The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy
by David Brock (Author) "WHEN JOURNALIST EDITH EFRON died at age seventy-nine in April 2001,
Virginia Postrel, the editor of the libertarian magazine Reason, for which Efron had been..." (more)
Key Phrases: think tank network, message machinery, professional news organizations, New York Times, Washington Post, White House (more...)
thank you amazion
198 of 237 people found the following review helpful:
Brilliant. Comprehensive. The Definitive Record.,
By A Customer.../... Brock begins at the beginning, with a treatise by a woman named **Efron** arguing that the GOP and business interests need their own distinct media. Efron gets Nixon's attention, Nixon tries to put Efron's plan into action, Nixon runs into the Watergate buzzsaw. But the seed is planted, back in the 1970's, and then cultivated by GOP activists like William Simon, financed heavily by Richard Mellon Scaife, Olin, Coors dynasties etc. (who Brock calls the four sisters). Until the whole thing flowers: all of a sudden a huge battery of propaganda houses like Heritage and American Enterprise, funded by oil companies and GOP financiers, are churning out a counter history of the American experience. Anything counter to GOP orthodoxy is branded 'liberal'; Murdoch and Sun Myung Moon's media empires swiftly join the cause, whose committed purpose is to subdue America's independent media and convert it into service of corporate interests generally and GOP political figures specifically.
Throughout this book, which will be the standard text in colleges and for historians, Brock's tone is calm and steady and he lets the facts speak for themselves (very unlike his earlier books, which are overly polemical -- duh). The research here is encyclopedic. (In a book about media, virtually every quote is on the record).
It is amazing to this reviewer how our media could have been so thoroughly corrupted. How our politicians could have so haplessly junked the Fairness Doctrine which would have smothered the entire Fox News Propaganda Machine in its cradle. It is amazing to me that a small and toxic band of right wing ideologues, (nevertheless armed with billions of dollars of their patrons' money) could so effectively intimidate and cow the so-called guardians of our democracy. Is the triumph of the radical right wing the fault of the Neo-cons, or is it our fault, for our complacency and our timidity?
107 of 134 people found the following review helpful:
The Vast Right Wing exposed,
However, there are problems with the book. As good as the book chronicles the mechanisms the right has to accomplish this, I believe it would have been far more effective had it been more objective--taken from a viewpoint that this is a sad example of how political discourse is in America; democrats have them too, they just aren't nearly as effective .../...
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Follow the money,
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Great Book -- Explains so much,
Think about it: Almost all broadcast news comes from one of six huge conglomerates: Viacom, General Electric's NBC, Time Warner, Disney, Fox NewsCorp, and Clear Channel. A republican controlled congress and White House means tens of billions extra profit for each of these companies via favorable Tax and Deregulation policies. Yet the right would like you to believe that these companies generate liberal spin ?!?! Please.
This is the same "Liberal" media that rapidly labeled 2 tour Vietnam combat veteran John Kerry a coward, and labeled George Bush, the man who went AWOL from a cushy slot in the Texas Air Guard, a gutsy, heroic straight shooter. .../...
.../...Edith Efron (who would later become a longtime contributor to the conservative magazine Reason). The News Twisters was really the first attempt by the right wing to declare and systematically prove liberal bias in the mainstream media, and Republicans hailed it as unimpeachable proof of their long-held suspicions, but Brock describes Efron's "research" methods as "admittedly derived not from accepted principles of social science but from her own 'logic.' " The book's entire focus was on media coverage of the 1968 presidential election, and Efron somehow managed to make everything seem like liberal bias. As Brock describes:
Reviewers noted that in Efron's idiosyncratic world, a report on Nixon being met by college hecklers was an example of anti-Nixon bias, while a report on Humphrey being met by college hecklers was listed not as an example of anti-Humphrey bias but as liberal bias: "reporter supports demonstrators." Nor could she explain how her own data tables contradicted her sweeping conclusions, as when she counted the words spoken for and against liberals on the three networks combined and found 20 percent for liberals and 80 percent against.
When CBS news took the extraordinary step of hiring a research firm to do an analysis of the broadcasts Efron cited, it found that she grossly misrepresented the plain meaning of the transcripts. One CBS script that read, "Nixon says he is warning his staff against overconfidence, but he himself hardly looks worried," was listed by Efron as an "anti-Nixon editorial" that "says Nixon is overconfident; suggests he is a liar."
Even to this day you see these strategies applied in the right wing's criticism of the media -- witness the outrageous contortions Ann Coulter will endure to try and read anti-conservative bias into places where it doesn't exist.
Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.
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