Media

Often those in power strictly control the flow of information, corroding and corrupting its content, of course, using newspapers, radio, television and other mass means of communication to carefully consolidate their authority and cover their crimes in a thick veneer of fervent racialism or nationalism. And always with the specter of some kind of imminent public threat, what Hannah Arendt called ‘objective enemies.’”: Charles Lewis 935 Lies.


Stop the Merger

A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all powerful executive of political bosses and their army and their managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.

By simply not mentioning certain subjects… propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals.

- - - Aldous Huxley, in his 1946 revised forward to Brave New World


Fully captured by corporations and the corporate states, the media continue to dance around the issue of climate change. Occasionally a forthright piece is published, but it generally points in the wrong direction, such as suggesting climate scientists and activists be killed (e.g., James Delingpole’s 7 April 2013 article in the Telegraph). Guy McPherson

Before this year, Sunday show hosts did not interview a single scientist about climate change when discussing the issue on their shows. In 2013, that trend narrowly came to an end when, in a single episode of CBS' Face the Nation, the chief climatologist at Climate Central, Heidi Cullen, illustrated how rising temperatures have already affected weather extremes, and what would happen if climate change continues to worsen. In that segment CBS also interviewed Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, the head of the American Meteorological Society, who was counted as a scientist in our study due to his Ph.D. in Meteorology. No other Sunday show hosted a scientist to discuss climate change. [Climate Central, 5/28/13]

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." --- Malcolm X

"Bias in favor of the orthodox is frequently mistaken for "objectivity". Departures from this ideological orthodoxy are themselves dismissed as ideological." Michael Parenti

"If ownership patterns and economic imperatives are creating a media space that is detrimental to democratic processes, protections should be put in place to improve that environment. It may again be time to exercise some of the caution present in early regulatory approaches to mass media." The Outrage Industry: Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj

Fox, Time Warner, and Rupert Murdoch's last game of thrones (7/19/2014)

Comcast Takeover of Time Warner Cable Will Drive Up Costs, Consumer Groups Say, Calling for Govt. to Block It (2/13/2014) ... Note

Bias Towards Power *Is* Corporate Media ‘Objectivity’: Journalism, Floods And Climate Silence (2/13/2014)

The U.S. Plummets to #46 in Global Press Freedom Rankings (2/11/2014)

How the Media Missed the Story of the Millennium: One Climate Blockbuster after Another (2/3/2014)

Real Journalism v. Big Brother (12/5/2013)

The NSA Debate Is As Much About Journalism As Surveillance (10/4/2013)

Leaks and Consequences (9/2013)

Money and the Corporate Media Are Gagging Democracy (8/16/2013)

15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media (8/7/2013)

Spinning Yarns in the Mainstream Media (8/1/2013)

Consumers Union endorses a la carte television legislation (5/14/2013)

Links

www.freepress.net

 


The Day That TV News Died (3/25/2013)

Serious News In Low Supply From Mainstream Media (2/2/2013)

Stop Big Media's Bad Behavior (3/30/2012)

Robert McChesney: The Life or Death Struggle for Journalism and Self Government

Why Not Occupy Newsrooms ? 10/24/2011

$2.5 billion - $3.3 billion: The amount that local TV stations are expecting to receive in political ads in the 2012 election cycle. (From Public Citizen.)

Broadcasters Push Back on FCC Plan to Post Names of Political Ad Buyers (3/20/2012)

Fade To Black (9/8/2011)

Misinterpreting Copyright - A series of Errors

The most effective weapon in the arsenal of the 1% is the corporate media. Not even the brute force of the police—the army of the affluent—compares with the immense power of programming via propaganda.

Continued concentration of media creates politically powerful oligarchs who stamp out all but right-wing propaganda, game elections, and churn out plenty of distraction, trivia, misinformation, and, of course, advertising (spam by another name.)

