Chomsky Essays Online

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He also did parts on some of the specific studies, like on the coverage comparison of a hundred religious martyrs in Latin America with one Polish priest.

He did the comparison of the elections, which was partly drawn from a book that he had already done on demonstration elections. Mostly the journalists and the media did not like it at all, of course.

They published 20,000 copies of it, and were ready to distribute it.

The publisher was owned by a big conglomerate, Warner Brothers, now part of Time Warner.

I did all the parts on Vietnam and on the Freedom House attack on the media. And, interestingly, they did not like the defense of the integrity of journalism: the last part, which investigated Peter Braestrup’s major, two-volume Freedom House attack on the media for having been treacherous, for having lost the Vietnam war, and so on (which turned out to be a total fraud). Like all the coverage of the war, like, say, David Halberstam.

Of course, we interacted on all the chapters, but the main division of labor was that. I was probably the only person who read the actual document, both of the two volumes. And what the results showed was that the journalists were courageous, honorable; they had integrity, they did their work seriously—but, of course, all within the framework of U. It was honest, serious, but, almost without exception, within the framework of the assumption that the United States is making a mistake by trying to save democracy in South Vietnam from Communist aggression. The idea that the United States was carrying out a major war crime by invading another country and destroying the indigenous resistance…. So as far as the journalists themselves were concerned, aside from a few exceptions, they did not like that picture of journalism as being honest, courageous and with integrity.One of the Warner executives saw the advertising for the book, and did not like it.He asked to see the book, and when he saw it, he went berserk and ordered them to stop distributing it immediately. They said they would publish a critical volume with contrary views, but that was not enough.And there was everything you could do about it: You could just call it off.The reaction was, not a word on our chapter about East Timor; that disappeared.One 2016 study showed that half of all British people get their news online now, with online news having overtaken television in its reach, and having far superseded it among those under 45 years old.Twenty-five percent of the UK receives its news primarily through social media like Facebook or Twitter.AM: And what was the reaction to it when it came out? One, the attack on the media, [the other] the documentary basis. the facts were there, but not the framework of discussion. Journalists would much prefer to be regarded as aggressive, independent, thinking for themselves, and if they were treacherous, well, OK, maybe they went overboard attacking the U. There were very few reviews of the book, but there was one critical discussion that I wrote about later, by Nicholas Lehmann [New Republic, 1/9/89], a well-known scholar of journalism, who wrote a review in which he disparaged it, saying, “This doesn’t mean anything.”For example, he discussed the chapter comparing the assassinations of a hundred religious martyrs in Central America, including an archbishop, American nuns and leading Latin American intellectuals—where there was virtually no coverage—with the coverage of the assassination of one Polish priest, where the assassins were immediately apprehended, tried, sentenced to jail—where there was vast reportage.This was one of our many examples of the way in which “worthy victims” are treated, as compared with “unworthy victims.”He said, “Well, this doesn’t mean anything, it is just because the media focused on one thing at a time, and they happened to be focusing on Poland, not El Salvador.” So, out of curiosity, I went to the New York Times index, and it turned out there was more coverage of El Salvador than of Poland during that period.But there was a huge attack on our discussion of Cambodia.There was a huge literature on this, trying to show that we were apologists for Pol Pot. Look it up, you will find a ton of literature about it.


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