The Silenced Majority

The media propaganda model lives on

How mass media consistently produce news that favour corporate interests.

By Tor Sandberg


Noam Chomsky, who gave talks on the final day of the conference, emphasized in a panel discussion how the propaganda model illustrates the mass media’s shaping of perceptions of truth.
“The more educated are the main targets of propaganda,” said Chomsky, highlighting how the framing of stories plays a large role in this perception-shaping. As an example, Chomsky noted a case where a manufacturing sector was calling for some kind of a health policy, but the media dismissed the idea “as not politically possible.”
In this way, the corporate media effectively dismissed the entire idea of universal health care by claiming there wasn’t support, when, in reality, as Chomsky put it, “most Americans want some kind of [universal] health care found in other countries.”
Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the flow of information out of Ottawa has slowed to a trickle. Cabinet ministers and civil servants are muzzled. Access to Information requests are stalled and stymied by political interference. Genuine transparency is replaced by slick propaganda and spin designed to manipulate public opinion.

Part of the Hart House debates, Chomsky spoke at the University of Toronto on April 7, 2011 about class warfare, the State-Corporate Complex, the way in which corporate power is married to to state power and, how these factors represent a great threat to our freedom and survival.  LISTEN TO PODCAST



Are corporations corrupting Canadian children?


Resisting commercialism in our schools

| March 31, 2011

Consuming Schools: Commercialism and the End of Politics

by Trevor Norris
(University of Toronto Press, 2011; $27.95 paper)
Interview between Dr. Gavin Fridell, Chair of the Department of Politics at Trent University, and Dr. Trevor Norris, Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. This interview is a shortened version of the discussion that took place during the book launch of Consuming Schools: Commercialism and the End of Politics in the Hart House Library on Thursday Feb 24, 2011.
Gavin Fridell: To begin with, the forward to your book is written by Benjamin Barber who talks about consumerism as “a new ethos of infantilization” as corporations corrupt children and “dumb down” adults. I wonder what you think of this idea of “infantilization”?
Trevor Norris: You’ve raised a good question about a deep paradox regarding consumerism. On the one hand it results in what Neil Postman calls “the end of childhood,” because it undermines innocence, confines play, etc. By exposing kids to violence, sex, materialism, etc. it forces them to grow up quick.
However, in contrast, regarding citizenship, consumerism relentlessly promotes infantile values and world views, such as instant gratification, easy commodified solutions rather than those requiring more sustained efforts, and so on. Infantalization is how consumerism compromises democracy because it turns citizens into children.
It is ironic that we don’t let people vote unless they are of a certain age, and yet most advertising promotes infantile identities! So the innocence of childhood is compromised by consumerism even as consumerism promotes infantility among adults.

Corporate tax cuts: Big costs but no job creation

By David Macdonald
Today the CCPA released a study that I authored which examines and debunks one of the biggest contentions of this campaign, that corporate tax cuts create jobs. One of the key reasons cited by the Conservatives for continued corporate tax cuts is that they are needed to encourage job growth.
To examine this contention, I took Canada’s biggest public companies, those on the S&P/TSX Composite and tracked them over the past decade to see how their taxes and profits changed. At the same time, I also tracked how many employees they had and therefore the number of jobs they created. These are the companies that benefit the most from corporate tax cuts because they declare the largest profits.
There were 198 companies that had data from 2000 through 2009. What readers should find shocking is just how dramatic the transformation in corporate taxation has been in the past decade. The effective tax rate for these successful companies has been cut in half. Imagine if, as an individual, your personal income taxes had been cut in half over the past decade. Well, that’s what happened in corporate Canada.


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