As long as you’re out there, OWS, why not throw corporate media into the mix? As soon as you’re done with Wells Fargo and Bank of America, why not head over to General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom, CBS, or Sinclair Broadcasting?
Occupy DSM, why not spend a day at WHO Radio, owned by Clear Channel, the largest owner of radio stations in the United States (894) and offering everyone in central Iowa an all-day-every-day schedule of corporate right-wing-speak whether anyone likes it or not.
Occupy Iowa City, KXIC is also owned by Clear Channel, and still broadcasts Sean Hannity against the wishes of the largely liberal local audience in the people’s republic of Johnson County.
Occupy Cedar Rapids, KGAN is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, largest owner of local TV stations, with an aim to turn elections for Republicans in swing states. They buy up the station, lay off as many staff as possible to maximize profits and then it’s in effect, good-bye to local investigative reporting.
Well, I may just have to get down to an Occupy group and get my name on the stack to speak.
The corporate media is just as responsible for the fix we’re in now as the banks (coincidence? NOT…). They are the ones who cover up the dastardly deeds with lies and American Idol. They’re the ones who play along with the political candidates’ games. They are the ones that demolished news divisions by putting them under the umbrella of the entertainment divisions. The News is gone and in its place is “reality” TV. The irony is painful.
Did you know that political ads are broadcasters’ largest source of income and the #1 lobby that opposes campaign finance reform in the U.S. is the National Association of Broadcasters?
But which came first, the chicken or the egg? Ronald Reagan got rid of the Fairness Doctrine. Control over the mass media has been part of the GOP strategy since the 1970’s.
Did you know that our own Senator Grassley actively fought against the return of the “Fairness Doctrine” after Obama took office, that would re-set a standard of fairness in news reporting of controversial issues? Yes, Grassley even wrote a letter to the new FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski saying that in addition to the idea that there should be no Fairness Doctrine, the FCC should not consider any policy that would “accomplish the same goals.” See, President Obama wanted an increased emphasis on localism in media. Makes perfect sense. But this would also not be tolerated by Republicans because that would in effect lead to more diverse, local news and therefore, fairness would have an increased chance of occurring. Read Grassley’s letter here.
The corporate media has a lot to do with why politicians can never really say anything of substance. Because any time they say anything meaningful or true or even just candid, their words are either twisted, distorted, taken out of context, presented without nuance or background – OR that person is permanently ostracized or targeted to be removed from office. Examples: Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, Dan Rather, Keith Olbermann, Al Gore. Where are they today? Struggling to be heard from internetland or obscure cable TV channels, that’s where. Because they told the truth with a bit too much clarity.
You think you know what really happened with Dan Rather when he was fired from CBS after reporting the story about George W. Bush’s National Guard service during the Bush White House years? Most people still believe Dan Rather knowingly used falsified documents to beef up his story. But the fact is, the story about W’s National Guard service was true. CBS execs. knew it was true. Their own report reached no conclusion as to whether or not the documents were authentic. Not being able to prove they were authentic is a long way from “they were proven to be false.” The point is, the story was true.
But Dan Rather was asked to take one for the team by CBS which he did, by reading an apology on the air written by corporate bosses, apologizing for his “mistake” even though everyone knew it was not a mistake, and then they fired him and the rest of the media did their best to thoroughly destroy his reputation. LINK LINK LINK
Here is a link to Dan Rather’s remarks at the MLK Memorial Dedication yesterday. Rather is someone who has been inside the corporate machinery and knows what he’s talking about. Also here are some excerpts from a speech he gave in 2007, and the video is below, still relevant today. There is also a clip from an interview Rather did with Larry King where he talks about what happened at CBS. This is not exactly news to those of us who have been media critics for a while, but it’s still good and well said.
So all of you brave, patriotic occupiers, it would be great if you could just add corporate media to the list of things that need fixed. Here’s Dan:
“What has changed most is the character of news ownership…. Now the motto is the news stops with making bucks rather than the buck stops here… News has fallen prey to merger after merger and acquisition after acquisition – now they are large corporate entities whose priorities have nothing to do with news… Precious time is wasted on so-called human interest stories and sensational fluff…the one thing that is sure not to happen is genuine debates and the questions the public really care about seldom get answered… In the current model, the incentive to produce good and valuable news is simply not there….News needs a spine transplant.” Watch: