Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Wed Aug 18 12:28:22 PDT 1999

William S. Lear wrote:

>Well, depends on your historical time-scale, and what you mean by "the
>media", doesn't it? If you mean the corporate media, then "have
>become" is wrong, but if you mean the entire media, including once
>lively labor newspapers and independent radio programs, which have
>all but disappeared from mass circulation, then I don't find it
>terribly misleading. Chomsky and Herman note this deterioration at
>the beginning of their book *Manufacturing Consent*. The labor
>newspapers may have been ugly in all sorts of ways, but hey, at least
>it was the voice of (some of) the working volk, was it not, Doug?

Yup. One of my beefs with the average media critic is that they rarely talk about this sort of thing - they're so busy bellyaching about concentration of ownership that they forget that they should be nurturing critical media rather than expecting the New York Times to call Chomsky for a quote on U.S. foreign policy. Maybe that's just self-interest talking.

>Of course, McChesney is well-known as the author of another
>outstanding book, *Telecommunications, Mass Media, & Democracy: The
>Battle for Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928--1935* (Oxford
>University Press, 1993), which looks backward quite a way for the
>undemocratic slant, so I wouldn't blame him so much as the
>book-jacket-blurb ad folks for the misleading blurb.

Nope, McChesney isn't to blame at all - he's done fine work showing just how early the commercial banalization of U.S. broadcasting was.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list