Writing versus Propaganda

I’ve always been wary of the “propaganda model” of journalism. It seems to me more of an excuse for losers than an argument – and a patronising excuse at that, which takes people for fools and dupes. On the Left, disappointed men from Engels through to Chomsky have tried to pretend that their ideas failed not because they were foolish or dangerous but because the ruling class brainwashed the masses by “manufacturing consent” for the established order. The lies of the “Tory press” were behind the failure of their politics, leftists cried. If evil capitalists did not control the media, we would have socialism, peace and justice by teatime. The BBC fills a similar role on the Right. If it weren’t for its bias, Tories imply, the British would have long ago shaken off their false consciousness and embraced euro-scepticism, social conservatism and the minimal state.
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