Know The Rules of Press Manipulation: Manufacturing Consent
Renowned critic and always MIT linguist Noam Chomsky, one of the classic voices of intellectual dissent in the last decades, has compiled a list of the ten most common and effective strategies resorted to by the agendas “hidden” to establish a manipulation of the population through the media.
The media serves an important function in a democratic society. Historically the media have proven highly efficient in moulding public opinion, their power is in the main unchecked.
Known as The Fourth Estate or fourth power a term that refers to the press and news media both in explicit capacity of advocacy and implicit ability to frame political issues. Though it is not formally recognised as a part of a political system, it wields significant indirect social influence.
The derivation of the term fourth estate arises from the traditional European concept of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners.
The equivalent term “fourth power” is somewhat uncommon in English, but it is used in many European languages, including Italian (quarto potere), German (Vierte Gewalt), Spanish (Cuarto poder), and French (Quatrième pouvoir), to refer to a government’s separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
The fourth Estate has the ability to make or break a democracy, politicians or political parties.
In the last thirty years, the bulk of the UK and US media has become controlled by just a handful of corporate billionaires. Between them, they control the lion’s share of mass media. Highly biased, normally with a strong political sway, and largely unregulated.
It has been in their interest to ensure the status quo continues, you can compare the way the press promote Sir Keir Starmer compared to how they worked overtime in an attempt to destroy Jeremy Corbyn.
A report found that 75% of press coverage misrepresents Jeremy Corbyn – we can’t ignore media bias
We have seen how “The Fourth Estate” has been used as a tool to ensure the continuation of the status quo, none more so than by the methods used in their character assassination of Jeremy Corbyn.
No matter which political tribe you belong to it cannot be denied the bias, manipulations and lies conducted against Corbyn were unprecedented, of course, the oligarchy was frightened he would take their power and wealth and give it to the people! However true or false that statement maybe, they were not prepared to see what would happen if he became prime minister, they used every weapon at their disposal to stop any social change.
Analysis shows that Corbyn was thoroughly delegitimised as a political actor from the moment he became a prominent candidate and even more so after he was elected as party leader, with a strong mandate. This process of delegitimisation occurred in several ways: 1) through lack of or distortion of voice; 2) through ridicule, scorn and personal attacks; and 3) through association, true or false, mainly with terrorism.
All this raises, in our view, a number of pressing ethical questions regarding the role of the media in a democracy. Certainly, democracies need their media to challenge power and offer robust debate, but when this transgresses into an antagonism that undermines legitimate political voices that dare to contest the current status quo, then it is not democracy that is served.
The establishment reacted with incredulity at the prospect of somebody with a coherent progressive Left-wing agenda becoming prime minister they used every dirty trick in the book to prevent it from happening.
Corbyn had talked about renationalising utilities, railways, real funding for the NHS, returning to a free education system and scrapping education fees, writing off student loans. He’d talked about phasing out Trident and other nuclear weapons and suggested a culture of negotiation over one of war.
The combination of his popular policies and politics for the people shook the establishment and threatened the status quo. They used the Fourth Estate to ensure Corbyn would never see office.
The attacks were relentless and not always from the right-wing media. There was an equal amount of animosity aimed at Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from within his own party, many of whom worked relentlessly to remove Corbyn.
The 2019 General Election was marred by what leading fact-checking organisations and some journalists have characterised as unparalleled disinformation. It took place against the backdrop of acute political instability and uncertainty over how to deal with Britain’s looming departure from the European Union, an unravelling health crisis, and the climate emergency. It was described by all parties as a seismic election in terms of the significance and urgency of the issues at stake.
Not only did Jeremy Corbyn suffer the most viciousness of media campaign against him from the right-wing press who during his tenure had been allowed to plummet to new lows, spewing out articles of misinformation and character assassination all with seeming impunity, and in the main Corbyn was left with little support from a predominantly centrist PLP who seemed happy to have their leader vilified by the press and TV media.
A new campaign group lead by Dr Justin Schlosberg titled ‘Truth defence’ has examined the extent of the Conservative Party’s use of “disinformation” during the 2019 general election campaign. The detail is staggering.
• The extent of false or misleading advertising by the Conservative Party was seven
times that of Labour over the course of the campaign.
• False online advertising was heavily skewed towards the final week of the campaign
and reinforced by an unprecedented number of non-party campaigners advertising on
• Both Google and Facebook failed to remove ads long after their claims had been
comprehensively debunked by fact-checking organisations.
• Several ads not removed by Google directed users to the website
‘labourmanifesto.co.uk’ run by the Conservative Party.
• Even when ads were removed by Google, they had already run for an average of 7 days
with a potential reach of millions.
• False and misleading claims by the Conservative Party were significantly amplified by
the mainstream press but also challenged – to some extent – by television news.
