C. G. Estabrook galliher at
Tue Aug 17 21:18:04 PDT 1999

I spent the summer in England, reading the British press, which certainly has its own problems, but at least lacks the hermetic insularity of the US media. But as the situation here gets worse, the number of those pointing that out -- and explaining why -- grows. E.g., Danny Schechter's *The More You Watch, the Less You Know*, and now Robert McChesney's *Rich Media, Poor Democracy*. I'm vicariously proud to say that the latter is published by the press here at the University of Illinois, which has previously published Alex Carey and Elizabeth Fones-Wolf -- a splendid record, even tho' there's not much competition.

The publisher's blurb for McChesney's book says that he "argues that the media have become a significant anti-democratic force in the United States, and, to varying degrees, worldwide. He addresses the corporate media explosion and the corresponding implosion of public life that characterizes our times. Challenging the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information `choices' is ipso facto a democratic one, McChesney argues that the major beneficiaries of the so-called Information Age are wealthy investors, advertisers, and a handful of enormous media, computer, and telecommunications corporations. This concentrated corporate control, McChesney maintains, is disastrous for any notion of participatory democracy."

The publisher includes encomia from Bagdikian, Chomsky, Hightower, Nader, Zinn, the aforementioned Schechter, et al.

--C. G. Estabrook

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