Journalism 190

Week 9
summaries & lecture-related material

"All governments are ruthless to the extent that they are powerful."
-- Noam Chomsky (in "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media")

Pilgrim on press/government conflicts
9 major areas where media and government interests conflict
"New Media Monopoly" Chapter 12 and Afterward
A summary of important points in the last required parts of Bagdikian's book
"Manufacturing Consent"
A posting of some main assertions by Noam Chomsky in the video, "Manufacturing Consent"
Noam Chomsky on Advertising, PR, Necessary Illusions and activism
An interview with Noam Chomsky -- a podcast in November 2012 by smellslikehumanspirit (Guy Evans)
Exhausted Noam Chomsky
A spoof by The Onion -- for a bit of relief (not on quiz)
Frances Moore Lappe on democracy
An excerpt from "The Broken Promise of Democracy" in The Sun magazine
"Political Economy of Media," Intro, Ch. 1 & Ch. 5
Robert McChesney's assertions -- the early chapters
"Political Economy of Media," Ch. 10
McChesney's take on Meiklejohn -- the middle chapters
"Political Economy of Media," Ch. 15
McChesney's hope -- the end

No summary of "Manufacturing Consent" will be posted. Students should rely on material in the link above (Pilgrim will limit what is needed for the exam) and use the video as a way to supplement the material in the link.

No summary of "War Made Easy" will be posted. This video is shown over two days and may be worth double attendance points. Note when war becomes perpetual. Note the assertions about "war propaganda" and the propaganda techniques to overcome resistance in the U.S. and disapproval abroad. Note the role official sourcing ("officials say") plays in war propaganda. Note the different elements of the war propaganda cycle. Note what the bias of war propaganda is regarding killing people from planes and note which people, during war, the media focus on and are bias toward. Also, be able to identify why the United States may be approaching "spiritual death" (in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King at the end of the video).
Elements of war propaganda cycle: using lies or leaving out material to sell war; use stories that tug at heartstrings; use rhetoric of democracy; bias toward morality of killing for peace; stress military mindset; rely on official & military sources; emphasize need for patriotism (support the troops); during war, have a bias toward it being moral to kill people from a distance & from planes (90% of deaths in the Iraq war have been civilians); support the war effort; be slow to end war -- stress patriotism and not being cowardly; focus on Americans, not civilians of the country the war is in; marginalize critics of the war

No Web summary of "Beyond Good and Evil: Children, Media & Violent Times" will be posted. Take notes about media and misinformation. Note the assertion by Dr. Levine about what media teach children about Americans and enemies in war -- and about media framing how children think about others and war. Note the children/soldier death statistic. Note the Christian and Islamic definitions of "evil." Be ready to close your eyes at some of the graphic images.

Some U.S war & military spending information: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may cost as much as $6 trillion if medical care and disability benefits coming for decades are included, according to a March 31, 2013, Seatttle Times article by Alan Zarembo of the Los Angeles Times("Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan could cost up to $6 trillion," p. A10).

Over the last 10 years, U.S. war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have already cost about $4 trillion, the Seattle Times reported July 1, 2011 (in a Washington Post article citing the nonpartisan Eisenhower Research Project).

The Eisenhower Project puts the total number of people killed in those conflicts at 225,000 -- including at least 137,000 civilians -- and the wars have created an estimated 7.8 million refugees in the three countries, according to Dr. Jassim Taqui, July 1, 2011, in the Pakistan Observer.

The total U.S. cost (including reconstruction) for Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of the 2011 fiscal year was $1.26 trillion ($797.3 billion for Iraq and $459.8 billion for Afghanistan), the Seattle Times reported June 2, 2011, citing research by the Congressional Research Service (and Polifact and National Priorities Project).

For fiscal 2011, 58% of U.S. discretionary spending goes to the military -- and increased by 71% between 2001 and 2010 (it increased three times the rate of domestic discretionary spending -- 24%), according to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. military spending in 2010 was $698 billion, the highest on earth -- and outdistancing many times over any potential enemy (China was second with an estimated $119 billion; the United Kingdom, third with $59.6 billion; France, fourth, $59.3 billion; Russia, 5th, estimated $54.5 billion; Japan, sixth, $54.5 billion; Saudia Arabia, seventh, $45.2 billion; Germany, eighth, estimated $45.2 billion; India, ninth $41.3 billion; Intaly 10th, estimated $37 billion) -- find this and other data at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute -- military expenditure data
-- AP story (citing Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) in Seattle Times, April 11, 2011

Since 2000, U.S. defense spending has gone up 81% -- not counting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- and in spite of billions being cut from the U.S. budget in 2011, the military budget was set for a 5% increase.
-- Bill Maher on "Real Time with Bill Maher" April 2011

From 2001-09, $904 billion has been provided to cover the cost of U.S. military operations. The amount from 2009 to 2018 is projected to be as much as another $817 billion -- find this and other data at
-- Center for Strategic and Bugetary Analysis data

The linked page below shows two charts detailing military spending:
One contains the actual and projected spending 2001-2018 -- as much as $1,721 billion dollars, $1,509 billion for military operations (wars).
The other is the total defense-related funding requested for Fiscal Year 2011 only -- $860.5 billion.
U.S. cost of war

"Estimated ratio this year of the U.S. defense budget to that of the rest of the world combined: 1:1" -- Harper's Index, April 2006

A related infographic:

Explore the interactive version at:

Special note:
"Returning Fire: Interventions in Video Game Culture" -- a recent video with assertions about the impact of real-world killing (from a distance, usually in war -- when it becomes a form of consumer play) -- is available in Wilson Library. Pilgrim recommends it as a supplemental video.

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Updated 2016