Since Trump came to power, there has been much talk about the media. Trump says the mainstream news outlets are lying, but what do we say? For my part, I can’t say I have all that much confidence in mainstream news outlets either; yet, there is no doubt that they have offered me wonderful articles and illuminating documentaries. So what will it be?
Thirty years ago, Edward Herman & Noam Chomsky had a book published called Manufacturing Consent. About the media. About how the media is not as free as we like to believe. About how the powers that be control public opinion without censorship.
Much has changed since then. When you stop to consider that personal computers hardly existed when the book was written (on a typewriter, I am told) and that email was an exotic and very technical affair, it really is quite remarkable that the mechanisms described in the book still apply today.
I would like to recommend a piece on the Internet written by a man of whom I know nothing except what he writes himself: that he is a youngish journalist, that he deeply admires the very much older Noam Chomsky and that the latter has agreed to be interviewed by him. What follows the journalist’s introduction is not so much an interview as a very agreeable and interesting conversation between the two about, yes, the media as it splashes all over the place, on the verge of spilling into the next decade.
Why, in spite of so much knowledge out there, in spite of any number of extremely talented and hard-working journalists, are we so ill-informed, so confused, so battered by the elements?
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present Matt Taibbi and Noam Chomsky.