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Manufacturing Consent Essay

1417 words - 6 pages

Manufacturing Consent Questions – Avery Reyner – September 30, 2012
Manufacturing Consent is a technique of control. Noam Chomsky was first introduced to this concept from an author named Walter Lippmann who wrote about ‘Manufacturer of Consent.’ Chomsky augmented his concept to Manufacturing Concept and the philosophy has become so popular it later became a documentary film produced by two Canadians. Noam Chomsky has been called ‘arguably the greatest intellectual alive' (Fox, 1998) by the New York Times as he not only is a very outspoken professor, he is also an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, historian, political critic and activist. The information in ...view middle of the document...

The second group is the other 80% of the population. They don’t think or pay attention as astutely as do the first 20% and their opinions and thoughts can be somewhat manipulated. According to Chomsky, their main function is to follow orders. The consent of the people is the consent, or opinions being manufactured by the government, and the political system. Their intentions are to manufacture the consent of the people and make sure that their choices and attitudes are altered in such a way that they will always do what is in the government's best interest, which often is the same interest of corporate companies in America. This is what Chomsky meant by propaganda.
The methodology Chomsky's used in studying Manufacture of Consent is called the ‘Propaganda Model’ and it is an institutional analysis of the major media. The major media he studied consisted of The New York Times, The Washington Post and major television channels. Chomsky evaluated them because he believes that ‘ by selection of topics, by distribution of concerns, by emphasis and framing of issues, by filtering of information, by bounding of debate within certain limits, they determine, they select, they shape, they control, they restrict -- in order to serve the interests of dominant, elite groups in the society.’(Chomsky, 1992) He also believes that by analysing the institutions it is very obvious they have a goal to make money and the way to make money with a newspaper is to sell advertising. In order to sell more advertising, you need to print material that is sensationalized or ‘diverting’ them from the real issues.
Chomsky felt the East Timorese deaths (+200,000) a death toll which is considered “proportionately comparable” to the Cambodian genocide went virtually unnoticed by the international community. He believes the reason for this (although the invasion was from Indonesia) was because ‘we’ were to blame for it. ‘We’ meaning Indonesia was relying on US diplomatic support and arms, used illegally, but with secret authorisation from Washington. He wanted them to at least acknowledge what had been done and to ‘care.’ With regards to the media, Chomsky stated they were responsible in the East Timor atrocity – particularly the New York Times in writing and reporting about the East Timor. There were many components of the story deleted and changed to make it a ‘white washed’ version of the story. He believed there was a conspiracy regarding the deletions because it happened ‘every time,’ not just a few times as he says it was “systematic consistent behaviour behind the changes.” The implications of such complicity are that when media suppresses the atrocities they are making a major contribution to the worst genocides in the world. It is believed by Chomsky that they are adding to the problems and rewriting true history. The responsibility of the media is to be responsible for their predictable consequences of their actions. They should report the facts as truthfully as...

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