Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media

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Can a corporate media system be expected to tell the truth about a world dominated by corporations?

Can newspapers, including the 'liberal' Guardian and the Independent, tell the truth about catastrophic climate change ? about its roots in mass consumerism and corporate obstructionism ? when they are themselves profit-oriented businesses dependent on advertisers for 75% of their revenues?

Can the BBC tell the truth about UK government crimes in...

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Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media

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Overview

Can a corporate media system be expected to tell the truth about a world dominated by corporations?

Can newspapers, including the 'liberal' Guardian and the Independent, tell the truth about catastrophic climate change — about its roots in mass consumerism and corporate obstructionism — when they are themselves profit-oriented businesses dependent on advertisers for 75% of their revenues?

Can the BBC tell the truth about UK government crimes in Iraq when its senior managers are appointed by the government? Has anything fundamentally changed since BBC founder Lord Reith wrote of the establishment: "They know they can trust us not to be really impartial"?

Why did the British and American mass media fail to challenge even the most obvious government lies on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the invasion in March 2003? Why did the media ignore the claims of UN weapons inspectors that Iraq had been 90-95% "fundamentally disarmed" as early as 1998?

This book answers these questions, and more.

Since July 2001, Media Lens has encouraged thousands of readers to email senior editors and journalists, challenging them to account for their distorted reporting on Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, East Timor, climate change, Western crimes in Central America, and much more. The responses — often surprising, sometimes outrageous — reveal the arrogance, unaccountability and servility to power of even our most respected media.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745324838
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Pages: 241
  • Product dimensions: 1.11 (w) x 1.11 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The mass media - neutral, honest, psychopathic 1
2 Iraq - the sanctions of mass destruction 13
3 Iraq disarmed - burying the 1991-98 weapons inspections 32
4 Iraq - gunning for war and burying the dead 47
5 Afghanistan - let them eat grass 76
6 Kosovo - real bombs, fictional genocide 94
7 East Timor - the practical limits of crusading humanitarianism 109
8 Haiti - the hidden logic of exploitation 117
9 Idolatry ink - Reagan, the 'cheerful conservative' and 'Chubby Bubba' Clinton 132
10 Climate change - the ultimate media betrayal 154
11 Disciplined media - professional conformity to power 172
12 Towards a compassionate media 188
13 Full human dissent 204
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    Useful study of the corporate media

    David Edwards and David Cromwell founded Media Lens, a website which challenges the views given us by the corporate media. In this brilliant little book, they show how the media echo the British and US governments ¿ they suppress the true and suggest the false. But the notion that the media are liberal is no myth: liberalism has always partnered capitalism. There are three chapters on the wars against Iraq showing how the media misreported the `sanctions of mass destruction¿, the 1991-98 weapons inspections and the Lancet report estimating that 100,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the invasion. The media downplayed the wars¿ effects. The 1991 attack destroyed all Iraq¿s major electrical power plants, 199 electricity substations and eight dams, wrecking water storage, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Bombing damaged 28 hospitals, 52 community health centres, 346 mosques and 676 schools. All these are war crimes. Since the illegal Bush/Blair invasion in 2003, acute malnutrition among children in Iraq has more than doubled and child mortality has increased. 1.3 million Iraqi children between eight and sixteen are working for low or no pay, over long hours. A third of all primary schools have no water supplies and half have no sanitation facilities. Since March 2003, bombing has damaged another 700 primary schools. Other chapters study the media¿s versions of the attack on Afghanistan, the war against Kosovo (`Real Bombs, Fictional Genocide¿), the exploitation of Haiti, the reputations of Reagan and Clinton, and the US-backed wars in Central America which killed more than 300,000 people between 1954 and 1990. The final three chapters are much the weakest in the book. The authors urge us to be nice to each other to change the world! They show the liberal elitism typical of Pluto Press¿s books (and of the SWP¿s remnants) ¿ those who see through the media¿s deceptions view themselves as enlightened leaders of the ignorant masses. So they propose educational rather than political change - build websites to educate the workers, rather than build a working class party.

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