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Donald Gutstein

20 November 2009 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

SFU communications professor Donald Gutstein discusses his book Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy (Key Porter, 2009), with Joseph Planta; highlighting some of the notable think tanks in Canada and their relationships with big business, and just how they in turn influence what’s reported in the media.


Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy by Donald Gutstein. (Key Porter, 2009) Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Not a Conspiracy Theory

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line. This is THECOMMENTARY.CA.

Over the last thirty years, so contends my guest now, there’s been a prolonged propaganda campaign mounted by business to influence the public by taking over the media agenda, thus influencing our thoughts on the important issues of the day. Whether it’s medicare and wondering if it’s tenable; climate change, whether humans are really causing it; or the idea of Canada integrating itself further with the United States economically and more—these ideas have been seen much media coverage and promotion. Donald Gutstein has written a fascinating, page-turning, thought-provoking book: Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy. It gives evidence, examples of think tanks we’ve come to know like the Fraser Institute, the C.D. Howe Institute, and more, and their connections to big business. As well, we read how organisations are able to harness the media to propagate their message. Donald Gutstein taught in the school of communication at Simon Fraser University, and is the author of three acclaimed and also controversial books: e.com: How the Internet Undermines Democracy, the New Landlords, and Vancouver Ltd. He’s studied media for over thirty years, co-directing Project Censored and NewsWatch Canada. He’s appeared in various publications such as Maclean’s, Vancouver, The Tyee, the Georgia Straight, and Straight Goods. Not a Conspiracy Theory is published by Key Porter Books. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Donald Gutstein; Good morning, Professor Gutstein.

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