THERE IS NO GREATER POWER IN THE WORLD TODAY THAN THAT WIELDED BY THE MANIPULATORS OF PUBLIC OPINION IN AMERICA No king or pope of old, no conquering general or high priest ever disposed of a power even remotely approaching that of the few dozen men who control America’s mass news and entertainment media.
Their power is not distant and impersonal; it reaches into every home in America, and it works its will during nearly every waking hour. It is the power which shapes and moulds the mind of virtually every citizen, young or old, rich or poor, simple or sophisticated.
The mass media form for us our image of the world and then tell us what to think about that image. Essentially everything we know, or think we know, about events outside our own neighbourhood or circle of acquaintances comes to us via our daily newspaper, our weekly news magazine, our radio, or our television.
It is not just the heavy-handed suppression of certain news stories from our newspapers or the blatant propagandising of history-distorting TV “docu-dramas” which characterizes the opinion-manipulating techniques of the media masters. They exercise both subtlety and thoroughness in their management of both the news and the entertainment which they present to us.
For example, the way in which the news is covered: which items are emphasized and which are played down, the reporter’s choice of words, tone of voice, and facial expressions; the wording of headlines; the choice of illustrations; all of these things subliminally and yet profoundly affect the way in which we interpret what we see or hear.