An Animated Introduction to Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and How the Media Creates the Illusion of Democracy

Josh Jones, Open Culture, Mar 13, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I read Manufacturing Consent many years ago. Its core claims are lavishly documented (indeed, most of the book consists of the documentation; the argument itself begins and ends in the first chapter). Here is an excerpt of the 'five filters' portion of the video:



  • Media Ownership—The endgame of all mass media orgs is profit. “It is in their interest to push for whatever guarantees that profit.”

  • Advertising—What do advertisers pay for? Access to audiences. “It isn’t just that the media is selling you a product. They’re also selling advertisers a product: you.”

  • Media Elite—“Journalism cannot be a check on power, because the very system encourages complicity.  If you want to challenge power, you’ll be pushed to the margins.

  • Flack—“When the story is inconvenient for the powers that be, you’ll see the flack machine in action: discrediting sources, trashing stories, and diverting the conversation.”

  • The Common Enemy—“To manufacture consent, you need an enemy, a target: Communism, terrorists, immigrants… a boogeyman to fear helps corral public opinion.”


I try to make OLDaily the opposite of all that. OLDaily is non-profit. The audience is not for sale to anyone. It functions as a check on power. It acts against the flack machine and restores the conversation. And it rejects the dialogue of demonization.

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