The FCC covered up a report that concluded that such concentration is devastating for local news and jobs. I would argue that our political dysfunction, education failure, cultural decline, and income inequality are due to such media policy. Our money-driven Congress has failed us.
Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.;A.J. Liebling.
the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One would then like to ask: by what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible? In the communist East a journalist is frankly appointed as a state official. But who has granted Western journalists their power, for how long a time and with what prerogatives? Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1978
If you want to know what's really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. If money is flowing to advertising instead of to musicians, journalists, and artists, then a society is more concerned with manipulation that with truth or beauty. If content is worthless, then people will start to become empty-headed and content-less. The combination of hive mind and advertising has resulted in a new kind of social contract. The basic idea of this contract is that authors, journalists, musicians, and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising. Jaron Lanier, from You Are Not a Gadget excerpt January 2010, Harper's Magazine.
"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost" Thomas Jefferson quoted by Gerard Colby in Into the Buzzsaw. See also Want to Know.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon quoted by Al Gore in 'Assault on Reason'.
Along with its failure to cover the real story behind the run-up to the Iraq war, the press in the United States bears a major responsibility for the failure of the country to address some of its most pressing problems. From the rising income gap between the rich and the poor, to the tens of millions without health insurance, to our tattered relationships globally, our news media have become incapable of protecting the public interest. Instead of focusing the nation’s attention on its troubles and helping to champion solutions, our major news media are squandering their journalistic resources. They have become timid, self-serving, and a hazard to our economic and political well-being. Jeff Chester: Digital Destiny
Threats of law suits against journalists have become the hallmark of the Bush administration in a not-too-clever tactic used to silence independent media in the United States." --Wayne Madsen
"The people are the landlords of the public airwaves, and the broadcast companies are the tenants. Under the present, inverted system, the tenants pay no rent to the landlords, decide who says what on TV and radio, and control the FCC, which is the supposed leasing agent for the landlords. All attempts to use the tools of the 1934 act's public-interest standard have been rebuffed by the broadcasters as alleged infringements of their First Amendment rights. These attempts include efforts to improve children's programming, to provide rights of reply, and to hold stations to broadcasting diverse viewpoints on important controversial issues." Ralph Nader, Mother Jones, April 1991.
Our electoral system has been demeaned and trivialized. Television, the PACs, the transformation of our party system--and, above all, the squalid political-advertising industry--are turning the business of democracy into a kind of farce. I don't think most people give serious attention to politics, which in its current degraded condition scarcely warrants attention. Electoral politics has become a kind of show; our elections have become a form of entertainment, although not very good entertainment. The candidates are cast in the roles of unpaid characters in a great television soap opera. And it is one of the curses of our political system that there always seems to be an election of some kind going on. J. William Fulbright in his book "The Price of Empire" Pantheon, 1989.
Now that conglomerates can dominate the expressions of opinion that flood the minds of the citizenry and selectively choose the ideas that are amplified so loudly as to drown out others that, whatever their validity, do not have wealthy patrons, the result is a de facto coup d'tat overthrowing the rule of reason. Greed and Wealth now allocate power in our society, and that power is used in turn to further increase and concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few. From Al Gore's Assault on Reason
"... 'the media' is a part of modern life that deserves to be monitored consistently. Its influence appears to grow rather than diminish. There needs to be public scrutiny of the people who own and control the various media platforms and of those who manage and operate it on behalf of those owners and controllers." (Greenslade blog, Guardian website, October 6, 2008 )
"If you're not careful the newspapers will have you hating the oppressed and loving the people doing the oppressing." Malcolm X

And what role does the media contribute in that dumbing down of Americans?

It’s central. The media has always been corrupt in the United States, and it’s more corrupt now than at any time I’ve ever seen it. And I’ve spent a lot of time in media, starting with early television. (From an interview with Gore Vidal)


When did CNN Become A Shill For GOP Extremism And The Tea Party ? (9/12/2011)

FIVE WAYS TO FLEX YOUR MEDIA LITERACY MUSCLES

The Problem

Media is in trouble in the US: newspapers are losing money, circulation, shrinking staff, and there seems to be no end to it. Broadcasters do almost no hard news. Public television has lost its way. Radio is no longer relevant. The internet,  wireless phones, automobiles, and even appliances are morphong into a universal surveillance device. 

Media missed the lies about wars in the Middle East, the runup to the financial crisis, the science about climate change, and the election rigging or corruption in our own government. That is mostly because the news has become a profit center and media has consolidated to serve only corporate profiteers. Elections are a major windfall for media, but big dark money buys attack ads and is poisonous for democracy.

U.S. ranks last in hard news. This study found Americans are "especially uninformed about international public affairs. " Scandinavians, who benefit from well-funded public media, are best informed and, not unrelated, best educated.

Without reliable information, there can be no democracy.  Although the financial sector is out of control, we are facing a devastating climate crisis, the government is dysfunctional so whatever challanges there are, most likely nothing will get done.

When you turn on your TV in prime time and find people eating worms, doesn't it give you pause? When the late breaking news is about Tiger Woods' mistresses, Octomom, Anna Nicole, Michael Jackson, British royalty, or a new release of Star Wars, do you think there are other stories that could be more important?  How is advertising different than spam ?

(See the schedule for the Learning Channel to see what Americans are learning.) U.S. educational outcomes are in rapid decline compared to other countries. Being misinformed, we cannot address critical problems. It is no surprise US education is in fast decline.

