Inventing Reality Essay, Research Paper
Michael Parenti has a lot to say about politics and the news media. He voices his opinions, findings, and facts in his book, Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media. After reading his book, I would have to say that Parenti is arguing a particular point of view. There is no way that he could be defending this subject matter because he tells us that he is totally against the way the media operates and the news that it handles. Parenti is obviously telling us the truth about how the media handles the news and the politics that are involved in it, but there is more to it than just this. He goes into detail and depth on how politics overpowers the media. He explains to us how we, the audience do not see and hear what is exactly going on in the world; we see what the media and the people behind it want us to see. Parenti gives us specific insights to media coverage that has happened in the United States and how it was handled by politics, big business, and advertising. The thesis of this book would be to state to us how advertising and politics receives, handles, and gives back to us the news and media coverage that goes on in our own country. We now can see that what we are seeing is not reality, it is passed on information that needs approval before it can be aired. Parenti portrays to us in a very realistic manner just how twisted our news media is and who makes it so twisted.
The truth as Parenti sees it is the behind the scenes of the news media. He sees how our news media twists, changes, and shows us not the stuff we need to see because of the politics involved and because of advertising. The topic of this book is a personal statement of Parenti because he shows us through the way he expresses his feelings that this bothers him and has for a long time. He knows what is going on and does not like what he sees. He also brings this up because what is actually going on in the media is not visible to the average person. Most of us did not know how media was controlled and that politics and advertising had something to do with it. We did not learn this out until we read Parenti?s book. Parenti has been seriously influenced in his thinking. After years of actually seeing what was going on in the media has drastically changed his view on how American media operates. This has made him look at things from a different perspective. His thinking has also influenced his writing. First of all, this gives him a medium from which to write from. There is a lot going on within the media, especially behind the scene details, which we have found out about. This is definitely one reason for him to write since not a lot is mentioned about the politics in the news media. What Parenti has found out is also sort of a surprise to him, not now since he has been researching this for years but at the beginning it was. Now, he looks at things very differently and this in return also changes the way in which he writes.
Why you choose this book for us to read? I believe that you chose this book for us to read because it has a great understanding and depiction of the news media and it comes across in a very sarcastic but serious way in which, we the readers, are able to concept this in a very timely manner. You also chose this book because it is also one of those subjects that fall under the hidden and undermentioned category. Mostly all of the subject matters we have covered this semester have not received enough mention and this is one of them.
Parenti bases his thesis on a variety of evidence, which he has accumulated over a number of years. To begin, Parenti has researched the makeup of the media. He has found that the media is mostly made up of whites. These are high business officials who run and own these media corporations. After finding out who is in charge of these media subsidiaries, he then went on to find out exactly how they operate. Parenti finds out a lot of his information and facts from actually visiting news stations, sitting in on meetings, and viewing conferences. It is not that hard to find out what is going on after studying and researching this for years and years as Parenti has done. The news media is quite tricky in the way they handle and collect the news. Parenti points out to us how the news it handled. In his book, he tells us what exactly is collected and then what of that is reported. In an issue of homelessness and poverty that was on an ABC news special in 1991, America was told that poverty levels were rising in America. They showed cities that had high levels and similar things to that. Did they even bother to tell the people why the poverty was rising or what could be done about it? No, this was not mentioned because it could hurt some big business or advertisers. Only the subject was brought up and that was it, no detail was brought forward. It is items like this and thousands more that made Parenti go into more detail into this. This happens every day on the news and we the audience do not see it. We are watching the news to find out what is going on also knowing that it is the truth. But are we really getting the truth? In most cases we are not as explained in the book. Advertisers own and are in charge of these media corporations. They air and report what they want reported, no matter if it is the truth or not. It is all about money and this is how the media is run, politics and money. Parenti also finds out that the government plays and important role in how the media is run. News that involves the government is strictly approved by the government so most of the time we are not finding out what is really going on such as if there is something going on with the president and he wishes that the public does not know, the media will make sure it does not get out. He also points out to us that there is not enough time, space, and money for all of the news to reported so just he basic information is passed out to us. It would take forever in order to get every little detail out to the public. Parenti also gets into the whole notion of ownership of the media and the voices amongst them. A board of directors runs all the news corporations. Anyone can say whatever they want but the way things are done in this business is that the big man has the final word. In most cases, it does not matter what you say because the decision is always made by the head of the directors and what he (in most cases it is a male) wants goes. Reporters are also a major portion of this business. There are many reporters out there that have their very own style of how they report the news. Of course they follow what has been discussed but they get their news across to us in a lucrative way. Parenti tells us how certain reporters have acted and taken on their responsibility. The reporters are tied into this business and do not admit it until it is the end of their career. Parenti shows us the example of Walter Cronkite. Walter was a newscaster for CBS for twenty years. He ended his show every night with the quote ? And that?s the way it is.? When he retired he told the public that that?s not really the way it is. These reporters know what they are doing and they know that they are not conveying the entire truth to the public but they are brainwashed into this whole thing when they take on this responsibility. Class and gender also play an important role in the media. We are told that three quarters of the makeup of the upper media level are male and of white descent. These are the big guys and the moneymakers. They make what happens, happen. Parenti goes into a lot of detail about specific news events and how they were managed. He covers a lot of material here and there is not enough of room in this paper to go into detail on this. To sum up this section, Parenti has done a lot of research and has found a lot of evidence to make us aware of the truth behind the media and the politics that run it.
