Overflight, 29

“Whether they're called "liberal" or "conservative," the major media are large corporations, owned by and interlinked with even larger conglomerates. … The media are only one part of a larger doctrinal system; other parts are journals of opinion, the schools and universities, academic scholarship and so on. … [It] has two distinct targets. One target is what's sometimes called the "political class," the roughly 20% of the population that's relatively educated, more or less articulate, playing some role in decision−making. … Then there's the other 80% or so of the population. These are … "spectators of action," … referred to as the "bewildered herd." They are supposed to follow orders and keep out of the way of the important people. They're the target of the real mass media: the tabloids, the sitcoms, the Super Bowl and so on. These sectors of the doctrinal system serve to divert the unwashed masses and reinforce the basic social values: passivity, submissiveness to authority, the overriding virtue of greed and personal gain, lack of concern for others, fear of real or imagined enemies, etc. The goal is to keep the bewildered herd bewildered. It's unnecessary for them to trouble themselves with what's happening in the world. In fact, it's undesirable −− if they see too much of reality they may set themselves to change it. That's not to say that the media can't be influenced by the general population. … Independent (alternative) media can also play an important role … in the same way that popular organizations do: by bringing together people with limited resources who can multiply their effectiveness, and their own understanding, through their interactions – precisely the democratic threat that's so feared by dominant elites.”
Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants, as quoted in Marcello Pamio, Il lato oscuro del nuovo ordine mondiale (The Dark Side of the New World Order, author’s note)