Search Results for: Edward S. Herman

Dec 6 2001

Noam Chomsky–Saying What Media Don’t Want Us To Hear

"If liberty means anything at all," George Orwell wrote, "it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." From all indications, the gatekeepers for big media in the United States don’t want to hear what Noam Chomsky has to say — and they’d prefer that we not hear him either. Mainstream journalists in other nations often interview Chomsky. Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he’s a world-renowned analyst of propaganda and global politics. But the chances are slim that you’ll ever find him on a large network here at home. Chomsky is ill-suited to […]

Feb 6 2001

Support Grows for Dissenting Pacifica Board Members

Amid a crisis that threatens the future of the Pacifica Radio Network, more than 80 prominent progressives have rallied in support of the six dissidents on the Pacifica Foundation’s board. These board members want Pacifica‘s national leadership to reverse course on its takeover of WBAI, and to “build democratic decision-making structures throughout Pacifica.” A statement supporting the dissenting board members (below) was signed by the Local Advisory Board chairs of four of Pacifica‘s five stations and by former Pacifica staffers and board members, as well as by political figures, community leaders, journalists, artists and academics. These include Dennis Brutus, Noam […]

Sep 1 2000

Hometown Hostility

The Philadelphia Inquirer vs. Mumia Abu-Jamal

Antioch College’s commencement for the class of 2000 featured a taped speech by death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in a highly questionable 1981 trial of murdering a Philadelphia police officer. (See Extra!, 11-12/95.) The Ohio college’s graduation events also included a teach-in by supporters of Abu-Jamal and an organized police protest. Although the selection of a condemned prisoner as speaker was surely the most notable and unusual feature of the event, the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s coverage focused on the police protest, with the front-page article (4/30/00) headlined “Speech Met with Silent Protests” and an accompanying picture of Maureen Faulkner, widow of […]

Jul 1 2000

Booknotes’ Slanted Shelf

C-SPAN slights left-wing authors

Booknotes is an entertaining program on the C-SPAN cable network. Hosted by general manager Brian Lamb, the show features hour-long author interviews every Sunday evening. Lamb is an intelligent interviewer, choosing guests who have written informative, politically interesting non-fiction and presenting them in a conversational, audience-friendly format. Unhappily, Booknotes also displays a pronounced conservative bias in its choice of guests. Lamb’s interests, reflected in the authors and books he chooses, tend toward American politics and history. He seems on a crusade to explain our national history, especially that of his own lifetime, to viewers of a younger generation. It’s a […]

Sep 1 1998

Good and Bad Genocide

Double standards in coverage of Suharto and Pol Pot

Coverage of the fall of Suharto reveals with startling clarity the ideological biases and propaganda role of the mainstream media. Suharto was a ruthless dictator, a grand larcenist and a mass killer with as many victims as Cambodia’s Pol Pot. But he served U.S. economic and geopolitical interests, was helped into power by Washington, and his dictatorial rule was warmly supported for 32 years by the U.S. economic and political establishment. The U.S. was still training the most repressive elements of Indonesia’s security forces as Suharto’s rule was collapsing in 1998, and the Clinton administration had established especially close relations […]

May 1 1998

Shams and Triumphs

The New York Times follows the official line on international elections

In an editorial on “Election Risks in Cambodia” (11/28/97), the New York Times warned that “flawed elections are worse than none,” and that “the international community must proceed cautiously, lest a rigged election give Mr. Hun Sen a veneer of legitimacy.” Similarly, in writing on “Kenya’s Flawed Election” (12/31/97), the Times‘ editors noted that “holding elections is not enough to assure demo­cratic government,” pointing specifical­ly to the need for “an independent elec­toral commission less bound to political parties” and “independent broadcast media, allowing opposition voices to be heard outside election periods.” These are very good points, but regrettably the New […]

Nov 1 1997

The Global Media Giants

We are the world

Time Warner offices with Rochester skyline/Photo: Thomas Belknap

A specter now haunts the world: a global commercial media system dominated by a small number of superpowerful, mostly U.S.-based transnational media corporations. It is a system that works to advance the cause of the global market and promote commercial values, while denigrating journalism and culture not conducive to the immediate bottom line or long-run corporate interests. It is a disaster for anything but the most superficial notion of democracy–a democracy where, to paraphrase John Jay’s maxim, those who own the world ought to govern it. The global commercial system is a very recent development. Until the 1980s, media systems […]

Aug 1 1997

Ritually Denouncing Chomsky

It’s a rare day when Noam Chomsky’s name surfaces in mainstream media. But Anthony Lewis’ June 23 New York Times column on the reported arrest of Pol Pot took a passing swipe at the MIT linguist and social critic. “A few Western intellectuals, notably Prof. Noam Chomsky, refused to believe what was going on in Cambodia,” Lewis wrote. “At first, at least, they put the reports of killing down to a conspiratorial effort by American politicians and press to destroy the Cambodian revolution.” In fact, Chomsky did acknowledge that massive atrocities had taken place in Cambodia, but questioned whether they […]