• Whilst television news journalists did question the veracity of some Tory claims, there
was often a significant time lag from when they were first reported.
• The framing of the fake news issue on television obscured the vastly disproportionate
role of the Conservative Party in producing and disseminating falsehoods
Over half of the news articles were critical or antagonistic in tone, compared to two-thirds of all editorials and opinion pieces. Besides the almost total lack of support in the latter, especially in the right-wing media, the high level of negativity in the news reporting struck us as noteworthy here. According to the Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO), newspapers are obliged to ‘make a clear distinction between comment, conjecture and fact’ and this also did not apply to Corbyn.
Furthermore, Corbyn’s voice was often absent in the reporting on him, and when it is present it is often presented in a highly distorted way.
In terms of the news sources used in the articles, the civil war within Labour is very enthusiastically amplified. In most newspapers, including The Daily Mirror and The Independent, Labour voices that are anti-Corbyn outweigh those that are pro-Corbyn.
Most problematic in this regard, according to the report, was the persistent association of Corbyn with terrorism. In some newspapers, for example in The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express or The Sun, between 15 and 20 per cent of their Corbyn-related coverage associates him with IRA, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and/or terrorism. Linked to this, we see that over one fifth of all articles denote him as a danger or as dangerous, a frame that David Cameron was also keen to feed.
The press only needed to give seed, a whisper in the ear. Aided by the majority within his own party including the present leader of the Labour party, sir Keir Starmer, before long the people’s hope became a clear and present danger to society and democracy and eight now sits in exile from the Party he once led.
People would do well to understand how this manipulation and control works. Chomsky offers insights and a list to learn by
Labour Heartlands have taken the time to remaster ‘Manufacturing Consent Noam Chomsky and the Media – Feature Film’ along with listing the “10 strategies of manipulation” by the media hoping that by understanding the manipulations and strategies used we become stronger in defeating them.
Contrary to the usual image of the press as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in its search for truth, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky depict how an underlying elite consensus largely structures all facets of the news.
They skillfully dissect the way in which the marketplace and the economics of publishing significantly shape the news. They reveal how issues are framed and topics chosen, and contrast the double standards underlying accounts of free elections, a free press, and governmental repression between Nicaragua and El Salvador; between the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the American invasion of Vietnam; between the genocide in Cambodia under a pro\-American government and genocide under Pol Pot.
What emerges from this groundbreaking work is an account of just how propagandistic our mass media are, and how we can learn to read them and see their function in a radically new way.
Manufacturing Consent Noam Chomsky and the Media – Feature Film
The media paraphernalia and propaganda, have created or destroyed social movements, justified wars, tempered financial crisis, spurred on some other ideological currents and even given the phenomenon of media as producers of reality within the collective psyche. But how to detect the most common strategies for understanding these psychosocial tools in which all people participate.
Fortunately, Chomsky has been given the task of synthesizing and expose these practices, some more obvious and more sophisticated, but apparently all equally effective and, from a certain point of view, demeaning. Encourage stupidity, promote a sense of guilt, promote distraction, or construct artificial problems and then magically, solve them, are just some of these tactics.
Knowledge is power…
Noam Chomsky – “10 strategies of manipulation” by the media
1. The strategy of distraction.
The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals (quote from text Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”
2. Creating problems and then offering the solutions.
This method is also called “problem -reaction- solution. “It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant‟s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.
3. The Strategy of Graduation.
acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions ( neoliberalism ) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.
4. The Strategy of Deferring.
Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.
5. Reach to the public like children.
Most publicity advertising uses speeches, topics, characters and a particularly childish intonation, many times close to weakness, as if the viewer was a few years old creature or a mental moron. When you try to deceive the viewer the more you tend to use a childish tone. Why? Why? ′′ If someone addresses a person as if they are 12 or under, then based on suggestionability, they will probably tend to a response or reaction even without a critical sense like that of a 12 person. years or less ′′ (see ′′ Silent Weapons for quiet wars ′′).
6. Using emotional aspect much more than reflection.
Take advantage of emotion it’s a classic technique to provoke a short circuit on a rational analysis and, finally, the critical sense of the individual. Additionally, the use of emotional register allows the unconscious access door to implant or inject ideas, desires, fears and fears, compulsions, or induce behaviors.
7. Keeping the public in ignorance and mediocrity.
Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes (See „ Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”
8. Stimulating the public to be complacent with mediocrity.
Pushing the audience to think it’s fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and ignorant…
9. Strengthening self-guilt.
Making the individual believe that he is only the culprit of his disgrace, because of his insufficient intelligence, skills or efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual devalues himself and blames himself, which in turn creates a depressive state, one of whose effects is the inhibition of his action. And without action, there is no revolution!
10. Knowing individuals better than they know themselves.
Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated science has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.
The book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media is extremely interesting and available from most outlets Kindel is available here.