Possible Readings for

N. Communicating Information and Values


“The Propaganda Model: An Overview,” an excerpt from Chapter 3: “Spotlight on the Media” from Private Planet: Corporate Plunder and the Fight Back by David Cromwell, 2002, 8 p.

The propaganda model, developed by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, posits 5 classes of “filters” in society which determine what is “news”; in other words, what gets printed in newspapers or broadcast by radio and television.

“Military Propaganda for Arms Sales,” by Anup Shah, GlobalIssues.org, June 21, 2003, 11 p.

Arms are sold to the government and to the public using a variety of sales techniques.


“SalesNoise: a timeline of music & advertising,” by Carrie McLaren and Rick Prelinger, Stay Free!, Issue 15, Fall 1998, 23 p.

A brief history of the connection between music and advertising from the 1880s-1998.

The Public Relations Industry

“The War On Truth: The Secret Battle For The American Mind,” an interview of John Stauber by Derrick Jensen, The Sun, March 1999, 24 p.

How public relations professionals counter progressive activists, especially how they use divide and conquer techniques — broker a deal with the least radical of the opposition groups to marginalize the most committed groups.

“Grange Hosts Biotechnology Conference,” National Grange newsletter, May 2000, 8 p.

Summary of a presentation given April 25, 2000 by the public relations firm Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin, Inc. (MBD) to 30 food and agricultural trade association representatives that spells out how to undercut progressive activists.

Alternative Media

“The People’s Media Reaches More People Than Fox Does,” by Jim Hightower, CommonDreams.org, June 15, 2004, 12 p.

Thousands of hardy, grassroots people have been working steadily and creatively over the years in every area of media, and the result of their combined efforts is that a new media force is now flowering coast to coast a force of hundreds of media outlets that is unabashedly progressive, fiercely independent, diverse, dispersed, and democratic. Randy: Nice summary, though starting to show its age.

Moral Values

“Our Moral Values,” by George Lakoff, The Nation, December 6, 2004, 4 p.

It is important that progressives proclaim their moral values: care and responsibility, fairness and equality, freedom and courage, fulfillment in life, opportunity and community, cooperation and trust, honesty and openness.

Gorge Lakoff

“Reframing: Words to Reclaim,” by George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute, CommonDreams.org, October 24, 2006.

One-sentence description.

“The Republicans Know How to Frame Issues and Keep the Democrats on the Defensive. A BuzzFlash Interview with ‘Framing’ Expert, UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff,” BuzzFlash, January 14, 2004, 22 p.

Linguist George Lakoff speaks about the importance of language in the political realm, and how the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot because they’re reactive, not active.

“How to Talk Like a Conservative (If You Must),” by Dave Gilson, Mother Jones, October 18, 2004, 12 p.

The left’s linguistics guru says liberals have to watch their language.

David Brancaccio Interviews George Lakoff, “Now with Bill Moyers,” PBS, July 23, 2004, 11 p.

Deciphering the political rhetoric in the 2004 presidential election.


“Terri Schiavo: We’re Too Smart!” by Paul Rosenberg, March 24, 2005.

Long and hard to get to the point.

“Magic Words,” review by Eve Fairbanks of Framing The Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (and Win Elections), by Jeffrey Feldman, New York Times, April 8, 2007, 4 p.

Feldman offers a rhetoric handbook based on the Democratic strategist George Lakoff’s ideas about politics and language that parses the language of great speeches to give progressives some words of their own — “keywords” and “metaphors,” as he describes them — that will help create persuasive “frames” for their policies. But Feldman’s theory promotes unjust misinterpretations of the great presidential speeches he’s chosen.


“Journalism & Democracy,” by Bill Moyers, The Nation, May 7, 2001, 14 p.

Bill Moyers has been committing journalism for 50 years — and it makes an interesting story.


“Careful Not to Get Too Much Education… Or You Could Turn Liberal,” by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, CommonDreams.org, December 28, 2004, 4 p.

How will the U.S. fare in the global marketplace when certain ideas, or entire fields, become off-limits to students who’ve been indoctrinated to consult their ministers before learning new information?