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Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

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Ratings: 8.88/10 from 33 users.

Storyline

Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media (1993)The Canadian documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media presents a lengthy, detailed look at the political beliefs of celebrated intellectual Noam Chomsky.

Casting only passing glances at Chomsky's groundbreaking work in the field of linguistics and his eventful life, filmmakers Mark Achbar and Peter Witonick instead focus on his activities as a political dissident and media critic.

Particular attention is paid to his contention that the American mass media serves as a form of thought control in a democratic society, with major news organizations systematically bending the truth to support the status quo.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • CMcF

    A must watch! This is not just conspiracy ravings this is well documented academic scholarship. I don't see how anyone could watch this and not be appalled at the direction we seem to be heading.

  • jkaz

    Inspirational. Noam Chomsky is a truly remarkable man and must be one of the greatest intellectuals and free-thinkers of our time.

    It's quite long but I encourage everyone to watch this documentary. If we were all a bit more like Noam Chomsky then the world would be a far better place.

    Always question and never stop looking for the truth.

  • Luke Wilson

    Here I was thinking the idea about mass manipulation and the media not acting in the best interest of the average person was new(last 10-20 years). This guy was at it from the 50s. Omg. Well, has the world changed? Ans: No! Are the media still lying about wars and basically helping start new ones? Ans: Yes! Infact has anything that he pointed out as being -ve in this documentary changed for the better since it was made? Ans: Not really. Only thing I can think off is more and more ppl are speaking out and getting there material out to the public.

    Oh well, Its funny how he never said who this specialized controlling elite were. Nobody seems to know who they are.... Do they even exist or are they somekind of scapegoat people have invented to shed themselves of there responsibilty and involvement on what is happening? OH nooo dont blame me, its all these elites.. They are the ones to blame. Just a thought is all.

    If the speech where he said capitalism and self-serving individualistic aims are not-sustainable for any civilization, then it is only a matter of time before it all comes to an end. No? Then surely its only natural to ask, an entity(group of people) clever enough to devise the system in which we live(which is absurdly well designed to keep the lies going on for so long) would have known this. So why devise something that wont survive forever? Rome made it to like 700yrs. America is like maybe 200yrs old since it became the global tyrant and its basically used up all the resources on the flipping planet. What will happen when there is nuthing left??? Why make something that will eventually die???

  • Laura Montoya

    As of 7-10-10, I want to report that this video has been altered slightly, starting at 1:48:13. A piece of the audio has been removed that causes the rest of the video's picture to lag behind the audio by somewhere around 5 seconds.

    God Bless the Internet and damn the smut (i.e. the common canned cr*p shoved down our throats).

    I quit paying for TV last year because I got sick of verbally arguing with commercials. Corporations are evil in that they label "putting money before people" a virtue. People created money, no one is less important than all of the money in the world put together. Jesus loves us all.

    I bet I give the bad guy ideas by insisting: All main stream media sources should be free; because, with the level of advertising forced on us, the corporations should pay for the media companies to provide free transmissions to us. Man, I try to insist how duped we are, without starting an altercation, whenever I can.

  • Anthony

    Luke Wilson I ask the same questions. unfortunately money and human nature combine to make an inevitably unstable and self destructive system. We can never realistically cancel out all negative and aggressive aspects of human nature (theoretically though genetic engineering might offer solution) I believe Einstein was correct when he said; there will be wars so long as there are men. Society needs radically restructuring but I don't think we have the time to do it(though I will not resign to doing nothing and my career path will lead me to make real changes in the world however small.)

  • Joe

    Thanks for posting. I think they should teach critical thinking skills in high school to all students.

  • Paula

    I really enjoyed this doc and continue to watch it again and again to pick up important bits of information.

    It seems to me that anyone who accuses Chomsky of a conspiracy has fundamentally missed the point of his institutional analysis. He has not stated that the higher ups of the New York Times consciously sit in their meetings and decide "what the news will be" in terms of saying "I want to talk about cambodia and forget east timor". What he is saying is that the evidence that he has collected clearly indicates a bias in reporting. How that bias happens is an interesting question.....and his proposition is that the news decision-makers avoid topics that would upset those people who buy their advertising. This "fear" of the news decision-makers to lose sales (money) motivate them to keep their customers happy - and avoid these topics like the plague. This avoidance results in a bias that impacts our ability to know what is going in the world.

