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The Republican Noise Machine: Right-wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracyby David Brock
Synopses & Reviews
In The Republican Noise Machine, David Brock skillfully documents perhaps the most important but least understood political development of the last thirty years: how the Republican Right has won political power and hijacked public discourse in the United States.
Brock, a former right-wing insider and the author of the New York Times bestseller Blinded by the Right, uses his keen understanding of the strategies, tactics, financing, and personalities of the American right wing to demonstrate how the once-fringe phenomenon of right-wing media has all but subsumed the regular media conversation, shaped the national consciousness, and turned American politics sharply to the right.
Brock documents how in the last several decades the GOP built a powerful media machine — newspapers and magazines, think tanks, talk radio networks, op-ed columnists, the FOX News Channel, Christian Right broadcasting, book publishers, and high-traffic internet sites — to sell conservatism to the public and discredit its opponents. This unabashedly biased multibillion-dollar communications empire disregards journalistic ethics and universal standards of fairness and accuracy, manufacturing "news" that is often bought and paid for by a tight network of corporate-backed foundations and old family fortunes. By dissecting the appeal, techniques, and reach of the booming right-wing media market, Brock demonstrates that it is largely based on bigotry, ignorance, and emotional manipulation closely tied to America's longstanding cultural divisions and the buying power of anti-intellectual traditionalists.
From the disputed 2000 presidential election to the war with Iraq to the political battles of 2004, Brock's penetrating analysis of right-wing media theories and methodology reveals that the Republican Right views the media as an extension of a broader struggle for political power. By tracing the political impact of right-wing media, Brock shows how disproportionate conservative influence in the media is integrally linked to the Republican Right’s current domination of all three branches of government, to the propping up of the Bush administration, and to the inability of Democrats to voice their opposition to this political sea change or to compete on an even playing field.
As only an ex-conservative intimately familiar with the imperatives of the American right wing could, David Brock suggests ways in which concerned Americans can begin to redress the conservative ascendancy and cut through the propagandistic fog. Writing with verve and deep insight, he reaches far beyond typical bromides about media bias to produce an invaluable account of the rise of right-wing media and its political consequences. Promising to be the political book of the year, The Republican Noise Machine will transform the raging yet heretofore unsatisfying debate over the politics of the media for years to come.
Washington, D.C. As only an ex-conservative insider could, David Brock exposes the successful, lavishly-funded campaign by the Republican Right to colonize the American mind with conservative propaganda and frame the public debate on every issue to its political advan- tage. Brock shows how conservatives deliberately manufactured the myth of "liberal media bias" as a marketing tool for right- wing fanatics, and as a political battering ram with which they infiltrate and intimidate a compliant mainstream press into repeat- ing Republican lies, jargon, and spin. Loyal not to journalism but to GOP ideology, this right-wing media Fifth Column-from cable TV, to hate radio, to the op-ed pages, to "dirty books"-has pulled political conventional wisdom to the right; propped up the Bush administration while consolidating GOP power in all three branches of government; and systematically smeared Demo- crats and marginalized progressive ideas. While detailing their insidious tactics and P.R. techniques in new and startling ways, and documenting with precision how GOP "news" bleeds into the mainstream. Brock illustrates that by capturing the media, an army of Republican flacks and frauds have created a distorted parallel universe and GOP "echo chamber" that has become the new political reality. The Republican media machine has ensured that no Democrat can lead, and that Bush goes unchallenged, while robbing Americans of the chance to reach the informed decisions about government on which democracy depends. In this critical campaign year, WHAT WE BELIEVE is must-reading for every American concerned about the truth-and the lies- behind the news.
About the Author
David Brock is the author of four books, including Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, a New York Times bestselling political memoir. He is the founder and president of Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog organization in Washington, D.C. He serves on the advisory board of Democracy Radio, Inc., and is the recipient of the New Democrat Network’s first award for political entrepreneurship.
Table of Contents
Nixon's revenge — Guerilla war — The big lie — The fifth columnists — Scandal sheets — Toilet papers — Ministers of propaganda — Talking heads — Mort the Mouth — General Electric Theatre — Hate radio — Information wars — Fair and balanced — Dirty books — Sunday Morning — 20/20s vision — Afterword.
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