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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11 8 Most of the contemporary critical analysis of the media coverage of the international news builds upon the writings of Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, and Michael Parenti. Herman (1993) claims that the American media tend to ignore relevant information in the coverage of international events when it collides with the national agenda. He argues that the media unjustifiably treat governmental sources as a priori credible, therefore allowing domestic leaders to manipulate them. Herman supports his argument with a series of short examples of the media encoding of international events, with emphasis on the controversial role of the American media in the Gulf War. Herman and Chomsky (1988) argue that a propaganda model exists even in the countries whose democratic regimes do not publicly exert pressure on the media. According to the authors, American media follow the frame of the propaganda model, which consists of five filters: (1) size, ownership and profit orientation of the mass media, (2) advertising license, (3) sources, (4) flak and the enforcers, and (5) anticommunism as a control mechanism. Herman and Chomsky argue that those filters marginalize and eliminate voices of dissent in the American mainstream media, which become the tools “that can set the national agenda” (p. 4.) The authors conclude that U.S. media coverage of “enemy” countries, such as communist regimes, differs from the coverage of “friendly” or “client” regimes, such as military dictatorships in Latin America. Building upon the work of Herman and Chomsky, Michael Parenti (1993) argues that the media’s distortions of news are not due to “objective” restraints such as time, space, and money, but that they serve the purpose of recreating “a view of reality supportive of existing social and economic class power” (p. 8). Parenti asserts that the regimes that serve a certain political or economic interest to the United States, such as

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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background image
Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
8
Most of the contemporary critical analysis of the media coverage of the
international news builds upon the writings of Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, and
Michael Parenti. Herman (1993) claims that the American media tend to ignore relevant
information in the coverage of international events when it collides with the national
agenda. He argues that the media unjustifiably treat governmental sources as a priori
credible, therefore allowing domestic leaders to manipulate them. Herman supports his
argument with a series of short examples of the media encoding of international events,
with emphasis on the controversial role of the American media in the Gulf War.
Herman and Chomsky (1988) argue that a propaganda model exists even in the
countries whose democratic regimes do not publicly exert pressure on the media.
According to the authors, American media follow the frame of the propaganda model,
which consists of five filters: (1) size, ownership and profit orientation of the mass
media, (2) advertising license, (3) sources, (4) flak and the enforcers, and (5)
anticommunism as a control mechanism. Herman and Chomsky argue that those filters
marginalize and eliminate voices of dissent in the American mainstream media, which
become the tools “that can set the national agenda” (p. 4.) The authors conclude that U.S.
media coverage of “enemy” countries, such as communist regimes, differs from the
coverage of “friendly” or “client” regimes, such as military dictatorships in Latin
America.
Building upon the work of Herman and Chomsky, Michael Parenti (1993) argues
that the media’s distortions of news are not due to “objective” restraints such as time,
space, and money, but that they serve the purpose of recreating “a view of reality
supportive of existing social and economic class power” (p. 8). Parenti asserts that the
regimes that serve a certain political or economic interest to the United States, such as


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