Quotations on the Prostitution of the Mass Media
March 17, 2012
(left Michael Walsh)
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed". -- Mark Twain
Compiled by Michael Walsh
Michael is the author of Witness to History which can be downloaded at his website, which has many useful videos.
GEORGE ORWELL ON THE PRESS
'At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this or that or the other, but it is 'not done.'. . . Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in highbrow periodicals.' - George Orwell.
THE REGIMENTATION OF THOUGHT
'The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . The important thing is that [propaganda] is universal and continuous; and in its sum total it is regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers.' - Edward Bernays 'Propaganda'.
'In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' - George Orwell
'A journalist is a person who scribbles on the back of advertisements.' - Anon
'Lies come first, and drag along the gullible. Truth limps in long afterward on the arm of time.' - Balthazar Gracian.
'There is no such thing as an independent Press in America, unless it is in the country towns.. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you express an honest opinion, you know beforehand it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 a week for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should permit honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my newspaper, like Othello, before twenty-four hours, my occupation would be gone. The business of the New York journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon; to sell his race and his country for his daily bread. We are tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are intellectual prostitutes.' - John Swinton, Editor of the New York Tribune, to the New York Press Association, on February 26 1936
The Internet poses a fundamental threat not only to the authority of the government, but to all authority, because it permits people to organize, think, and influence one another without any institutional supervision whatsoever.' - John Seabrook. American journalist at The New Yorker since 1993.
''You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God, a British journalist - But seeing what the man will do, unbribed, there's no occasion to.' - Humbert Wolfe
BRITAIN'S MOSCOW TYPE MEDIA
'I have heard MPs and senior political aficionados complain that if they were to say on BBC what they really think, they would never be invited again, and not to be invited again could make a quick end to an aspiring politician's prospects.' - Roy Bramwell, Inter-City Research Centre. Blatant Bias Corporation
'When it came to discussing the war in Iraq staff found it so difficult to find any member of the public prepared to speak in favour that they ended up planting people in the (Question Time) audience.' - Autobiography: BBC Director-General, Greg Dyke. Mail on Sunday. October 24 2004.
'You tend to find that television does accumulate around it left-of-centre people.... and the whole direction of television is left-of-centre.' - Anthony Smith, BBC Twenty For Hours, 1970/1971.
'The papers conducted by Lord Rothermere and Lord Beaverbrook are not newspapers in the ordinary acceptance of the term. They are engines of propaganda, for the constantly changing policies, desires, personal wishes, personal likes and dislikes of two men... it is power without responsibility' - Stanley Baldwin, British Prime Minister 1924-1929 and 1935-1937.
'Political correctness is just another way of filtering the truth.' - Sir Peter Hall, Theatre Director.
'This is, in theory still a free country, but our politically correct, censorious times are such that many of us tremble to give vent to perfectly acceptable views for fear of condemnation. Freedom of speech is thereby imperiled, big questions go undebated, and great lies become accepted, unequivocally as great truths.' - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, June 7 2000.
Added, from the script for the 1975 movie 'Network':
"So you listen to me. Listen to me.
Television is not the truth. Television's a goddamned amusement park.
Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats,
storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers and
We're in the boredom-killing business.
So if you want the truth, go to God. Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves.
Because that's the only place you're ever going to find any real truth.
But, man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you
anything you wanna hear. We lie like hell. We'll tell you any shit you
want to hear.
We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true.
But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages,
We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're
spinning. You're beginning to think the tube is reality and your lives are
unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, eat
like the tube, raise your children like the tube, think like the tube.
This is mass madness, you maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing! We are the illusión!
So turn off your televisión sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right
now! Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle
of the sentence I'm speaking now.
Turn them off."