Inventing Reality

How much of what the news media tells us is true, and how does it control our view of the world? In his book Inventing Reality, Michael Parenti examines the subtle but profound ways in which the media influence and manipulate the public's perception of reality. It accurately depicts the news media as a controlling institution of the American capitalist system, an institution that serves the interests of the rich and powerful while appearing to serve the many. “The press is ... one of the most important [institutions] in maintaining the hegemony of the corporate class and the capitalist system itself.”

The media is primarily owned and controlled by just a handful of major corporations: “Ten business and financial corporations control the three major television and radio networks (NBC, CBS, ABC,), 34 subsidiary television stations, 201 cable TV systems, 62 radio stations, 20 record companies, 59 magazines..., 58 newspapers..., 41 book publishers, and various motion picture companies...”. In order to maintain its control over the lower classes, the capitalist corporations indirectly manipulate the media. The media aims to please corporate America and will censor themselves for their capitalist owners. It is an unwritten rule that they do not criticize their corporate owners or their affiliates for fear that it might hurt business.

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