In their canonical book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Chomsky and Herman detailed how media almost invariably kowtow to and serve powerful interests, namely the ruling class and the state.
Most recently, such subservience can be seen in media coverage of airstrikes in the Middle East. When the US bombs ISIS in Syria and Iraq—or when the US gives $90 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia in four years, who subsequently uses those weapons to bomb Yemen—there is little-to-no concern for civilian casualties. When Russia bombs Syria, however, American media are suddenly obsessed with tracking down each and every victim.
In Russia, the exact opposite is true—RT, Sputnik News, and other media zoom in on US crimes while ignoring their country’s own.
I appeared on the episode “Air strikes and media misses” of the Al Jazeera English program The Listening Post in order to discuss how this flagrant media bias played out in the US bombing of Doctors Without Borders’ hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
If you are not in the US, you can watch the program here: