere Then the authors analyze media coverage of these atrocities to demonstrate overwhelmingly that the dominant narrative is one of resistance to foreign aggression particularly communist subversion The US is held up by the media as nobly attempting to protective freedom abroad at least until the Tet Offensive devastates elite opinion on the nature of the war From then onward elite opinion fractured The opinion divided between continuation of longstanding behavior in Southeast Asia or withdrawal Elites and the press consequently did not re ect upon the justness of the cause but were divided over how to continue postTet Herman and Chomsky also spend significant amounts of time analyzing the press coverage of the USSR invasion of Afghanistan and the genocide in Cambodia which confirms that the press report in order to promote the elite agenda of the Kenne dyJohnsonNixon administrations Ultimately the authors see this continuing throughout Watergate the Carter years and as noted earlier the Reagan administrations Until the five characteristics of the American media are altered there is little hope for change The authors note however that media can be opened up to diversity of ownership throuin grassroots pressure for support of public space within the media as well as through the support of alternative media that is not dependent on corporate advertising The prospects for improvement may appear bleak but readers of Manufacturing Consent are less likely to accept at face value anything that the establishment media presents And as left criticism of media coverage of the Clinton and Bush adventures abroad have demonstrated the lesson of Herman and Chomsky to be skeptical continues to have an impact
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'