When Media Goes to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and the Limits of Dissent

Overview

In this fresh and provocative book, Anthony DiMaggio uses the war in Iraq and the United States confrontations with Iran as his touchstones to probe the sometimes fine line between news and propaganda. Using Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony and drawing upon the seminal works of Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, and Robert McChesney, DiMaggio combines a rigorousempirical analysis and clear, lucid prose to enlighten readers about issues essential to the struggle for a critical media and a functioning democracy. If,...

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When Media Goes to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and the Limits of Dissent

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Overview

In this fresh and provocative book, Anthony DiMaggio uses the war in Iraq and the United States confrontations with Iran as his touchstones to probe the sometimes fine line between news and propaganda. Using Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony and drawing upon the seminal works of Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, and Robert McChesney, DiMaggio combines a rigorousempirical analysis and clear, lucid prose to enlighten readers about issues essential to the struggle for a critical media and a functioning democracy. If, as DiMaggio shows, our newspapers and television news programs play a decisive role in determining what we think, and if, as he demonstrates convincingly, what the media give us is largely propaganda that supports an oppressive and undemocratic status quo, then it is incumbent upon us to make sure that they are responsive to the majority and not just the powerful and privileged few.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A pioneering book. It tells the story of how public debate on issues is restricted to the agenda of political elites. The scholarship is superb and the narrative is direct and convincing. I recommend it to students, scholars, and libraries. It is a must read for any journalist dealing with foreign affairs."
-Jamal R. Nassar,College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, California State University, San Bernardino

""In this meticulously researched, highly informative, and timely volume, DiMaggio skillfully explores how hegemonic media messages are shaped and transmitted in mainstream media's reporting of international events. Zeroing in on political coverage of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rhetorical war with Iran, DiMaggio methodically illustrates the interconnections between media, government, and commerce."
-Yahya R. Kamalipour,Center for Global Studies, Purdue University Calumet

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583671993
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony DiMaggio teaches American Government and International Relations at Illinois State University in the department of politics and government. He publishes regularly in Z Magazine and Counterpunch, and is the author of Mass Media, Mass Propaganda: Examining American News in the “War on Terror”;.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction: Propaganda and the News in a Time of Terror 11

1 Withdrawal Pains: Iraq and the Politics Of Media Deference 27

Diverging Views on Media Deliberation 29

Media Coverage of Iraq Withdrawal 31

Propaganda and Iraq 42

Criticisms of the Iraq War on CNN 46

The Independent and Iraq 47

Explaining Differences between the British and American Press 52

2 There Are No Protestors Here: Media Marginalization and the Antiwar Movement 57

Hegemony, Mass Media, and Social Movements 59

Alternative Hegemonic Theories of the Press 60

Media, Iraq Protestors, and Withdrawal 62

Protesting Iraq: Media Coverage of the Movement 63

A Lack of Issue Salience 64

The Myth of Left-Right Political Conflict 65

Predominance of the Law-and-Order Frame 66

Absence of Substantive Antiwar Arguments 68

Editorial Coverage in Light of Antiwar Protests 68

Antiwar Arguments in the New York Times and Beyond 70

Substantive Antiwar Claims in the New York Times 74

Procedural and Ambiguous Criticisms 76

Pro-War Arguments as a Mainstay of Reporting 79

Assessing Media Performance in Times of War 80

3 Worthy And Unworthy Victims: The Politicization of Genocide and Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy 83

Worthy and Unworthy Victims of History 85

The Uses of the Kurds in Media Coverage of Turkey and Iraq 94

Worthy and Unworthy Victims 100

What Do We Know about Casualties in Iraq? 102

New Media, Iraq, and the Politics of Casualty Coverage 104

Lessons from Media Coverage of the Middle East 110

4 Journalistic Norms and Propaganda: Iraq and the War on Terror 113

Press-State Relations and the Production of News 114

Evidence of Journalistic Censorship 116

Propaganda and News Management in the Iraq War 118

British and American Journalistic Norms in Comparison and Contrast 126

Journalistic Censorship vs. Co-optation 130

5 Iran, Nuclear Weapons, and the Politics of Fear 133

Political Framing of Iran 134

Reporting on Iran 137

Regional News Coverage 141

Comparing Coverage across British and U.S. Magazines 143

News Norms, Iran, and U.S. News Media and Television 145

Coverage in Elite Print Media 153

Major Lessons from the Iran Case Study 163

6 Media, Globalization, and Violence: Views from around the World 165

A Review of Global Media Studies 166

Neocolonial Planning and U.S. Policy in the Middle East 174

The Iraq Invasion as a Capitalist Experiment 181

Global Media, Iraq, and the Capitalist World System 186

Media Similarities in Core Countries at War 191

Allied Core Countries: Continued Support for War 194

Media Coverage in Poorer Countries 198

Implications of the Capitalist Global Media System 204

7 Public Rationality, Political Elitism, and Opposition to War 205

Elite Theories of Public Opinion 207

The Rational Public 210

The Rational Public's Assessment of Iraq 212

The Midwest Survey and Iraq 228

Hope for the Public's Power in Democratic Politics 230

8 Media Effects on Public Opinion: Propaganda, Indoctrination, and Mass Resistance 231

Elite Indoctrination in the Iraq War 233

Indoctrination and the "War on Terror" 239

The Social Construction of Public Opinion 242

Propaganda Effects and Reporting in Iraq and Iran 245

Public Independence from the Propaganda System 250

Public Opinion Polling as Propaganda 255

Lessons from the Study of Public Opinion and War 261

9 Propaganda, Celebrity Gossip, and the Decline of News 263

Manufacturing Consent through Entertainment Media 267

The "King of Pop" as a Celebrity News Fixation 273

Implications for the Consumption of Celebrity News 279

The Continued Relevance of Public Opinion 280

Global Distrust of the American Political System 281

Some Final Notes on Media Propaganda 286

Postscript: Media Coverage in the Age of Obama 291

Select Bibliography 309

Notes 319

Index 376

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