• 26 FEB 16
    • 0

    The Dominant Media … and the Illusion of Consensus

    The following article appeared in Truthout on 25 February, although it primarily ideals with the bizarre presidential circus currently underway in America, the topic of manufacturing a false consensus in the media is all too relevant to the recent media ‘witch-hunt’ against the Catalyst program “Wi-Fried”, and presenter Maryanne Demasi by sections of the Australian media. This was sparked off following the media release by the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC). In that release, Rodney Croft gave his expert opinion (in part) that there “is no substantiated evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency emissions encountered by mobile telecommunications can cause any harm” and after comparing WiFi to orange juice, stated that “we we can be very confident that the emissions are indeed safe”. He also mentioned the international consensus view in this area which is that of ICNIRP.

    How often do we read and hear about this supposed international consensus which does not stand up to even a rudimentary examination? This was thoroughly debunked by my Procrustean Approach thesis but I doubt that it is on the ICNIRP/ACEBR reading list.

    I could, of course go on but instead have a read of the excellent article by Michael Corcoran in Truthout, excerpts below.

    Don

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    The Dominant Media, “Left-Leaning” Economists and the Illusion of Consensus

    Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00 By Michael Corcoran, Truthout | News Analysis

    In a matter of a few days, The New York Times and a handful of liberal economists, most of them with close ties to the Democratic Party establishment, created an imaginary left-wing consensus against the most transformative Keynesian reforms in Bernie Sanders’ economic agenda. Many economists and experts have since attempted to counter this manufactured consensus, but the mainstream media have largely ignored these efforts. As this false narrative turns into conventional wisdom, prospects for much-needed and substantive changes to our economy – universal health care, access to higher education, a dignified standard of living for all – continue to dwindle.

    This development shows the power of the propaganda function of the mass media in the United States, which keeps parameters of debate limited on an extremely narrow spectrum. These parameters are largely shaped by the political parties, with the Democratic Party reflecting the liberal end of acceptable discourse in publications like The New York Times – thus far and no further. To go beyond this point will result in one being marginalized, ignored or mocked – treated as if they have taken “off from the planet,” as Noam Chomsky once described the phenomenon. Given the narrative the mainstream media have pushed in recent weeks, it appears that proposals like single-payer health care and tuition-free college go well beyond these parameters. This is not all that surprising given the Democratic Party’s financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and the financial services industry.

    Establishment Media and Economists Attack Sanders’ Agenda

    On February 15, 2016, the Times published an article called, “Left-leaning economists question costs of Sanders’ economic plans.” The article cited, interviewed or quoted five establishment (if liberal) economists (and one pundit) critiquing, attacking and at times flat-out mocking the “seriousness” and plausibility of Sanders’ economic plans for things like single-payer health care and major investments in infrastructure or higher education.

    SNIP

    Read the full article here

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