MEDIA MONOPOLY by Ben Bagadikian

by JF

REVIEW: Good reference source; heavily biased; Unclear language

The Good: There is important information about the incestuous interlockings, and megamaniacal corporate power-brokering, behind the scenes of the filtered, controlled major media. The author is right when he mentions our system in the same paragraph as the old USSR media system. In fact, I don’t think he pushes the comparison enough. So if you want a reference source for what dangerous mega-corporation has a choke-hold on all that you previously thought you knew, you might think about getting this book. Heck, before I read this, I had no idea the song “Happy Birthday” was copyrighted!

The Bad: The author relies far, far too much on the hegelian dialectic of “left” vs. “right” and “liberal” vs. “conservative.” He hasn’t crawled out of that box yet.

It should be no surprise then that the author also falls for the present widespread misnomer of referring to this nation as a “democracy.” We are NOT a democracy, thank you.

The author also consistently writes in a biased fashion, and I wonder if he even realizes it is biased: for example, if he doesn’t like something, he’ll simply label it “Far Right”, with no other qualification than that. No facts, no supporting issues. He simply dismisses what doesn’t fit with his predispositions outright.

I believe this is typical of what you find between true conservatives and true liberals: true conservatives, I think, tell you they are biased, admit it from the get-go, and then go on; whereas true liberals often have little or no conception that there could be any other truth but their own. I realize that is but my opinion, but it is an opinion which has now been reinforced from reading this obliviously one-sided book.

Clear language goes over this author’s head, or doesn’t penetrate or something. Euphemisms, propaganda–that kind of stuff goes right in. Orwell was all about clear language, warning that it was the key to clear thinking. This author should read more Orwell. Then he would know the difference between such terms as “conservative” and “neo-conservative”, and “democracy” as opposed to “republic”. (Little wonder the guy’s from insular Berkeley.)

Rating: Δ Δ Δ
8/2005

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