Customer Reviews for

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media

Average Rating 2.5
( 6 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    I Want My Money Back

    This comic book is cute and Gladstone is impressed with
    her own cuteness. She states, and restates the obvious,
    posing as a balanced and understanding voice of reason
    she dosen't seem to notice herself as a creature of the
    left as much as a hipper than thou paladin of righteous
    journalistic virtue. And realize this really is a set of comics
    not a book. Your money will be better spent. and you'll find
    deeper insights, picking up a Calvin and Hobbes anthology.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not that great a read.

    So, I bought this book on a whim at my local Barnes & Noble, knowing full well that an author who works for NPR could lean a little (or a lot) to the left. But, after a quick scan of the book in the store, it seemed to be a light (i.e., <200 pages) read with interesting illustrations. Well, I was duped. Ms. Gladstone does her best to make some kind of case that the media in our country is the result of what we expect, or something like this. To say that the book has no liberal bias, let alone doesn't recognize bias in the media, would be the biggest understatement(s) you could make about it. "Uncle Walt" (Cronkite) is held up as the pinnacle of straight-forward news, with no further in-depth investigation of either his "losing Vietnam" reporting or his modern day musings that have shown his true left-leanings. Swift Boaters? Republican-machine funded liars. Couldn't possibly be truthtellers. 2000 Election - fair reporting here! No chance that media outlets (your usual culprits of the NY Times, LA Times, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, et al.) could be taking sides in the outcome. NY Times - certainly not liberal. After all, it's a "big corporation," and we all know big corporations are just money-hungry right-leaning organizations. Bias... huh? And beyond all of this, Ms. Gladstone cares not to mention the influence of the big players in alternative media-- Pajamas Media (born of Rathergate, which is completely avoided in the book), which is completely ignored. Agenda Journalism would seem to be a better explanation for how Ms. Gladstone views the appropriate role of the media. The word "objectivity" is used in the latter pages, but I fully can't remember how it even appeared considering the views purported by the author. In summary, I have to say I learned NOTHING from this book. The illustrations are really a nice thing, and they help to get the points of the book across (so hipsters and the easily influence by pretty pictures would enjoy the book more), but as a guide to the media, I can't say it's worth reading. Heck, I may have dozed off a few times (I do tend to read late at night, but I give at least 50% of the blame to the book this time), so don't use my review alone to decide whether to purchase the book. I'd like to recommend a different book, but having not read Tim Groseclose's "Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind" I don't want to comment yet (note to the B&N staff at the Glendale Americana: hold a book for me - I'll stop by this weekend for Left Turn).

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    An interesting way to present important information

    I found this book to be quite interesting and informatitve. Graphic novels such as these are an amazing find, because it takes a subject some may turn away and adds an extra dimension to enhance its palatability. Now unlike UncleDennis (the previous reviewer) I do enjoy both graphic novels and standard novels, and I find both formats to be of value. UncleDennis mentioned a book by Tim Groseclose called Left Turn, and if you enjoy the topic of media bias I would recommend both books (although Gloseclose suggests that the Wall Street Journal is one of the hardest left leaning media outlets out there, I believe Mr. Murdock would disagree). So, I would say that anyone who enjoys a good historical run through on the develop on the media, matched with wonderful artwork and sensational storytelling to pick this gem up.

    P.S. If you did enjoy this book, I would pick Darryl Cunnimgham's Psychiatric Tales. Different subject matter, same presentation.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    Absolutely loved this book!

    Actually, after hearing a little bit about the book from NPR's program, "On the Media", I checked it out from my local library. It was so good, I decided to order it from Barnes & Noble. I loved the comic book format because it illustrated the narrative so well...(a picture is worth a thousand words). It was a very entertaining way to learn about the history of how the media has changed throughout the centuries and how it has influenced our views politically, psychologically, commercially, and intellectually.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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