I found the book to be very informative and very interesting. Parenti has a very distinct writing style and one that gets his message across in his way of thinking. He has put a lot of effort into this book, especially the research portion that took him years. I support the book and his ideas and opinions. He is very valid in his thinking. What he has told us is the truth and we should know the truth when it comes to our own news. His thesis is very valid in it is exactly the truth about what is going on in our media system. If everything were fine within the media, then why would he bring something up about it? There is obviously some form of corruptness going on in order for him to do heavy research and write a book expressing his heart felt opinions. What Parenti is telling us is the truth about how the media is run and how they handle their business. A major portion of his idea is truth and how it is handled and used. Parenti knows what is going on out there and he wants all of us to know what is going on. I for one did not know about this before I read his book. I knew that there was always a little bit hidden from us when the news was given to us. I never knew just how extensive and detailed this whole secrecy and power business was. Parenti got his message across to me and to many others. Many people have read his book and have a lot of things to say about it. Many of these people agree with him and there are also a lot of people that disagree with him. One critic/journalist, Robert W. McChesney presents an excerpt entitled 7 Major Techniques for Misrepresentation of News in the book ?Inventing Reality.? He presents 7 techniques and they are as follows: 1. Deliberate omission and selectivity, 2. False balance, 3. Lies or face value transmission, 4. Labeling and framing, 5. Placement, 6. Auxiliary embellishments, and 7. Greying of reality. These misrepresentations come from Parenti in which McChesney goes into detail about each of him in his review. Another expert, Gans, believes that an independent and free press can exist. In his entry on the web page: www.hope.journ.edu, he lists 6 reasons why a free media can exist. One of these reasons is ? There is much anticipatory self-censorship practiced by reporters, editors, and producers. Another one of his reasons is ? Reporters and editors who say they are guided by professional integrity and journalistic standards of autonomy and objectivity rarely define those terms. Gans lists 4 other reasons why the press can exist independent eventhough most are corporately controlled. Besides experts and journalists, customers of the book also have comments to say. The site: www.Amazon.com gives a lot of comments from people who have read the book. One customer says that the book was ?A real eye-opener, highly recommended.? This customer also said about the book, ? Americans need to be aware of the tremendous scope of media biasness (and its NOT towards the left, as many believe), shallowness of reporting, and how the media so often undermines substantial thought, especially in the area of foreign affairs and policy.? Many people have read this book and many of them agree with Parenti?s points that he discusses. ?Corporate media culture.? This is brought up a number of times in reviews and comments from readers. Corporate media is its own culture outside of the rest of society. As we can see from our reading that the media is basically its own society, has its own rules and laws, and basically is its own ?world.?
I support what I have said in this paper. I believe what Parenti has argued with endless authority. Parenti is right in everything he has said and he is true. It is sad to see that our own news is really not the truth that we want to see and hear. How do we know what is truth and what is false? Through Parenti?s book, we are able to come one step closer to that reality of defining the difference of truth and fallacy.
I believe that Parenti is very convincing in his search and outcome. After reading his book, I believe a lot of what he has said; there is a lot of truth behind what he has researched and what he has given to us through his book. He has put a lot of time and of course brainpower to be convinced enough to understand what was and still is going on in our media. In his book, Parenti says, ? The life of a people creates a reality that can only be partly explained away by the dominant cultural and communicational institutions. The struggle for social justice in this and other countries ebbs and flows but is never permanently stilled by police clubs nor forever smothered by the outpouring of propaganda machines.? He states this because what is going on will never go away and we the people to a certain extent create what is going on.
Parenti?s book has influenced many individuals during its existence. The news media is quiet a unique organization in its own way. After reading this book, many people including myself look at the media in a different light now questioning what is the truth and what is being fabricated or covered up. Parenti brings us to the point where we are now able to decipher what is actually going on in corporate media. We are now given the chance to understand why corporate media is all about big business and money and why advertising owns the media. Money explains it all. We can now see the light in this one book, a book that took Michael Parenti years and years to come up with the research to support his ideas and his thesis. We can all see the light now, with the help and understanding of Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media.
This book was quite interesting to me and it furthered my knowledge of not so mentioned topics in history. I found Parenti?s reasons and ideas to be very personal but at the same time very informational. He spent a lot of time researching and formulating his whole idea and notion on the news media. This was a very important issue to him and he has very well informed opinions about what is going on. After reading his book, I definitely do look at the news in a different fashion and can understand where he is coming from. It is quiet interesting to see some of the opinions he had and his reasons for having them. Parenti is a very well educated individual who very well much educated me through his book. Inventing Reality is a very well informed account of what the news media is all about and what exactly goes on behind closed doors.