Amy Goodman narrates a gorgeous animation about Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent"

Originally published at:


All Hail Primus!


For many (sheep), Al Jazeera, as a foreign entity, fails to clear the 5th filter.


I don’t know about this “Chomsky” fellow, but the piece did remind me I really need to buy some Looloos.


Wake up, sheeple! Cubes followed by octahedrons are killing us!


A lot of important information is squeezed into this small space. Unfortunately the animation muddles rather than clarifies the message. It’s visually compelling: clever and inventive. But as the dodecahedrons whirled and top-hatted eyes marched, I frequently found myself wondering, “What is that supposed to represent?” instead of paying attention to the narrative. A more (forgive the expression) conservative approach, might have told the story better.


OK, Chomsky is a smart guy. Clear statement of the problem. Both"sides" play the game now.


Why do I hear crickets?

Agreed. It’s visually overwhelming, which merely obscures the message. I covered “Manufacturing Consent” in my course a couple of weeks ago, and thought this might be a good video to show the students as a followup, but I’m afraid not - I don’t think it improves upon a set of bullet points explaining the five filters.


This made me remember watching this:


In an age where the greatest influence upon media outlets is multinational corporations, it can be argued that “foreign” exists as nothing but a convenient fiction. We aren’t dealing with people who take national traditions or sovereignty seriously.


Well, one could take oneself out of the media stream and seek out other info sources (ex: public records, vetted research, etc.), although that would still leave out enough info to allow a good decision.

The media (news sources… not TV or film) could (and at least some have already) develop their own internal, autonomous filters (ex: fact checkers, watchdogs, ‘gates’, investigative divisions, etc.) and fight fire with water.

I’m not saying these are absolute solutions, but they’re certainly better than doing nothing.


If you see two sides playing the same game, then they are probably not two sides. Divide-and-conquer strategies often involve polarizing people by provoking emotional reactions to hotbutton issues.

Avoid framing issues in terms of false dichotomies.
People need education to understand current issues.
So alternative education and media systems need to be devised.
Which means needing to create parallel economies.

Probably because none of that is easy. It can fail. And people will complain. So people gamble that if they instead bide their time, circumstances might become less risky. But that hasn’t worked out very well.


Can I have mixed feelings about any material produced by an entity funded by the Qatari ruling class? Qatari, Emirati and Saudi aristocrats provide a lot of funding and encouragement for the most toxic, violent and fundamentalist sects of Islam. While good journalism is good journalism, and a message can stand on its own, I would really like to see something from them about the poisonous spread of extremist madrassas.


You tell me!

I would suggest that “any material” sounds more kneejerk than critical. Let me put it this way: Can you recommend any journalistic outlet which is demonstrably devoid of funding by exploitive elites?

There is also the difficulty of presuming a unified intent from any such group of people. Are all US aristos who fund PBS oil-slinging evangelists? Are all the ones you mentioned agreed in their ideology and agenda, or might there be various factions within them?

Does “extreme” here refer to some statistical absolute, or is it relative to the norms espoused by any particular group?


Well, that’s reasonable. Feel free to disregard the word “any”. I suppose it’s possible that there are nice middle-of-the-road Qatari aristos. But it’s not like that’s an enormous population with a lot of variety. A quick google of “al jazeera madrassa” shows a bunch of article about how wonderful they are. Some admit girls! “Some say” that madrassas are breeding grounds for extremism is as far as they go, in my admittedly very cursory research.
Part of the problem, of course, is that there are a lot of poor Muslim communities in Western nations. So the petrocrats swoop in and open lavish mosques with fire-breathing imams imported directly from Riyadh with their toxic messages.
There’s a reason that the Trump regime’s travel ban did not include Qatar, the UAE or Saudi Arabia, despite the prevalence of citizens from some of those countries among the 9/11 terrorists. Their petrocrats and our petrocrats play golf together (remember “Bandar Bush”?)

You can always watch it again

Yeah, the animation and voiceover were both so good and info-dense I feel like they could’ve each stood on their own.

We badly need these radical critiques of the media. Trump has great success using “hostility to the media” as a talking point because everyone can tell the media is bankrupt. The media is rotten, collapsing on itself, but still trying to run the show. It’s past time for them to be brought down and everyone knows it, but nobody will do it. So when Trump positions himself as at war with the media, people nod.

We need to aggressively criticize the media, else the right will happily claim that role.

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But, in the internet age, I think there is the case to be made that we are all now “the media”. What place is there for a captive audience anymore? If people want a more egalitarian society, they need to also adopt more egalitarian models of communication.

This one, far as I know:

And this one:


No, because, of course, there aren’t any. [ETA] Except the ones that @milliefink noted, of course! :wink: