Media Musings

A blog for students and stalkers of Brian Steffen, centering on issues of concern in media studies.

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Location: Indianola, Iowa, United States

Hello all... I'm a professor of communication studies at Simpson College and a junkie of all things media. I'm blogging on life on the faculty at Simpson and working with some of the best young future professionals in the world.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Flak and Enforcement

We don't need censors in the United States -- we have Don Rumsfeld.

The defense secretary took the offensive on Monday, accusing journalists and others critical of the Bushies' illegal Iraq war of being appeasers of "a new type of facism". Funny, but Bill Keller really doesn't look much like Neville Chamberlain to me.

The AP's version of the Rumsfeld story, as reported by SPJ's Press Notes, has it this way:

On Monday, Rumsfeld had said he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners. "That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session.

No word on whether Rummy lost much sleep in 2002 and 2003 when his boss and the intelligence establishment at 1600 were busy manipulating the case for war in the face of substantial international opposition.

This is press flak and enforcement of public-opinion discipline that takes a page out of Noam Chomsky's and Edward Herman's Manufacturing Consent. As the press critics argued backed in 1988, there's no longer a need for government agents to keep the press in line. We have no less a figure than the Secretary of Defense backed by the Ministry of Truth in the form of talk radio, etc., to enforce appropriate discipline.


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