RIP Edward Herman, Who Co-Wrote a Book That’s Now More Important Than Ever
We need a new ‘Manufacturing Consent’
By Matt Taibbi, November 14, 2017
In his eulogy for Herman who, with Noam Chomsky, wrote the classic Manufacturing Consent, Taibbi makes the point that Ed’s work “has never been more relevant” – oops, except for Herman’s skepticism regarding Russia-gate. The following two paragraphs reflect the painful contortions journalists like Taibbi go through, having drunk too much of the Kool-Aid served by the New York Times and the rest of the Establishment.
In his last piece, from this past summer, Herman made a list of some of the whoppers the media has foisted on the public over the years: the depiction of the U.S. not as an invader but as a defender of South Vietnam against “aggression,” the notion that the Soviets were behind a papal assassination attempt, the “missile gap” and others.
Herman was a skeptic about the current Russia news, but that isn’t why his work is relevant today. You can believe he’s dead wrong on Russia and Trump, and Manufacturing Consent would still be far more relevant now than it was when he and Chomsky first wrote it. [bold added]
See what I mean? Am I the only one to see supreme irony in the fact that Taibbi would credit Herman with unmasking key historical WHOPPERS, but the fact that he was a “skeptic” about Russia-gate … well, “you can believe he’s dead wrong” on that one. One can still admire Herman for providing the framework and conceptual tools needed to unmask whoppers – except please don’t apply them to Russia-gate. Would the NY Times manufacture consent on Russia-gate? Does anyone remember the Times’scheerleading for the war on Iraq?
Oh, I think I get it. I went and found the last piece Ed Herman wrote:
Fake News on Russia in the New York Times, 1917-2017
by Edward S. Herman / July 8th, 2017
Herman nails it. He knows how it all works, and can spot REALLY FAKE NEWS, because, well, he wrote the book. In my mind’s eye I can see him smiling with satisfaction while putting the finishing touches to his parting shot – at the same time realizing that his parting shot was likely to be missed by those in most need of his observations.
It is just short of amazing that Kool-Aid-drinking journalists can perform the mental gymnastics necessary to honor Herman, on the one hand, and remain a card-carrying member of Establishment groupthink, on the other. And spread “consent” of the kind “manufactured” by the New York Times on Russia
This is the first I heard of Herman’s farewell address, so to speak. Had any of you seen it already? Is it totally unknown to “progressives?” Would they read it if you asked them?
Hat tip to Matt Taibbi for referring us to it. It is a must-read, in my view. As for the Herman/Chomsky book Manufacturing Consent? Taibbi is correct — “it has never been more relevant.” But there is no need for a new Manufacturing Consent. It would suffice to re-read the old one.