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Decoding the News and Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent'

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posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 02:27 PM
Hey, came across this article which I thought was quite clever. It is an attempt to elaborate on Chomsky's work on 'Manufacturing Consent' by presenting a way in which to 'decode doublespeak keywords you hear on the news'. It isn't long at all and I'd highly recommend that you guys read it it's actually quite frighteningly humorous how true the article is.


Metadeniz presents a quick, amusing, and insightful primer on what Noam Chomsky calls “words with a technical meaning.” Including:

Promoting Democracy verb installing a government friendly to our interests in another country.
Freedom Fighters noun a proxy terrorist army that we support
National Interest noun the interests of the ultra-rich, particularly those in the U.S.A.
Stability noun (used referring to other countries) subordination to US power interests -> Usually achieved through war against the population.

Example: “We should promote democracy by supporting the freedom fighters in Nicaragua because it is in America’s national interest to promote stability in Central America.”
Translation: “We should send weapons to a proxy terrorist army that murders civilians to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicaragua, for the benefit of U.S investors and to intimidate other countries into doing what we say.”

Decoding The News

On another note, I'd also like to recommend that anyone who hasn't seen 'Manufacturing Consent' watches it - it is available fragmented on youtube and in its entirety on google video (I'll embed this below). It is basically a film about Noam Chomsky's views on the manner in which the Media enforces its agendas on the public and works hand in hand with public policy in order to control public opinion. In other words, how the Media steers the public's collective mentality towards accepting government policies. However, it is not presented as a conspiracy theory documentary but rather an academic piece of work based on solid facts, Chomsky is one smart guy!

Though it looks a bit dated, the issues that Chomsky presents are actually more relevant today than ever - the alternative magazines have been largely replaced with online alternative media sources but it seems to me as if the mainstream media has been becoming increasingly centralised for a long time. Also, as retro as the film is, I like the cute little artsy bits they do in-between clips.

Google Video:

Google Video Link


edit on 7-3-2011 by arollingstone because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-3-2011 by arollingstone because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 11:03 PM
Great thread S&F.
Chomsky should definitely be required reading for anyone remotely interested in sorting out some truth amidst all the BS thats shoveled down our throats.
When you think about the fact that we use written and spoken language to articulate our thoughts, what does it amount to when the meaning of that language is twisted and distorted ? It's nothing less than a form of mind control.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 04:32 PM
Chomsky, as a linguist, understands that words are not simply that. Words are complex units of meaning that tend to be in the gray area, because they often hold a unique meaning depending on your experience with them. Of course, we could argue that words do have a specific, black-and-white meaning, but then, who came up with that meaning?

What about context?

What about metaphor?

...and euphemism?

These are things that the average "Joe" and "Jane" do not consider when they here pundits and propagandists. The word "expert" is thrown around on the MSM as though it were some objectively verifiable truth. Sorry, but a self-considered expert does not expertise create. Contributer is another doozy - yeah, they're contributing alright. What it is that they are contributing is a whole other topic.

Recently, regarding the protests and conflict in Libya, you surely have heard the term "protracted civil war" parroted from CNN to FOX to NPR. What does "protracted" mean?

PRO = forward
TRACT = draw (as in draw out)

A very long civil war, in other words. Why do they say, protracted? Beats me. I mean, sure, it's the right word and I understand it. But I understand the complexities of the etymology of the English language and its Greco-Latin roots. But, do those average Joes and Janes understand such wording? Would it not just as easily be implied if the pundit or journalist used the word "lengthy" or "long and drawn out?"

This is kind of a weak example, but I'd be happy to post others when and if they come to me. At the end of the day, however, it always brings me back to John Yoo's testimony where he went on and on arguing semantics. Because, given a sufficiently witty and verbose person, and given the fact that words can have multiple meanings, you can easily twist the language on its head to imply that the meaning is something other than what was interpreted when a crime was committed, even though that's clearly the intent.

In effect, the law is not the law. The dictionary is a de facto law book.

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