    Also, Chomsky makes it very clear that we need to be aware that the decision-makers with respect to news don't consider the public to be their customer, but they do view advertisers as the customer that really matters.

    lastly, since a great number of newspapers imitate the new york times, this gives the NYT a great deal of power (whether they are aware of it or not).

    All of these issues need to remain in our consciousness when we listen to the news, and we should be very critically minded about what we read. One strategy is to not accept the news as "reality" but as information - that is then tested against other sources in order to determine its veracity.

  • Laura Montoya

    "Oh well, Its funny how he never said who this specialized controlling elite were. Nobody seems to know who they areā€¦. Do they even exist or are they somekind of scapegoat people have invented to shed themselves of there responsibilty and involvement on what is happening? OH nooo dont blame me, its all these elites.. They are the ones to blame. Just a thought is all."
    Ans: Corp Exes, Large Shareholders, World Bank, WTO, World Economic Forum, Davos....
    The common people are to blame only in that they believe the corp advertising "commercial" lies...and act like lemmings with their financial/purchasing decisions. Also, the system doesn't work the way it's supposed to, namely "by the people, for the people". We have given our power away, without a possible check back, and the decision-makers have not had the at large population's best interest in mind in many ways. A large agenda that you never hear negatives about are the huge $$$ invested in vaccines (ironically for population control). There is technology to add dna to make, particularly women, autoimmune to their own cellular functions thereby rendering them infertile. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a conspiracy fact. This may not be as heinous as most of the issues that are being kept "hidden".
    "Then surely its only natural to ask, an entity(group of people) clever enough to devise the system in which we live(which is absurdly well designed to keep the lies going on for so long) would have known this. So why devise something that wont survive forever?"
    Ans: it was never favored after world-war II. "They" (named above) do not want it to last forever. They would like an elitist controlled, hierarchical world government in which they can be the heinous dictators behind the so-called democracy. Wolves in sheep's clothing. Eventually, we will all be, literally, sick and tired enough to never attempt to fight them. I think we are supposed to be the gov/corps customers, and instead they thing we are gov/corps possessions - servants/cattle. They manipulate and treat us as such.
    Using a little intuition, and a macro-view, I can easily see this identical theme running through each and every single conspiratorial documentary-type information gathering, period. This is the critical thinking that many fail to put together in their minds.

  • Winston Smith

    @Luke
    If you want to know who those elusive elites are, I suggest you watch "Endgame: blueprint for global enslavement", "The Fall of the Republic", and any doc that focuses on the Federal Reserve, all of which can be found on this site! But here are also some words for you to Google: Rothschild, Rockefeller, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilaterl Commission, Bilderberg Group! Happy awakenings my friend!

  • Albert

    What an incredibly thought-provoking, inspiring three hours have I just spend watching this documentary. Especially interesting is that this 20 year old documentary claims that the way to free ourselves from the institutionalized media is through independent publishing. What an incredible coincidence that I stumbled upon this on february 12 2011, one day after Egypt freed itself from dictatorship through the use of social media like Twitter and Facebook. With current events in mind, this documentary becomes almost prophetic.

  • odogg51

    good documentary. If this film does not make one think about society a bit more critically then they need to flip that light switch in their heads to the on position.

  • BetsMcGee

    Chomsky, what a incredibly dedicated and hard working activist, I have on my book shelf no less than five of his books a mere drop of in the ocean of work Chomsky has released. I truly admire his hard work and dedication to sifting through and compiling such large quantities of information for so many years. A constant voice through silence and apathy a place to turn for those of us who seek to know more then the latest celebrity gossip that seems to take center stage in the infotainment that dominates the media seeking to pass its self off as News. Noam Chomsky, I tip my hat to you Sir.

  • Hodd

    Human nature is to be shaped by your environment basically. An environment driven by the competitive profit driven monetary and market systems bring out some of the worst human nature has to offer. Not to mention the social classes and resulting crime and violence that arises from this inequality.

    Negative and aggressive aspects are acquired more than they are inherent in human nature. I think this is where the whole nature vs nurture debate stands today. Check out Human Resources, I think you'll like it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DUD2S3GV7HVUN33MJBZMQO4I4M mag_vam

    "The full documentary is not available at this time." So, what's there to comment on? I must have missed the boat.

  • Kiplin

    Find it through alternative means, like Veoh, YouTube, ISOHunt, etc.

  • Yunzer

    or the Torrent-sphere.

  • Yunzer

    Pretty ironic that the capitalist Amazon. com now owns rights to this
    movie. Did Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achar (the person who made this now-20 year old but still extremely relevant movie) approve of this.