When we listen to the radio, look at television and read the newspapers we wonder whether universal education has been the great boon that its supporters have always claimed it would be.
The greatest felony in the news business today is to be behind, or to miss a big story. So speed and quantity substitute for thoroughness and quality, for accuracy and context.
Controversy – A battle in which spittle or ink replace the cannon ball.
Scarcely anything awakens attention like a tale of cruelty. The writer of news never fails to tell how the enemy murdered children and ravished virgins.
Spies are of no use nowadays. Their profession is over. The newspapers do their work instead.
The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control – “indoctrination,” we might say – exercised through the mass media.
The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite. Formerly constituting a secret, the real now talks constantly. News reports, information, statistics, and surveys are everywhere.
[On media coverage of Watergate political scandal] I think that in the minds of many, the press is being seen less and less as a neutral observer in the impeachment enterprise and more and more as participants, or even collaborators.
Cinema, radio, television, magazines are a school of inattention: people look without seeing, listen in without hearing.
Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.