There is a lot of talk these days about "exposing" the mainstream media. Here are some revealing quotes I have collected about the media over the years (some are as old as the media itself). Most of these are from those in the media. Understand these and you should no longer have any illusions (in fact had we paid attention, there should never have been any illusions). Media today is what it always was...

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. ” –- Noam Chomsky

[One of my favorites:]

“News is what someone, somewhere is trying to suppress, the rest is just advertising” –- Lord Northcliffe, British Press Baron

 [The next two certainly reminds one of NYTimes' "News that's fit to print":]

 "Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have." -- Richard Salent, former President of CBS News.

 "We tell the people what they need to know, not what they want to know." - Frank Sesno, CNN News

[True in 1941 and true today]

“The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.” -- Edward Dowling, Editor and Priest, Chicago Daily News, 28 July, 1941

 "Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Nathaniel Macon

 "You can crush a man with journalism." - William Randolph Hearst, American Media Baron (and he crushed many)

 "With all the mass media concentrated in a few hands, the ancient faith in the competition of ideas in the free market seems like a hollow echo of a much simpler day." - Kingman Brewster, Jr., President of Yale University

 "We don't print the truth. We don't pretend to print the truth. We print what people tell us. It's up to the public to decide what's the truth." -- Ben Bradley, while Executive Editor of the Washington Post. (See Lord Northcliffe quote above)

[Another one of my ABSOLUTE favorites for the truth it contains, from whom it is and the audience intended for:]

"There is no such thing at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of a journalist is to destroy truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men.

 We are intellectual prostitutes." -- John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff of the New York Times, called by his peers, "The Dean of his profession," when asked in 1953 to give a toast before the NY Press Club

 

"People tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does. That is one last thing to remember. Writers are always selling somebody out." -- Joan Didion, National Public Radio
[The following is so true too. Ask anyone who has witnessed an event; the story that appears in print is SO far off that it is shocking almost:]

"You don't realize how little accuracy there is in network TV reporting until they cover a story in your hometown." - Robert Brault, a free-lance writer

 

"Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists." - Norman Mailer
[Now hardly anyone is ever careful:]
"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." -- Malcolm X

"Freedom of the press in Britain is freedom to print such of the proprietor's prejudices as the advertiser's won't object to." - Helen Swaffer


"Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." -- A. J. Liebling.

"The media know exactly what they’re doing, focusing our attention on Arsenio’s hairdo. We need to keep our brains brimming with rubbish. If we didn’t, we might think about things." -- Cynthia Heimel

"Thanks to my solid academic training, today I can write hundreds of words on virtually any topic without possessing a shred of information which is how I got a good job in journalism." -- Dave Barry

"The idea that media is there to educate us, or to inform us, is ridiculous because that's about tenth or eleventh on their list" -- Abbie Hoffman

"Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed." -- Elbert Hubbard

"The bigger the information media, the less courage and freedom they follow. Bigness means weakness." -- Eric Sevareid

 "The press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master." -- James Fenimore Cooper

 "I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust." -- Charles Baudelaire

"It takes great self-confidence to write a newspaper column. Some might say it takes arrogance. Be that as it may, my willingness to pronounce on a great many matters of which I have little or no knowledge is one of my prime qualifications for this trade." -- Russell Baker, The New York Times

"The four pillars of wisdom that support journalistic endeavors are: lies, stupidity, money-grubbing, and ethical irresponsibility." -- Marlon Brando

"The TV business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and p!mps run free and good men die like dogs." -- Hunter S. Thompson

"The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character." -- President Lyndon Johnson

"A newspaper is not the place to go to see people actually earning a living, though journalists like to pretend they never stop sweating over a hot typewriter. It is much more like a brothel - short, rushed bouts of really enjoyable activity interspersed with long lazy stretches of gossip, boasting, flirtation, drinking, telephoning, strolling about the corridors sitting on the corner of desks, planning to start everything tomorrow. Each of the inmates has a little specialty to please the customers. The highest paid ones perform only by appointment; the poorest take on anybody, The editors are like madams - soothing, flattering, disciplining their naughty, temperamental staff, but rarely obliged to satisfy the clients personally between the printed sheets." -- from a UPI Washington Bureau Manager

"The First Law of Journalism: to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it." -- Alexander Cockburn

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Comment by youhavetoforgiveme on October 2, 2011 at 7:01am
And then they invented the Internet-- where everyone can speak their truth, and no-one will pay for that truth. The reader only need to learn to sift through the chaff to get to the wheat.
Comment by Nota Khan on October 2, 2011 at 12:06am

You are welcome, James!! :)

Truth is certainly out there (and really right in front of our noses but as Orwell said: "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.". ) 

(You might also want to read the description of the video. And remember we are constantly seeing same sort of "reports from the front" these days daily from Libya, Syria, etc.)

Comment by James Bradley on October 1, 2011 at 10:43pm

Thanks for this awesome content.  Says it like it is.  The truth is that all we see & hear is nothing more than what someone else wants us to see & hear.  In fact, most all of the media is nothing more than "pure, adulterated B S"!!

I hope everyone on this site (12160) eventually takes the time to look this over.   Thanks again.                      JB  

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