TCT readers are aware of the Herman/Chomsky “propaganda model” theory of corporate capitalist media operation. As such, they are also aware of the special importance of parallel cases for testing said explanation.
Consider then, this, the announcement that neo-fascist media star Glenn Beck will be one of the featured speakers this year at Advertising Age‘s Media Evolved Conference. The topic of this yearly professional soiree for marketing operatives is “smarter approaches to traditional media buying, the ways social media can enhance consumer engagement with content including TV, brands’ increasing opportunities to create their own media, and how to best use the proliferating platforms, channels and outlets.”
I mention this fact because Beck’s appearance at Media Evolved is far weightier evidence of the accuracy of the propaganda model than almost anything that can be gleaned from observation of broadcasts/content. It is one thing for Beck to be featured as a provider of media content. It is quite another, and far deeper, thing for him to be invited into the media planning stage.
Can you imagine the overclass shitstorm that would occur if Noam Chomsky or even David Barsamian or Amy Goodman were invited to discuss how the media are planned and run, rather than just what they broadcast? It is literally unimaginable, of course, that such would ever happen, precisely because of the certainty and intensity of the ensuing shitstorm.
In terms of evidence for judging the Herman and Chomsky model, the reality that Glenn Beck is an invitee to the most boilerplate and big-time of media planning events trumps just about anything you could think of from the media-output side of the story. Advertising Age is a 100 percent venerable, mainstream corporate capitalist enterprise, and remains a standard tool of the Fortune 500 boardroom. Its Media Evolved Conference co-sponsors include McCann Worldwide, the world’s largest advertising agency group, and a host of other major corporate marketing-servicers. Beck’s Media Evolved co-speakers are field marshals and top spies from a phalanx of big business pace-setters. Would any of these operations or personages risk their access to corporate cash by associating themselves with Chomsky, Barsamian, or Goodman? Not a chance. But Glenn Beck? He causes not a ripple. QED.
Meanwhile, for those interested in media studies, this is also more evidence of what a mistake it is to follow the convention therein of focusing first and foremost on media content and advertising, rather than media planning and corporate marketing. Important as they are, the former are mere symptoms of the latter processes, which are themselves mere symptoms of the continuing reign of corporate capital.