cover image Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment

Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment

Michael Parenti. St. Martin's Press, $21.95 (241pp) ISBN 978-0-312-05894-4

This perceptive study by the author of The Sword and the Dollar convincingly argues that TV and film are not popular culture, but marketed mass culture; and that these media do not distort reality, but preempt it. Their scripts, Parenti asserts, support militarism, imperialism, racism, sexism and authoritarianism, and the producer who offers work not supportive of these themes is in trouble. The corporations which control the media use their power to ``legitimate the hegemonic ideological system,'' for example, they present negative views of working-class people--as boors, buffoons and sometimes lovable slobs--and of labor unions. The book is entertainingly written and rich in instances of the effort to force an artificial reality on viewers. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)