The media myth
PICK: GUARDIANS OF POWER: THE MYTH OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA (Pluto, £14.99)
by David Edwards and David Cromwell
BRIAN PRECIOUS recommends a superb, devastating book that explodes the
myth of the liberal mainstream media.
John Pilger has written the foreword to this brilliant new book,
describing it as “the most important book about journalism I can
Authors David Edwards and David Cromwell are at least partly inspired
by Chomsky and Herman’s ground-breaking work Manufacturing Consent,
since they use the technique of “paired examples” to illustrate the
mainstream media’s obedience to Western established power.
Particularly memorable is the way in which the world’s largest refugee
camp, holding 350,000 people at Maslakh in Afghanistan, in which up to
100 people die every day, remains a virtual non-story in the
mainstream media, which simultaneously spent column inches and
air-time reporting the plight of Marjan the one-eyed lion in Kabul
The authors deliciously comment: “In the land of the blind, the
one-eyed lion is news.”
The reason for this deliberate blindness? Much of the blame for the
plight of those at Maslakh and across “liberated” Afghanistan rests
squarely with the US and Britain, as the authors document with
testimony from aid organisations and brief – but very telling –
stories buried in the media.
Cromwell and Edwards do a great job of contrasting the extent and
frequency of coverage of crimes attributable to official enemies, with
that given to stories where the responsibility is closer to home.
The authors include sometimes hilarious excerpts from email
correspondence with mainstream media people such as Jon Snow and Nick
Cohen, to illustrate the combination of flippant cynicism and sheer
naivety which keeps mainstream coverage within bounds acceptable to
Snow shows that he is unable to see beyond the lame conspiracy theory
of media bias.
He tells the authors: “If bias does happen, it’s a conspiracy. If it
doesn’t happen, it’s not a conspiracy.”
Combine such things as pressure from advertisers, upon which virtually
all of the mainstream media is utterly dependent for finance,with
shallow purblind stupidity like Snow’s and is it any wonder the media
remains within a set of assumptions which pose no threat to the ruling
elites of our society? Is this not precisely the obviation of the need for any conspiracy?
I really cannot do justice to this superb, devastating book such in a small space.
It is not merely excellent, it is outstanding. Buy it. Read it. Use it.