So why does this matter ? Consider this story:

Bosnia had a storyline, a very clear storyline, and as a result of that storyline the press, led by the New York Times and CNN had an amazing impact on policy in the United States; I think there was comparable coverage in Europe. Let's be clear: the reason the West finally, belatedly intervened was heavily related to media coverage. The reason Rwanda did not get  the same kind of attention was heavily related to media coverage - or the lack thereof.

Just a week ago, I was on a panel a the Museum of Broadcasting in New York where Christiane Annanpour was challenged by a panelist who said, 'You did a great job in Bosnia, why didn't you go to Rwanda where far more people died ?' Her answer was astonishing: politely but firmly 'I was in Rwanda. I did cover it. I know what was happening but the O J Simpson trial was on and I couldn't get on the air for CNN.'

One million people died in four months in an organised genocide that has been matched only a few times this century. But CNN was too busy. The Bosnia coverage really made a difference. Richard Holbrooke, Index on Censorship 3 1999.

 
Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?  

Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?

Millions of Americans are embarrassingly ill-informed and they do not care that they are. Read more 

 

There ought to be real discussion of public policy such as the trickle-up economy, environmental devastation,  Federal red ink, healthcare, union-busting, outsourcing, income inequality, wage decline, poverty, eldercare, secrecy in government, the erosion of the Constitution by the "Patriot" Act, missile defense, the School of the Americas, DU, empire-building, assassinations, and the policy of spreading 'democracy' at the point of a gun. Corporate media is remarkably biased and mostly silent about important issues because large amounts of money frame issues and elections.

When Murdoch minions: Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson, spew hate at Americans, do you think they are commentators who best serve the public interest ? (Think again, broadcasters don't really believe there is such a thing as the public interest.) By all accounts, journalism has deteriorated so that it now makes sense to read the foreign press for reliable information.

When you watch for a while you will find that main stream media does not serve journalistic standards, consumer interests, academic, cultural, entertainment, or much of any public service. 

"If we have 'learned' from motion pictures and television series that our nation is forever threatened by hostile alien forces, then we are apt to support increased military spending and warlike interventions. If we have 'learned' that inner city denizens are violent criminals, then we are more apt to support authoritarian police measures and cuts in human services to the inner city. (Michael Parenti. The Humanist. November/December 1990.)

Concentration - The ownership filter

When our Constitution was signed, there was nothing comparable to today's media, but the post office was written into the Constitution so people could be informed.  Accumulation of power was taken very seriously. Project Censored reports on how big media interlocks with corporate America. See Who owns what ? (from the Columbia Journalism Review)

Despite raised standards in journalism, American mainstream news is still heavily weighted in favor of corporate values, sometimes blatantly, but more often subtly in routine conventions widely accepted as “objective.” One is overdependence on official sources of news….[O]veremphasis on news from titled sources of power has occurred at the expense of of reporting “unofficial facts” and circumstances. In a dynamic and changing society, the voices of authority are seldom the first to acknowledge or even to know of new and disturbing developments. Officials can be wrong.

Overreliance on the official view of the world can contribute to social turbulence. Unable to attract serious media attention by conventional methods, unestablished groups have had to adopt melodramatic demonstrations that meet the other media standards of acceptable news–visible drama, conflict, and novelty. If they are sufficiently graphic, the news will report protests, demonstrations, marches, boycotts, and self-starvation in public places (though not always their underlying causes). But in the end, even that fails. Repeated melodrama ceases to be novel and goes unreported. Social malaise or injustice often are not known, by officialdom. Unreported or unpursued, these realities have periodically led to turbulent surprises–such as the social explosions that came after years of officially unacknowledged structural poverty, continuation of racial oppression [race riots in the 1960s], or damage from failed foreign policies [the revolution in Iran].

Over the years, the exaggerated demand for official credentials in the news has given the main body of American news a strong conservative cast….Where there are not genuinely diverse voices in the media the result inevitably is an overemphasis on a picture of the world as seen by the authorities or as the authorities wish it to be. Ben Bagdikian: The Media Monopoly

For a long time US media has increasingly concentrated so that now a small number of corporations control everything you hear or see on the 'news'. The largest media conglomerates are relatively small appendages of war profiteering corporations..

It is expensive to consolidate many small companies into larger ones, and the result is heavy debt on the books of the conglomerates. Heavy debt and speculative investors require burdensome repayment, so news rooms are downsized, compromised, foreign journalists are called home, and the quality of journalism has fallen to a level that the foreign press is much better. Still, newspapers and broadcasters are under heavy financial pressure.    

Robert McChesney, (see his video) the author of "The Problem of the Media" and other fine books, likens the market for media to the portrayal in the Godfather when

"Michael Corleone, Hyman Roth, and the heads of the U.S. gangster families meet on a patio in Havana to "divide" up pre-Communist Cuba. Roth ceremonially gives each gangster a piece of Cuba as he slices his birthday cake, which has the outline of Cuba on it. As Roth doles out the slices, he applauds the Batista government for favoring private enterprise- that is, letting the gangsters plunder the country. The gangsters fight among themselves to get the biggest slice of Cuba- indeed the film revolves around this theme-but they agree that they alone should own Cuba. Therefore, it is with media policy making in the United States. Massive corporate lobbies duke it out with each other for the largest share of the cake, but it is their cake."

When AOL pumped up the books so that they could combine with Time-Warner, the end result was a Foxified CNN. The stock price of the combined company took a dive, but right-wing reporting prevailed.

Media Concentration

About CNBC

About Disney (owner of ABC).

About Fox

About PBS

About Cable

Digital TV: A Giveaway to Corporate Media (8/28/2008)

See Radio

Problems are largely because concentrated media is overshelmingly corporate.

Concentrated media is a threat to democracy. It's not about the money, they want political power

Republicans have lost sight of the fundamental Constitutional principle that concentrated power is a threat whether public or private. They have allowed Rupurt Murdoch to all but take over their party even though the British found him unfit to run a major international company.

Rupert Murdoch built an empire of media companies including Fox News. His tactics in Britain may yet cause lawsuits in the US. Meanwhile his news programs are fountains of right-wing misinformation. He has employed almost every major Republican presidential candidate. For example, see this Frontline video:

The Tribune Company, having been raided by realtor Sam Zell, is now in bankruptcy, but Murdoch is interested in purchasing it. 

The relentless concentration of media is not necessarily about making money, it is to game the political process for corporations...which can yield much more money and power too.

From Bartcop

I hear the New York Post loses money - BIG time, but they soldier on.
If the NY Post isn't interested in making money, what is their goal?

I hear the Washington Times loses money - BIG time.
If the Washington Times isn't interested in making money, what is their real motivation?

I believe FOX News loses money - BIG time.
If FOX News isn't interested in making money, what are they interested in?

Obviously,  their goal is to influence politics in this country.

These profit-hating companies exist for what reason?
The NY Post and FOX News are owned by Rupert Murdoch.
He doesn't want to make money, he wants to change our politics.
Murdoch pays millionaires to tell the poor to vote for the party of millionaires.

Same for the Moonie Times.
They pay hack writers to tell lies about Democrats and profits come last.

I don't know who owns Clear Channel, but whoever that is, they didn't mind
going $15 billion in debt, as long as the Pigboy got to scream race taunts at Obama,
that's what Clear Channel wanted and that's what they've gotten - until now.

These American-hating companies are NOT interested in making money.
They exist ONLY to tear down Obama, Democrats and fairness for the middle class....

The Propaganda System That Has Helped Create a Permanent Overclass Is Over a Century in the Making (4/12/2013)

The Advertising Filter

It is clear that the corporate interest is almost never the same as the public interest. Massive amounts of corporate money are directed to elections, to lobbying, to advertising, to media to insure that the outcome is theirs. Not yours. The Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money for such things. The Chamber of Commerce is effectively used to hide the actual identity of the source of funding. It is in the interest of media to broadcast only paid information. Since the public does not pay, there is no voice for the public interest. The public is constantly misled.  In addition, Republicans have been working to be sure that there is no disclosure of who is paying for the political ads. For media, elections are a profit tsunami. For corporations, a legal way to buy elections.

The Tea Party movement has been driven by large amounts of corporate money.

Media Blackout on Single-Payer Healthcare (3/6/2009)

The Political Filter

There is a major problem for anyone who runs for president, especially a third-party candidate. No matter how long or extensively you campaign in every state of the union, no matter how large your audiences become, you cannot reach in direct personal communication even 1 percent of the eligible voters. In essence, you don't run for president directly; you ask the media to run you for president or, if you have the money, you also pay the media for exposure. Reaching the voters relies almost entirely on how the media chooses to perceive you and your campaign. In short, this "virtual reality" is the reality. Ralph Nader: Crashing the Party. p154

In spite of the threat to democracy from concentrated media, Michael Powell, backed by John McCain and President Bush, supported still lower thresholds on media ownership rules. Media issues, like many others decided by the Bush administration, were largely decided in secret by major corporations who vigorously oppose any public representation. Surprisingly, in the case of Powell's determination to loosen the ownership rules, there was a massive outcry. In addition to being anti-democratic, removing control from localities, making media propagandists, there are many fewer jobs as a result. The FCC destroyed reports about this.

Conservative Exclusion Is a Right-Wing Delusion (6/25/2010)

Associated Press Story: FCC ordered to Destroy report on concentration of media ownership.STOP BIG MEDIA "WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says. Adam Candeub, now a law professor at Michigan State University, said senior managers at the agency ordered that "every last piece" of the report be destroyed. "The whole project was just stopped - end of discussion," he said. Candeub was a lawyer in the FCC's Media Bureau at the time the report was written and communicated frequently with its authors, he said." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14836500/  

Like other US regulatory agencies, the FCC is run for the benefit of the major players, not the public.

 It didn't bother the Bush administration though. Michael Powell, Colin's son, Chairman of the FCC was strongly supported by Senator McCain. He moved to allow even more concentration, and Bush backed him vigorously.

The disastrous Telecomm Act of 1996 was crafted by industry for industry. The public was not represented. A portion of the airwaves should be purchased by profit-making corporations, but an equal part should be free for public use. Campaign finance problems could be significantly less if politicians did not have to pay (extortion) for commercial airtime. Serious conversation is barely possible given the attitudes of the 'anchors', the frequency of commercial breaks, and the right-wing bias of corporate media.

"In the period since the September 11 attacks, the impact of the Bush administration on press freedom has been threefold: It has sought to influence the media in order to win the propaganda battle over its war in Afghanistan; it has encouraged a censorious and self-censorious environment in the United States, which has allowed the administration to alter the fine balance between security and liberty virtually unchallenged; and, owing to the wider war on terrorism, it has deeply harmed the cause of press freedom around the world." from the conclusion of David Dadge's book: Casualty of War.

Corrupt public policy brought us to this. Media has little accountability, certainly not local accountability. There is little or no diversity of viewpoint. No major media entities opposed the war in Iraq even though a large percentage of the public did. The FCC is more concerned that broadcasters not say dirty words then right wing, factually incorrect propaganda is dominating the airwaves. A majority of Americans thought that Iraq had something to do with 9/11 when there was no evidence to support it. Still isn't. With the exception of the PBS program NOW, there are few programs that question administration policy. Now immediately came under fire from Bush appointee Tomlinson. Yet another example of media repression.

Congress has done exactly the wrong thing in giving away public airwaves to a few politically connected (war profiteering) corporations. The result has been irresponsible commercial messages, violence, bad nutrition, propaganda, trivia, disinformation, and rarely anything of public value. If our media were not so compliant, we might not be at war in Iraq. As people find they do not have information to decide, as real issues are absent from media, as election results have little effect on public policy, voter turnout has steadily declined, and government is now clearly dysfunctional.

It is the function of US media to keep people pacified, distracted, misinformed, ignorant, exploited,  well prepared for endless war, and at least apathetic about climate change

Republicans use CIA propaganda tools domestically

The Fairness Doctrine: How we lost it, and why we need it back

Corporate media is the enemy of Democracy See Bill Moyers comments at http://www.pbs.org/moyers

The press needs to get off the stage. (6/17/2008)

Since the CIA has been an active participant in US media, and seeing that we are allowed only right-wing propaganda on mass media, it is not unreasonable to speculate that this development is part of the vast right wing conspiracy. We now have a dysfunctional government that serves the corporate agenda.

Pentagon spends billions to influence world opinion. (2/7/2009)

Make no mistake. Corporate media can, and does, swing elections. US media has become the propaganda arm of the US government. It is, a weapon of mass distraction, a cheerleader for war, a conduit for administration lies, a cover for atrocities, a megaphone for right-wing hate speech, and a determined enemy of democracy. It is mostly owned by war profiteers. It keeps voters ignorant. (note) distracted, exploited, and pacified. Right wing radio is inciting to violence.

If you think media is liberal, you need to see this video. (about an hour)

Ask your Congressman to support the public interest instead of the corporate interest to preserve a semblance of democracy.

Hard Lessons From Decades Past (1/9/2010)

Media Vultures are Coming: Freedom of Expression at Risk (1/8/2010)

CQ Stomps Out Newsroom Dissent (9/30/2009)

Despite Air America "blackout," companies support Beck, Dobbs, and Limbaugh (8/12/2009)

Media: a Weapon of Mass Destruction (7/30/2009)

Porn Wars (5/22/2009)

Right Wing Media and the Politics of Vitriol (1/2009)

Obama, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News: A Look at Media in 2009

Why the US Media is a Whore.

Plummeting Press Freedom (10/30/2008)

Falsie Awards for 2008

How the Media handle Bush lies.

US News Media Latest Disgrace (4/21/2008)

The Lying Mainstream Media

Iraqi casualty reporting shows US media fraud

Remember the Iraq War Pollyanna Pundits   

Assassination of Democracy (a 7 minute video.)

 


 

The United States, which is supposedly spreading freedom and liberty throughout the world, is in a fast decline regarding the freedom of its own press. (From the annual worldwide press freedom index from Reporters Without Borders.)

Newswatch

 How the CIA Paid for Judith Miller's stories.

Republicans use CIA Propaganda techniques domestically See the report.

