Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar made this penetrating documentary about the career and views of linguist and media critic Noam Chomsky. While the man is the subject of the movie, the filmmakers wisely and carefully choose not to make Chomsky more important than his insights into the way print and electronic journalism tacitly and often willingly further the agendas of the powerful. We learn a lot about Chomsky's formative experiences as a child, student, academic, activist, and politician (he has campaigned for office), but we learn just as much about the media institutions that deny him access today, from ABC to PBS. The centerpiece of the film, arguably, is a long examination into the history of the New York Times' coverage of Indonesia's atrocity-ridden occupation of East Timor, reportage that (as Chomsky shows us) was absolutely in lock step with the government's unwillingness to criticize an ally. --Tom Keogh
Suppose I get on "Nightline". I'm given two minutes and I say Quaddifi is a terrorist or Khomeini is a murderer. Everyone just nods. On the other hand, suppose you say something that isn't just regurgitating conventional pieties. Suppose you say
"The best political leaders are the ones that are lazy and corrupt", "Education is a system of imposed ignorance", "Fundamentally, there is no more morality in world affairs today then there was at the time of Genghis Khan"
People will want to know what you mean. Why did you say that? You'd better have a lot of evidence. But you can't give evidence if you're stuck with the concision of "Nightline". You end up sounding like you're from Neptune.
First of all, I haven't been saying, haven't said one word about my being kept out of the limelight. The way it works here is quite different. Now I don't think you heard what I was saying, but the way it works here that there is a system of shaping, control and so on which gives a certain perception of the world. I gave one example, I'll give you sources where you can find thousands of others. That has nothing to do with me, it has to do with marginalizing the public and ensuring that they don't get in the way of elites who are supposed to run things without interference.
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