jeudi, décembre 22, 2005

Ze liberal media

Chomsky: [...] Well how was that reported? Well a friend of mine did a database search and nothing. Zero. Only one newspaper in the country - some small town newspaper in Iowa.

Intervieweuse: So what's going on? Are they scared? I mean I've interviewed some journalists on this show and..

Chomsky: Look they've just internalized the values. They'll tell you, and they're correct, that nobody is ordering them to do anything. That's right. Nobody is ordering them to do anything. The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they're being objective. Actually this is a point that Orwell made. You and everybody else has read Animal Farm, I'm sure, but you and everybody else hasn't read the introduction to Animal Farm. There's a good reason for that: because it was suppressed. The introduction was found 30 years later in Orwell's own published papers. The introduction to Animal Farm says look this book is a satire on a totalitarian state but I'm going to talk about England, Free England. In Free England it's not that different. Without state coercion unpopular ideas can be suppressed and are. And then he described how. He didn't go in much details but he said partly it's because the press is owned by wealthy men who have every reason not to want certain ideas to be expressed. But the more important reason, he said, was because of a good education. By the time you've gone through, you know, Oxford and Cambridge and here you could say Harvard and Princeton and so on, and even less fancy places, you have instilled into you the understanding that there are certain things that just wouldn't do to say, and that's what a good deal of education is. So the people who come out of it - and there are many filters, if people go off and try to be too critical there are many ways of discouraging them or eliminating them one way or the other. Some get through, it's not a uniform story. There are plenty of journalists with integrity and honesty. And many of them, some personal friends, will give a much harsher picture of the media than I do, because they have to live with it. But the basic points that Orwell made are fundamentally correct. The more educated you are the more indoctrinated you are. And you believe you are being free and objective, whereas in fact you're just repeating state propaganda.


The truth of the matter is NPR [National Public Radio] is not that different. So I listen to NPR when I'm driving for as long as I can stand it, that's supposed to be the liberal media, just take a look at their reporting. So last night I was listening to the reporting on Bush's speech about how to get victory in Iraq. Just imagine - just do a thought experiment. Suppose you were in Russia under Brezhnev or let's say in the early 80s and you heard reports about the war in Afghanistan. Well, I'm sure it would have been the same thing. They would have discussed how can we get victory, how can we destroy the terrorists, will this tactic work, will that tactic work, we're losing too many soldiers and so on. Well, just like the most liberal journal in the US. Did anybody ask the question in Russia: do we have a right to invade another country? Can you imagine anyone asking that question here? But in Russia there's a difference. That was totalitarian control, if you said the wrong thing you'd go off to the gulag. Here it's just willing subordination to power.

On Fake News and Other Societal Woes, Noam Chomsky, 7 décembre 2005

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