Propaganda, Terror, Mass Communication: Pt 2

Ray PeachRightside News

In 1922, Walter Lippmann (1889 – 1947) from the Institute for Social Research, also known as the Frankfurt School, wanted to apply Critical Theory to mass media, presenting his conclusions in the book, Public Opinion. Lippmann agreed with Freud and Bernays that people are incapable of being rational, making it necessary to rethink democracy. In his book, he described the need for a ruling elite where journalists would perform intelligence work for the policy makers by forming public opinion – what Bernays called manufacturing consent. Lippmann referred to the people as a “chaos of local opinions” asserting that the public lacked the competence to participate in public decisions or discourse, and the governing class needed to rise above the “bewildered herd.” Specifically, the news media needed to ignore the truth and construct reality, just as Plato did.

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