The mass media are, in classical Marxist terms, a 'means of production' which in capitalist society are in the ownership of the ruling class. According to the classical Marxist position, the mass media simply disseminate the ideas and world views of the ruling class, and deny or defuse alternative ideas. This is very much in accord with Marx's argument that:
According to this stance, the mass media functioned to produce 'false consciousness' in the working-classes. This leads to an extreme stance whereby media products are seen as monolithic expressions of ruling class values, which ignores any diversity of values within the ruling class and within the media, and the possibility of oppositional readings by media audiences.