therefore appropriate that this restructuring has taken place to allow the

Therefore appropriate that this restructuring has

This preview shows page 17 - 19 out of 38 pages.

therefore appropriate that this restructuring has taken place to allow the commonly held opinions (meaning those that are functional for elite interests) to continue to prevail. Copyright © ${Date}. ${Publisher}. All rights reserved.
Image of page 17
274 Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky This process of creating the needed body of experts has been carried out on a deliberate basis and a massive scale. Back in 1972, Judge Lewis Powell (later elev- ated to the Supreme Court) wrote a memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urging business “to buy the top academic reputations in the country to add credibil- ity to corporate studies and give business a stronger voice on the campuses.” 90 One buys them, and assures that – in the words of Dr. Edwin Feulner, of the Heritage Foundation – the public-policy area “is awash with in-depth academic studies” that have the proper conclusions. Using the analogy of Procter & Gamble selling tooth- paste, Feulner explained that “They sell it and resell it every day by keeping the product fresh in the consumer’s mind.” By the sales effort, including the dissemina- tion of the correct ideas to “thousands of newspapers,” it is possible to keep debate “within its proper perspective.” 91 In accordance with this formula, during the 1970s and early 1980s a string of institutions was created and old ones were activated to the end of propagandizing the corporate viewpoint. Many hundreds of intellectuals were brought to these institutions, where their work was funded and their outputs were disseminated to the media by a sophisticated propaganda effort. 92 The corporate funding and clear ideological purpose in the overall effort had no discernible effect on the credibility of the intellectuals so mobilized; on the contrary, the funding and pushing of their ideas catapaulted them into the press. As an illustration of how the funded experts preempt space in the media, Table 17.4 describes the “experts” on terrorism and defense issues who appeared on the “McNeil–Lehrer News Hour” in the course of a year in the mid-1980s. We can see that, excluding journalists, a majority of the participants (54 percent) were present or former government officials, and that the next highest category (15.7 percent) was drawn from conservative think tanks. The largest number of appearances in the latter category was supplied by the Georgetown Center for Strategic and Inter- national Studies (CSIS), an organization funded by conservative foundations and corporations, and providing a revolving door between the State Department and CIA and a nominally private organization. 93 On such issues as terrorism and the Bulgarian Connection, the CSIS has occupied space in the media that otherwise might have been filled by independent voices. 94 The mass media themselves also provide “experts” who regularly echo the official view. John Barron and Claire Sterling are household names as authorities on the KGB and terrorism because the Reader’s Digest has funded, published, and publi-
Image of page 18
Image of page 19

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 38 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture