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Inventing Reality

The Politics of News Media (2nd edition)

Inventing Reality cover
0-312-02013-9 (paper)
Distributed by Wadsworth


How much of what the news media tell us is true, and how does it control our view of the world? In this illuminating, provocative critique of the news media, Michael Parenti examines the subtle but profound ways in which the media influence and manipulate the public’s perception of reality. He attacks the widely held belief that the news media are controlled by liberals and liberal opinion—and he clearly depicts the news media as a controlling institution of the American capitalist system, an institution that serves the interests of the rich and powerful while appearing to serve the many.

In this thoroughly revised and updated edition, Parenti dissects news coverage of the most recent world events—including the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Gulf War, the U.S. invasion of Panama, and the contra war in Nicaragua—and demonstrates how the media shape public awareness and attitudes through distortion or suppression of specific information. His argument will reeducate and enrage a public that has come to believe in an impartial, free press.

The Progressive magazine calls Inventing Reality “essential to a fuller understanding of what we read and see daily.”


  1. From Cronkite’s Complaint to Orwell’s Oversight
  2. “Freedom of the Press Belongs to the Man Who Owns One”
  3. Who Controls the News?
  4. Objectivity and Government Manipulation
  5. The Big Sell
  6. Giving Labor the Business
  7. “Liberal” Media, Conservative Bias
  8. The Media Fights the Red Menace
  9. Doing the Third World
  10. For the New World Order
  11. Propaganda Themes
  12. Methods of Misrepresentation
  13. Culture, Control and Resistance

    Appendix: A Guide to Alternative Media

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