Propaganda Video Reports Shown as News http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040606N.shtml

A report prepared by the Center for Media and Democracy said that many of the 69 stations took steps to blend the fake segments into their news broadcasts. Some had their news reporters or anchors read scripts supplied by corporations, the report said, and many had altered screen graphics to include the station's logo.

A Free Press or a Ministry of Truth ?

Debating for Dummies: Eric Alterman

John Pilger's comments.

beforethemusicdies


Amy Goodman at the NCMR 2007


Be The Media

One of the stories that you will not hear in the news is this: Republicans have been leaders in the rush to further concentrate media. The  Republicans on the FCC attempted to hide a study detailing the damage.  About six corporations control everything you see, and they have an agenda. In fact, Republicans have been the facilitators for the corporate agenda (which includes perpetual war, media concentration, union busting, jobs export, cheap labor, sweatshops, dumping pensions, shrinking healthcare, and entitlement cuts.)

Ben Bagdikian's book, The Media Monopoly, updated periodically, showed that media concentration had already proceeded too far. The Bush administration accelerated the trend and got a free pass as a result.  

Major US media supported Bush in his presidential campaigns, were cheerleaders for the war in Iraq, and, at best, did not do due diligence for major, critical stories instead whitewashing the Bush failures. Be careful what you believe when you are consuming US media.

Concentrated media is a threat to free speech, free press, and free elections. Who owns the media, controls the agenda. Robert McChesney pointed out in his book, 'Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy' that when Americans occupied Japan, they mandated that their media not become concentrated, because it would tend to fascism. We should consider again the mandate for ourselves. Consider the clear prevalence of hate-speech pundits in all US media. "Britain went so far as to legally ban Michael Savage from entering the country on the grounds that his intolerance fosters hatred and might promote inter-community conflict". Similarly, Rupert Murdoch was judged unfit to run a major corporation in Britain and has been banned from doing business in Canada. Canada, Australia, Poland, France, and Britain all have restrictions on hate speech.

In blatant disregard of such warnings, the Congress removed restrictions on concentration of media ownership in the 1996 Telecommunications Bill. Then Westinghouse/CBS bought Infinity broadcasting for $4.9 billion, Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting merged in a $6.7 billion dollar deal, Nynex bought Bell Atlantic for $22.1 billion, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp acquired full ownership of New World Communications Group for $3 billion making it the largest TV station owner with 22 outlets, US West paid $10.8 billion for control of Continental Cablevision, Gannet acquired Multimedia Entertainment for $1.7 billion; British Telecommunications bought MCI for $23 billion, and now, the largest yet, the merger of AT&T and TCI. Similar consolidation has occurred among newspapers. As media cheer ever-larger mergers, competition has yet to appear.

Not only has media been relieved of public responsibility, and become more concentrated, it has an agenda that only a fool would think is 'liberal'. All four television networks, radio, and newspaper chains are conservative activists. Two of our major networks are owned by defense/nuclear contractors, a third has verified links to the CIA, and the fourth benefited magnificently from large gifts to Congressmen.

Defense contractors or war profiteers could complain about their first amendment rights, but they should NOT be allowed to own mass media.

Since television and other media account for most election expense, they account for a major component of campaign finance, and are the major beneficiaries of costly elections. What you will hear about is the need for taxpayers to pay the bill to broadcasters for elections ... not that they have any obligation to the public, or that the public is indeed the ultimate owner of the broadcast spectrum. With the powerful media that we have today, elections may never again have real meaning. Citizens United and massive campaign expense is welfare for broadcasters. Democracy loses.

You need only look to see that our information streams are now polluted. Television news has become less and less informative. Pack journalism assures that we will see celebrity trivia, but only distorted or blocked public issues. There was hardly a ripple when the OJ Simpson trial pre-empted the State of the Union Address, no serious public discussion of Healthcare 'reform', no mention of the 1100 economists (including 6 Nobel prize) winners who opposed the balanced budget amendment, only discussion of regressive taxes, little discussion of expensive, cold war, weapons systems which even the military doesn't want, scant coverage of ordinary workers, but plenty of coverage of President Clinton's affairs.

By framing trivial issues large, real problems are kept from public view. Discussion becomes constrained. By omitting certain information, the agenda is tightly controlled. Worse, conscientious reporters are fired when stories become controversial. (Gary Webb's Dark Alliance for example or CNN's April Oliver.)

Media filter out "inconvenient facts" like the collapse of domestic economic opportunity to America's role as the world's leading jailer, arms supplier, polluter, and human rights abuser. (See McGowan's book "Derailing Democracy, the America the media doesn't want you to see.") 

PBS and Pacifica have been seriously compromised. http://www.fair.org/reports/pbs-study-1999.html

Media for Children

 Are you surprised that violence among children is increasing? In 1989, Brandon Centerwall of the University of Washington, Seattle, established that television leads to violence, particularly in children, and is a public health hazard.  From 1990 to 1994 there was a 22 percent increase in the rate of murder by teens aged 14 to 17. The FBI's most recent juvenile arrest records support this grim prediction: Weapons possession, aggravated assault, robbery, and murder all rose more than 50 percent from 1987 to 1996. James Alan Fox of Northeastern University's College of Criminal Justice warns that, without remediation, the juvenile crime rate seems likely to increase. Although extensive evidence now exists, this kind of information is rarely acknowledged in the media. See studies from Kansas State University (look up the word 'violence' there.)

Some of the best studies of the effects of modeling and imitation on subsequent aggression have been done in human children, by psychologist Albert Bandura and others. These clearly show that when a child is permitted to watch an adult, either live or on film, committing aggressive actions, the likelihood of the child's performing similar actions shortly thereafter is increased. " (The Tangled Web: Melvin Konner, 2002: pg 198)

"An extraterrestrial being, newly arrived on Earth--scrutinizing what we mainly present to our children in television, radio, movies, newspapers, magazines, the comics, and many books -- might easily conclude that we are intent on teaching them murder, rape, cruelty, superstition, credulity, and consumerism. We keep at it, and through constant repetition many of them finally get it. What kind of society could we create if, instead we drummed into them science and a sense of hope." Carl Sagan. The Demon-Haunted World. Random House. 1995

"...children's overexposure to violence, in real life, newscasts, or through audiovisual fiction, downgrades the value of emotions and feeling in the acquisition and deployment of adaptive social behavior. The fact that so much vicarious violence is presented without a moral framework only compounds its desensitizing action." Descartes' Error: Antonia R Damasio.

"...Today's children, who watch more television than ever before (an average of 22,000 hours before graduating from high school), according to the Washington Post, also "suffer from an epidemic of attention-deficit disorders, diminished language skills, and poor reading comprehension." The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has discovered a direct link, and there is concern that TV might actually cause learning disorders. "Most [heavy viewing] kids", says psychologist Jerome Singer, "show lower information, lower reading recognition or readiness to reading, [and] lower reading levels." They also "tend to show lower imaginativeness, and less complex language usage". Very recent research in this field suggests that TV might in fact physically stunned the growth of a developing brain." from David Shenk's book, 'Data Smog, surviving the Information Glut'.

Surely, if television has this powerful affect, there should be some accountability. Although broadcasters should be held responsible for this crime against our children, Congress rewarded broadcasters with a massive giveaway of spectrum.  http://www.nader.org/releases/63099.html

It's time we made a connection between media content and our knowledge of reality. Although many blame schools for learning deficiencies, it is only reasonable to hold media accountable for the violence, shock, trivia, and corporate spam. Broadcasters have betrayed yet another technology.

Broadcasters are rewarded for keeping us ignorant. They are responsible for the denial of climate change that will become a tangible threat to everyone. They do not criticise or identify the problems that cause regular financial collapse.  They  do not examine  politician's  pretexts for  war.

It is no wonder that our education outcomes are behind.

Broadcasters are largely responsible for our failed education. (Check tghe schedule for the learning channel....they are better than most.)

Media and Democracy

The Telecommunications Act had no detectable consumer benefit (Senator McCain said that the only one NOT represented was the public), but has made most of us the target of telemarketers, price gouging (not only at pay phones), and no reductions of bills. Wireless phones, which are cheap and ubiquitous in Israel (even small children have them), are major expense items in the US...and  a tracking device.

 The US is now a two-class society: Those with a voice that can be heard, and those without. People who do not have significant financial strength have no voice, should be delivered to advertisers, and need to be controlled. To demonstrate this the FCC raided and forcibly shut down low power broadcasters. Depriving ordinary people of a voice completes the process of media control.

Considering the small number of entities involved, communication can easily be brought under control of the national security state. Even the potential for that kind of control should trigger public concern, regulation, and anti-trust action. But no. People have been robbed of much of the benefit of communication technology, advertisers may exploit and propagandize them at will, broadcasters under no public responsibility, and it is ominous that surveillance capability is now required by law for all electronic communications.

Concentrated wealth and concentrated media are inherently authoritarian. Free speech and free elections may be an illusion from the past. Any hope of restoring true democracy, and with it a better breed of politicians, depends largely on stopping welfare to broadcasters, cleaning up our polluted information streams, and creating a better informed electorate. Debates are limited to two candidates and the discussion is diverted to trivial, distracting, personal issues of the remaining two candidates. Recently there have been some encouraging signs that the broadcasters are going to get off the stage.

