The Use of Noam Chomsky's Propaganda Models in Bill Moyers Buying the War

Topics: Mass media, Propaganda, Noam Chomsky Pages: 8 (2827 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Sandra Parker

Liberal Arts

November 2nd 2012

The Uses of Noam Chomsky’s Propaganda Models in Bill Moyers Buying the War

Noam Chomsky is known to be the father of linguistics. He is an American linguist and political critic who created along with Edward S. Herman a set of five filters known as the propaganda model. These five filters discuss and focus on how power along with wealth effect the media and what we as general public receive as our daily news. The five filters are consisted of Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation of the Mass Media, The Advertising License to Do Business, Sourcing Mass Media News, Flak and the Enforcers, and Anti-Communism. In April of 2007 Bill Moyers created a documentary called “Buying the War” in his documentary it discusses how the war was sold to us as the general public. The war was sold to us by the large conglomerates and parent companies because of their personal interest. In this paper I will discuss Chomsky’s five filters and how in Buying the War we can see how the filters are being executed.

Noam Chomsky’s first filter in his propaganda model is known as Size, Ownership and Profit Organization of the Mass Media. In this first filter Chomsky discusses how the mass-media outlets are controlled by shareholders or large conglomerates that control the financial aspect of the media outlets. With the large conglomerates and shareholders having the financial power over the media outlets they can have the media catered to their interest. This is especially apparent when large conglomerates are owned by even larger corporations these are known as parent corporations. An example of a parent corporation is News International, CBS (now merged with Westinghouse), and Turner Broadcasting (now merged with Time-Warner) which belong to even larger corporations such as General Electric (owners of NBC). These parent corporations usually are heavily involved in other areas of some controversial issues such as nuclear power and weapons control. Sense these large corporations are involved in such controversial issues and own smaller media outlets they can control what we as the general public receive as news from the television-broadcasting stations, cable network, radio stations and newspapers.

In the documentary buying the War we can clearly see how Chomsky’s first propaganda model is being shown. In a discreet way the government officials achieved the goal of producing the same news and distributing it to companies that are owned by even larger corporations. They are trying to convey the side of the war they want the public to see. As we can see throughout the documentary the government uses media sources such as 60 Minutes, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN to just name a few. Just seeing these names tou would believe they are all different news sources, but in reality they are all owned by one company. That company being General Electric (GE). General Electric has many different areas such as being involved with nuclear power and weapons control. So when the government wanted to solidify the war they had no trouble receiving the help from GE and the media companies that they own.

Chomsky’s second filter is known as The Advertising License to Do Business. This is because advertisers are a main source of the media’s revenue. As in newspapers advertises that are run in this filter Chomsky discusses that the media has to take into consideration there advertisers opinion on news we as the public will receive. Help maintain the cost of the overall finished paper. If the media where to no comply with what the advertisers want and filter the news that we receive to their liking the advertisers would pull away from the newspaper in return leaving the paper with a high cost and leaving the newspaper behind all the others. Where in television advertisers are the ones that pay for programs we as consumers receive. They also use a theory...
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