And as I detoxed my mind from exposure to that type of blatant corporate propaganda, I am now realizing that NPR programming, although of much higher quality, in the final analysis, it has similar effects if one is exposed to it throughout the day.
Here's what I've been able to notice (on my own, just by simple observation) when it comes to the effects of being exposed to the American mass media: There is a very serious and marked disconnect between the messaging and narrative being broadcast, and reality.

The programming's subliminal message is:

"Everything is fine; people are working, and happy, and going on vacation, saving money to send their kids to college, or buy a house, going to baseball, and hockey, and football games, or to a concert."

And of course, there is the messaging related to fear (crime, terrorism, etc.).

There is other type of narratives and messaging, but it all seems carefully calibrated to manipulate and to control, for the benefit of the ruling class.

Again, these are things I became aware of just by observing as a regular person, without having been exposed to formal analysis or studies about the corporate propaganda phenomena.

Then of course, once I started looking into it, I've found that people like Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, and many other thinkers and intellectuals have already exposed this phenomena.

Before I continue, and after thinking about this issue for very long time, I've determined that the propaganda is designed to keep citizens from becoming aware of the true nature of the system, and most importantly, to prevent those who do become aware of it from finding each other and forming coalitions against it.

That is why the Police State brutally suppressed the Occupy Wall Street movement, and that is why you see the increasingly draconian and repressive response to the sing-along protests in Wisconsin, to Moral Mondays in North Carolina, and to the fast-spreading resurgent protest movements around the country.

And so it looks like the biggest threat to the Corporate State is awakened people meeting face-to-face in the public square. Because once that happens they quickly realize that they're no crazy; that there are other people who have come to the same conclusions and understanding about the system.

And once that happens, the mind control ceases (or diminishes greatly), and this could pose a threat to the ruling class because that type of awakening can spread like wildfire, given the right conditions...
To learn more about this, I encourage people to read about Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, is an analysis of the news media, arguing that the mass media of the United States "are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion"
Another great resource to help us understand how the ruling elite manipulates the population is the propaganda model.
The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that states how propaganda, including systemic biases, function in mass media. The model seeks to explain how populations are manipulated and how consent for economic, social and political policies is "manufactured" in the public mind due to this propaganda.The theory posits that the way in which news is structured (through advertising, media ownership, government sourcing and others) creates an inherent conflict of interest which acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.
And for a devastating and accurate critique of the AWOL liberal elite, I highly recommend the article by Chris Hedges, "The Treason of Intellectuals."
The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status. They know what they need to say. They know which ideology they have to serve. They know what lies must be told—the biggest being that they take moral stances on issues that aren’t safe and anodyne. They have been at this game a long time. And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again.
Of course, it is clear that what Mr. Hedges describes fits squarely within the "Manufacturing Consent" analysis.

Again, my conclusion is that once people realize the true nature of the system, and its propaganda machine, that they should find a way to connect with a common purpose (social justice activism) and meet in the public square, face-to-face, in order to build coalitions, and solidarity against the ruling elite.

At this point, "stopping the machine" from continue to operate in the way it has, should be the first priority, IMHO.

Many times I've written that only when a resistance movement becomes capable of organizing into a cohesive force able to act in concert against the system, that's when we'll be on our way to being able to gain enough strength to Challenge and defeat the Corporate State, in favor of Democracy, justice, equality, and the rule of law.

From theory to practice, I see no better example than the ongoing and relentless sing-along protests in Wisconsin, and Moral Mondays in North Carolina... We need to do this nationwide, always changing tactics as necessary.

Nothing else is going to stop the increasingly corrupt, brutal, oppressive and fascistic ruling class from continuing to oppress the population.
Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.-- Noam Chomsky