...which means it is "fair and balanced" to a fault while still being revealing, although one will have to swim through page after page of empirical-sociology- and cultural-anthropology-informed conceptualizing to find the buried nuggets.
This is =not= a polemic against, nor is it an apology for, the supposed or actual in-flu-ence (read etymologically: IN-FLOW-ence) of the commercial media. For that, see something like Jamieson's =Packaging the Presidency=, Postman's =Amusing Ourselves to Death=, or Pilger's =New Rulers of the World=.
This is an attempt to clarify the various controversies; e.g.: media "liberalism" or lack thereof, "dumbing down," the techniques of "manipulation," "commercialization," "propaganda conveyance," state control, control by wealth accumulators, etc. (One will read plenty about Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp here. And they should.)
Street's work reads like a committee-reviewed doctoral dissertation. The author will go no further in any one direction than he will shortly go in the other. Which may be a bit of a problem for some readers, because it dichotomizes the issues in some ways before it (repeatedly) attempts to reframe them as understandable dialectics in a "money talks" and "you'd be =totally= un-informed if the advertisers weren't making it all possible" world.
(If there is a central message, it may be that one will just have to put up with media and politics as they are because our society is structured the way it is.)
One of the book's most fundamentally revealing segments is on the adoption of "branding" from the disciplines of marketing and advertising. Branding is the manipulation of mental associations between already established images, ideas, values, beliefs, assumptions, prejudices and attitudes... and the projection of new images, ideas, values, etc. Such associations must occur out of consciousness among the "chess pieces," of course. Otherwise the "chess players" would not be able to move them around the chess =board= of labor, war fighting and consumption.
The author does understand a lot of how the media uses politics for its purposes, as well as how the politicians and spinmeisters use the media for their own. If a truly exhaustive examination of such things is your cup of tea, you could hardly do worse than plow through this book, as there really is a great deal between the covers, even if the revelations are cloaked in rather dry language most of the time.