At a time when four in ten Americans read at below intermediate level or are illiterate, how is our society affected by the barrage of images and spectacle emanating from mass media? How do the impossible standards of beauty and materialism reflected in our celebrity-soaked culture impact how we see ourselves? How does journalism, when based on sensationalist imagery, affect the functioning of our democracy? What are the consequences of “reality TV” which sometimes seems to normalize such traits as self-aggrandizement, the capacity for manipulation, or the inability to feel remorse? These and other questions are considered by Chris Hedges, a long-time war correspondent for The New York Times and best-selling author of “Empire of Illusion”.
The power of images to create [their] own reality has left us the most illusioned nation on earth. It has created an illusion about who we are, about where we are going, about what is happening around us, and has disconnected us so deeply from reality that we can no longer make rational decisions that affect our future.”
—Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist