“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
Malcom X


Add yours Comments – 65

  • AnnK

    on September 27, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    huh! I came here to freak out cuz I just finished season 7 on dvd and watched this season’s premiere. ha ha! But you blew me away with something bigger to talk about. ha ha! Oh how the media upsets me about how they distort things. I know exactly what you’re talking about, but hey can’t let them tell me how to think. So, what brought this up?

  • skahahoo

    on September 27, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I think Mia and Puffy bring up good points. (I’m assuming “media” here refers to news, movies, television, and some parts of of the internet.) I have great respect for Malcolm X (his autobiography is one of the most moving books I’ve ever read), but I have to disagree with his assertion that the media is the most powerful entity out there and that it controls our minds. I think that WE are the most powerful entities. If doom and gloom and gossip and spin dominate the media, it’s because that is what sells. We live in a market-driven economy, and the media outlets are simply doing what is rational in order to bring in that income. If people didn’t flock to it, the machines wouldn’t be producing it. We like to blame the media and our politicians for a lot of our problems, and certainly they are responsible to a certain extent, but ultimately, we’re the consumers of this information and entertainment, and we’re the ones who elect the politicians to office. Someone once said that the people get the kind of democracy they deserve.

  • Maria

    on September 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I MOST completely agree. You know, I read that quote and the FIRST thing that comes to mind is the movie “Chicago”. Especially the scene that Billy Flynn completely manipulates the press and they show them like they are puppets. I think that is a perfect explanation of manipulating the masses and turning the guilty innocent.

    And I completely agree with skahahoo ^^.

    “…The people get the kind of Democracy it deserves.”

    VERY INTERESTING. I’ve never seen it that way. But it’s true, I think that the elections are the perfect example in that. Where I live, Puerto Rico, politics is a HUGE deal and right now we’re in election season. And EVERYWHERE you see the different commercials of candidates bashing other candidates, and promising different things ( they’ll better the economy blah blah blah.) But in the end WE ( well, not me i’m 15) are the ones who vote and elect these people and then we are on the streets rioting that the water and light prices are too high and blaming the people WE voted for.

    Whose fault is it really? Us or them?



  • Robin Hebert

    on September 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I’m taking a psychology class and its very enlightening when you study human behavior how we can be swayed so easily, how we want to conform, and how persuasion can change a person’s view in nothing flat. Are we just a bunch of lemmings, following each other until we all jump off the cliff?

  • Hammad

    on September 27, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Like any medium, it depends upon its usage. If the media is used only to project the facts, and allows the people to decide their opinions based upon them, then it’s just a messenger. However, it certainly can be used to manipulate the people if enough of the media outlets are saying the same thing, regardless if their is a factual basis, but not all of the facts are disclosed and so it produces a biased view of the situation, or if what they are saying has no factual basis, but is merely an editorial opinion. I think this is what Malcom X was referring to when he made the quote. In America, my religion was assaulted post 911, and still is in certain media outlets today. I know for a fact that some of what is presented is skewed and non-factual, yet people out there who don’t know any better, trust what is being presented in the media and actually believe it to be factual, as they may not have someone like me to correct such improper perceptions. Being bombarded repetitively with the same images over and over again has a subconscious effect. Even myself, when I was repetitively inundated with images of bearded Muslims (I don’t have one) in the media began subconsciously looking at immigrants who came from Muslim countries funny, and I slowly became aware of this. Similarly, in a lot of entertainment venues, preachers of Christianity are sometimes mocked as idiotic, Southern drawl having, uncompromising Bible thumpers, and I see myself sometimes laughing at these caricatures unconsciously and applying it to people who aren’t like that at all, but take their Christianity very seriously. It’s like a disease of the mind that you’re not aware of unless you are very careful.

    People have to think critically about what is being presented in the media. Otherwise, mob mentality of the mind can rule the day, and the situation can become like what was presented in Orwell’s “1984”. However, I think eventually truth will prevail. It is my inner sense of justice and belief in God that gives me the optimism that good people can only be fooled for a little while.

