A provocative critique of how manipulation of media gives rise to disinformation, intolerance, and divisiveness, and what can be done to change direction.
"Mickey Huff and Nolan Higdon emphasize what we can do today to restore the power of facts, truth, and fair, inclusive journalism as tools for people to keep political and corporate power subordinate to the engaged citizenry and the common good."—Ralph Nader
The role of news media in a free society is to investigate, inform, and provide a crucial check on political power. But does it?
It's no secret that the goal of corporate-owned media is to increase the profits of the few, not to empower the many. As a result, people are increasingly immersed in an information system structured to reinforce their social biases and market to their buying preferences. Journalism’s essential role has been drastically compromised, and Donald Trump’s repeated claims of "fake news" and framing of the media as “an enemy of the people” have made a bad scenario worse.
Written in the spirit of resistance and hope, United States of Distraction offers a clear, concise appraisal of our current situation, and presents readers with action items for how to improve it.
Praise for United States of Distraction:
"A war of distraction is underway, media is the weapon, and our minds are the battlefield. Higdon and Huff have written a brilliant book of how we’ve gotten to this point, and how to educate ourselves to fight back and win."—Henry A. Giroux, author of American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism
"A timely and urgent demand re-asserting the central importance of civic pursuits—not commercialism—in U.S. media and society."—Ralph Nader
"Higdon and Huff have produced the best short introduction to the nature of Trump-era journalism and how the 'Post-Truth' media world is inimical to a democratic society that I have seen. The book is provocative and an entertaining read. Best of all, the analysis in United States of Distraction leads to concrete and do-able recommendations for how we can rectify this deplorable situation."—Robert W. McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times
"The U.S. wouldn't be able to hide its empire in plain sight were it not for the subservient 'free' press. United States of Distraction shows, in chilling detail, America's major media dysfunction—how the gutting of the fourth estate paved the road for fascism and what tools are critical to salvage our democracy."—Abby Martin, The Empire Files
"Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff provides us with a fearless and dangerous text that refuses the post-truth proliferation of fake news, disinformation, and media that serve the interests of the few. This is a vital wake-up call for how the public can protect itself against manipulation and authoritarianism through education and public interest media.”—George Yancy, author of Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America and Professor of Philosophy at Emory University
"United States of Distraction challenges our hegemon-media’s ideological mind control and the occupation of human thought. … Huff and Higdon correctly call for mass critical resistance through truth telling by free minds. Power to the people!"—Peter Phillips, author of Giants: The Global Power Elite