Media

Too broadly underinformed

"Americans are too broadly underinformed to digest nuggets of information that seem to contradict what they know of the world . Instead, news channels prefer to feed Americans a constant stream of simplified information, all of which fits what they already know. That way they don't have to devote more air time or newsprint space to explanations or further investigations. Politicians and the media have conspired to infantilize, to dumb down, the American public. At heart, politicians don't believe that Americans can handle complex truths, and the news media, especially television news, basically agrees."

-- Tom Fenton, former CBS foreign correspondent

The media serve

"The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly."

-- Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US media and foreign policy critic

The range of debate...

"The range of debate between the dominant U.S. [political] parties tends to closely resemble the range of debate within the business class."

-- Robert McChesney, author and media critic

We are intellectual prostitutes.

"There is no such thing in America as an independent press, unless it is in the small towns. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write his honest opinions, and if you did you know before hand that they would never appear in print.... If I allowed honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the New York journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

-- John Swinton, New York Times journalist, toasting his profession at the New York press club in 1953

The CIA and the Media

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”

-- William Colby, former director of the CIA
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