  • Bryan Crump

    on September 27, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    So much is controlled by the media, but who is the media controlled by? Corporations, government, people of influence… It is amazing how the influence can affect the the intellect of the masses.

    Luckily we have many publications and sources from people so the intelligent have choices that they can follow.

  • Kathy-Lynn Brown

    on September 27, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I am so glad that this is the topic of choice for the day. You see the media had begun to talk of gas shortages in our state. It was crazy. People sitting in lines filling their tanks, even one man shot a woman because he thought she pulled in front of him. This is so crazy. I mean how can people let the media control their minds? All of our local gas stations are out now. It’s because of the media making it one big deal. If people didn’t listen to them then we would still have gas, if they didn’t panic and just filled up as normal we wouldn’t have this problem.

    They make small problems big and big problems even bigger. It’s scary.

  • Kyle

    on September 27, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    I think for the most part he’s right. The Media has tremendous power. People can be led to believe anything if their emotions are high and judgment are distorted.

    Case in point, power is the reason why Hitler took the press under his control when he influenced an entire nation to do horrible things. He realized its power of control.

    There is a force greater then the power of the press and mass thinking — your mind. Think for yourself. Don’t loose your individuality.

  • Jennifer

    on September 28, 2008 at 6:19 am

    The media has the power to destroy people and not even care,and tends to bring out sides of people we’ve never seen before. I’m not a big fan of the media.

  • Josh

    on September 28, 2008 at 6:53 am

    It is also important to remember when considering media power that, although we have lots of media outlets, most of the news stories come from only a few wire services. So, although something might be all over the airwaves, we are usually only getting the story from one source, which is not a good way to know we are getting the truth.

  • Sarah Renner

    on September 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    LOVE this quote! so true…unfortunately

  • Kirk D. aka "Spartacus"

    on September 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I have heard that the mind is a machine that a ghost could operate. It seems we are vunerable to manipulation of all sorts on all levels, if the mind is so easy a thing to fool and influence. But I thing there in lies the awesomeness of the mind, its ability to create reality and believe it, even if it isn’t truely there.

    This is a science and people that want to get things from people, namely money, will do whatever it takes to get it.

    Entertainment on any form of media can capture our attention and is based I believe on our nature, impulses and desires. Whether it be the most base of desires or the most noble of desires. People seem to be most willing to send money when in a state of immorality that is driven by our base nature, but fooled into thinking it is ok. We are relational beings and we relate to our world through our 5 senses. If the powers that be, in the rich corporate govermental world know this and they use it and pervert this knowledge to fleece the flock or gain control over them, placing them into mental, emotional, and financial slavery, shouldn’t we do something about it and not hate on those that see it as a problem?


    on October 5, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Britney Spears, First the media made everyone like her. Then they made everyone think she was nuts, now She’s great again. And that was all powered by the media. Britney is still the same she has Bi polar disorder and it doesn’t go away. She is on her meds now, but still will unfortunately have manic episodes. Sorry I got off topic there. Love you Allison first time on your site!

  • Erica

    on October 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Its absolutely crazy, but its true. What i find more worrying is all that we are naive enough to believe them, whatever they say. Our lives/thoughts/opinions can be changed by things published/broadcasted that may not even be true.
    Ever read Popcorn by Ben Elton – fab book but it is about an oscar winning director very similar in style to tarantino who inspires a real life bonnie & clyde to act his film out in reality. It is a little critical of the american legal system but the moral to it is disturbing to say the least. If you ever get chance you should read some of his novels. He deals with some interesting and topical subjects.

  • Silvia

    on January 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Allison,

    Okay, I know I’m late for this reply. However….

    “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

    – This statement shows the importance of having a mind of our own and the significance to think. Otherwise we’d helplessly drown in the masses, being one of many, but never an individual or thinker.