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November 26, 2011

Concision as a propaganda tool

Here is a clip from the excellent documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) in which Noam Chomsky (who in 1988, with Edward Herman, wrote the classic of media analysis Manufacturing Consent) explains why the political discourse on TV is so awful and consists of only people who speak conventional pieties.

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Comments

A telling insight, as usual. One might add that modern communications technology has been a decidedly mixed blessing. On the one hand, we theoretically gain wider and more rapid access to information, but on the other hand we are fed a diet of dross aimed at distraction and ideological conformity.

Twitter and texting take this to a new extreme, reducing the English language to a brief series of characters. Yet their use in Egypt and elsewhere has at least demonstrated a redeeming, and perhaps unexpected, social value. Perhaps the difference is that television is a one-way form of communication controlled by powerful institutions, while texting is (as yet) unregulated interaction between individuals. Concision, in other words, is only dangerous in certain hands.

Posted by Richard Frost on November 26, 2011 05:00 PM

My Grandpa had a old Diving suet just like that one in the film. He told me those things where really heavy.

Posted by Josh Dufer on November 26, 2011 07:10 PM