Mainstream Media and Origins of Propaganda

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. 

      We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.” 

  • Edward Bernays

These are the opening paragraphs of the 1928 book entitled Propaganda, written by the man considered to be the father of modern Public Relations.  Mr. Bernays, nephew to Sigmund Freud, began his career in earnest working for the Woodrow Wilson administration to manufacture public consent for the U.S. entry into WW I (violating the foremost pledge Wilson made during his re-election campaign).  After Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels made such effective use of the techniques espoused and applied by Bernays in the US political and corporate arenas, the more politically neutral phrase “public relations” was coined and used in the post WWII world.

The following is an excerpt from an article posted by Michael Snyder in from October of 2014:

Back in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States.  Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations.  These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day.  They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishinghouses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites. Sadly, most Americans don’t even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest.  Most Americans don’t really seem to care about who owns the media.  But they should.  The truth is that each of us is deeply influenced by the messages that are constantly being pounded into our heads by the mainstream media.  The average American watches 153 hours of television a month.  In fact, most Americans begin to feel physically uncomfortable if they go too long without watching or listening to something.  Sadly, most Americans have become absolutely addicted to news and entertainment and the ownership of all that news and entertainment that we crave is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year.

Prof. Noam Chomsky on the Propagandized Media