The first Media Lens book, published in 2006

guardians_of_power_cover_mediumGUARDIANS OF POWER

The Myth of the Liberal Media

by David Edwards and David Cromwell

Publication date: 2006

Pages: 240pp Size: DEMY (215x135mm)


ISBN: 0745324827 Paperback
Price: £14.99 / $24.95 / €22.50


This title is now available as an eBook from the following websites:


Can a corporate media system be expected to tell the truth about a world dominated by corporations? Can newspapers, including the ‘liberal’ “Guardian” and the “Independent,” tell the truth about catastrophic climate change – about its roots in mass consumerism and corporate obstructionism – when they are themselves profit-oriented businesses dependent on advertisers for 75 per cent of their revenues? Can the BBC tell the truth about UK government crimes in Iraq when its senior managers are appointed by the government? Has anything fundamentally changed since BBC founder Lord Reith wrote of the establishment: “They know they can trust us not to be really impartial”? Why did the British and American mass media fail to challenge even the most obvious government lies on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the invasion in March 2003? Why did the media ignore the claims of UN weapons inspectors that Iraq had been 90-95 per cent “fundamentally disarmed” as early as 1998? This book answers these questions, and more.

John Pilger says…

“The creators and editors of Media Lens, David Edwards and David Cromwell, have had such influence in a short time that, by holding to account those who, it is said, write history’s draft, they may well have changed the course of modern historiography. They have certainly torn up the ‘ethical blank cheque’, which Richard Drayton referred to [in the Guardian], and have exposed as morally corrupt ‘the right to bomb, to maim, to imprison without trial…’. Without Media Lens during the attack on and occupation of Iraq, the full gravity of that debacle might have been consigned to oblivion, and to bad history.

“They have not bothered with soft targets, such as Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, but have concentrated on that sector of the media which prides itself on its ‘objectivity’, ‘impartiality’ and ‘balance’ (such as the BBC) and its liberalism and fairness (such as the Guardian). Not since Noam Chomsky’s and Edward Herman’s Manufacturing Consent have we had such an incisive and erudite guide through the media’s thicket of agendas and vested interests. Indeed, they have done the job of true journalists: they have set the record straight.

“For this reason, Guardians of Power ought to be required reading in every media college. It is the most important book about journalism I can remember.”

Noam Chomsky says…

“Regular critical analysis of the media, filling crucial gaps and correcting the distortions of ideological prisms, has never been more important. Media Lens has performed a major public service by carrying out this task with energy, insight, and care.”

Edward Herman says…

“Media Lens is doing an outstanding job of pressing the mainstream media to at least follow their own stated principles and meet their public service obligations. It is fun as well as enlightening to watch their representatives, while sometimes giving straightforward answers to queries, often getting flustered, angry, evasive, and sometimes mis-stating the facts.”

Table of Contents:

Foreword by John Pilger
1 The Mass Media – Neutral, Honest, Psychopathic
2 Iraq – The Sanctions of Mass Destruction
3 Iraq Disarmed – Burying the 1991-98 Weapons Inspections
4 Iraq – Gunning For War And Burying The Dead
5 Afghanistan – Let Them Eat Grass
6 Kosovo – Real Bombs, Fictional Genocide
7 East Timor – The Practical Limits Of Crusading Humanitarianism
8 Haiti – The Hidden Logic Of Exploitation
9 Idolatry Ink – Reagan,The ‘Cheerful Conservative’ And ‘Chubby Bubba’ Clinton
10 Climate Change – The Ultimate Media Betrayal
11 Disciplined Media – Professional Conformity To Power
12 Towards A Compassionate Media
13 Full Human Dissent