Corporations are more than willing to pay a lot of money to control the voice of the media, and news stations happily oblige because their pockets are being filled. It’s not just corporations that take advantage of mass media, whether that be through ads or literally manipulating and fabricating “news,” but the government does it too.
To make matters worse, if news anchors or people within the system try to change the narrative, they’re scrutinized or lose credibility because they’re called conspiracy theorists. Ever wonder where the word conspiracy came from?
The term “conspiracy theory” was actually created by CIA “media assets,” as evidenced in the design laid out by Document 1035-960 Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report, a report issued in early 1967 to Agency bureaus all over the world. The government strategically introduced that term in order to cast doubt upon the public and influence the narrative.
So, if someone refers to you as a conspiracy theorist, take it as a compliment, because that likely means that you have a greater understanding of how the world works. As Jason Hairston said:
“Being considered ‘crazy’ by those who are still heavily culturally conditioned is a compliment.”
The good news is that more and more people are slowly starting to understand the lies that the media feeds us. Someone who is infamous for his work that exposed this very subject is Noam Chomsky, an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist.
Chomsky’s Propaganda Model: The Five Filters
Noam Chomsky is well known for his illustration of the “Propaganda Model.” Chomsky’s model includes five filters that expose how the media is controlled and completely infiltrated by corporations, governments, and the elite. The first filter is Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation of the Mass Media. Mainstream media is essentially owned by corporations and the government, because those are the very agents who fund them. Any favorable studies, studies or information that the government or corporations want the public to know (or don’t want them to know) either ends up being aired or buried as a result.
The second filter is Advertising License to do Business. Mass media isn’t interested in attracting viewers to educate them, but rather to sell them on something. They’re more interested in engaging an audience with higher buying power than actually making a difference through education and information. Chomsky provides an excellent example, explaining:
“CBS proudly tells its shareholders that while it “continuously seeks to maximize audience delivery,” it has developed a new “sales tool” with which it approaches advertisers: “Client Audience Profile, or CAP, will help advertisers optimize the effectiveness of their network television schedules by evaluating audience segments in proportion to usage levels of advertisers’ products and services.” In short, the mass media are interested in attracting audiences with buying power, not audiences per se.”
The third filter is Sourcing Mass-Media News. Whatever is aired on mass media needs to be 100% credible, meaning it’s viewers need to completely trust what’s being aired, without the need of them using their critical thinking skills. Since the majority of the public trusts the government and mass corporations, AKA the propaganda machines, most of the “news worthy” content comes from them. Plus, whatever’s aired needs to be approved by corporations or the government and/or mass media must avoid airing anything that would offend their contributors and funders.
The fourth filter is Flak and the Enforcers. “Flak” refers to negative responses to a media statement or program aired on the network. Perhaps the most influential producers of flak are corporations and the government. Corporations have created large scale organizations whose sole purpose is to produce flak. The government is also a large producer of flak, as it constantly corrects or threatens the media based on their interests.
The final filter is Anticommunism as a Control Mechanism. Everything at home seems to be a lesser evil if there’s something on the news that seems much worse (fake terrorist attacks, false enemies, and/or “radical” states). Anything that sounds too left can also be dismissed if it sounds too much like “communism.” By creating an extremely anti-communist state, the elite will never have to worry about losing control over society because their wealth and power remains safe and sound.
The Animation that Exposes the Truth About Mass Media
In the following video, Amy Goodman narrates a piece for Al Jazeera based on Noam Chomsky’s book “Manufacturing Consent.” The illustration perfectly depicts the reality of mass media and the control corporations and the government exercise over mainstream news.
The good news is that we can change this reality if we collectively work to educate the masses. Let’s redefine mainstream news by encouraging people to inform themselves, spread knowledge and make a real, educated difference in the world!