What are the prospects of ever again getting a government that would truly govern on behalf of all people ? Of ever again getting politicians we can trust and respect? It won't happen as long as we keep losing the propaganda war. As long as most people are deluded into believing that free market forces prevails, that the best government is the least government, that we are helpless pawns in the game of global competition, and that concentrated media is OK, then we will continue to get the kind of disastrous governance that now prevails.  


Project Censored "Media criticism does exist in America. But by and large, it is not citizen-based criticism designed to make media a better source of information in a democracy. Instead, it is a cynical manipulation of the discourse designed to silence even the mildest dissent..." - Robert McChesney and John Nichols. Other notable sites on media include FAIR and  FREE PRESS.


 

Write the Media http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/contact/media.asp    


From Robert McChesney

A host of recent developments have made it clear that the Bush White House is doing battle against the journalistic standards and practices that underpin of our democracy. With its unprecedented campaign to undermine and stifle independent journalism, Bush & Co. have demonstrated brazen contempt for the Constitution and considerable fear of an informed public.

Free Press has launched a campaign to chronicle and combat Bush’s war on the press. Today, we published a new report showing the scope and intensity of the administration’s assault on press freedoms. The growing list of attacks on the press is truly astonishing:

Infiltrating Public Broadcasting

White House loyalists inside the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have launched a crusade to remake PBS, NPR and other public media into official mouthpieces. Kenneth Tomlinson’s tenure at the CPB was characterized by targeting journalists like Bill Moyers who dared to air dissenting voices or prepare investigative reports on the administration.

Tomlinson's goal was clearly to fire a shot across the bow of all public stations so managers would shy away from the sort of investigative journalism that might expose Bush administration malfeasance. Tomlinson resigned in disgrace but left behind a cast of cronies to carry out his partisan crusade. And we still don’t know the extent to which Karl Rove and others at the White House orchestrated his efforts.

Manufacturing Fake News

Under Bush administration directives, at least 20 federal agencies have produced and distributed scores of "video news releases" out of a $254 million slush fund set up to manufacture taxpayer-funded propaganda. These bogus and deceptive stories have been broadcast on TV stations nationwide without any acknowledgment that they were prepared by the government rather than local journalists.

The segments — which trumpeted administration “successes,” promoted its controversial line on issues like overhauling Medicare, and featured Americans "thanking" Bush — have been repeatedly labeled "covert propaganda" by investigators at the Government Accountability Office.

Bribing Journalists

The administration has paid pundits to sing its praises. Earlier this year, TV commentator Armstrong Williams pocketed $240,000 in taxpayer money to laud Bush’s education policies. Three other journalists have since been discovered on the government dole; and Williams admits that he has "no doubt" that other paid Bush shills are still on the loose.

The administration has even exported these tactics. According to the Los Angeles Times, the U.S. military is now secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops.

Lying about the Iraq War

The White House saw the battle for domestic popular opinion as one of the main fronts in the war in Iraq. With the help of a compliant media, truth became the first casualty in their campaign to whip up support. But rather than admit to their lies and misinformation, the administration continues to attack those reporting the truth.

As Frank Rich recently wrote in the New York Times, the administration’s "web of half-truths and falsehoods used to sell the war did not happen by accident; it was woven by design and then foisted on the public by a P.R. operation built expressly for that purpose in the White House."

Eliminating Dissent in the Mainstream Media

Bush all but avoided traditional press conferences, closing down a prime venue for holding the executive accountable. On those rare occasions when he deigned to meet reporters, presidential aides turned the press conferences into parodies by seating a friendly right-wing “journalist,” former male escort Jeff Gannon, amid the reporters and then steering questions to him when tough issues arose.

They have effectively silenced serious questioners, like veteran journalist Helen Thomas, by refusing to have the president or his aides call on reporters who challenge them. And they have established a hierarchy for journalists seeking interviews with administration officials, which favors networks that give the White House favorable coverage.

Gutting the Freedom of Information Act

The administration has scrapped enforcement of the Freedom of Information Act and has made it harder for reporters to do their jobs by refusing to cooperate with even the most basic requests for comment and data from government agencies. This is part of a broader clampdown on access to information that has made it virtually impossible for journalists to cover vast areas of government activity.

Consolidating Media Control

The administration continues to make common cause with the most powerful broadcast corporations in an effort to rewrite ownership laws in a manner that favors monopoly control of information. The Federal Communications Commission will announce plans to rewrite the ownership rules soon – it could happen as early as February – with aims of unleashing a new wave of media consolidation. The administration’s desired rules changes would strike a mortal blow to local reporting and further squeeze journalists.

In a famous 1945 opinion, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black said that "the First Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public, that a free press is a condition of a free society." In other words, a free press is the sine qua non of the entire American Constitution and republican experiment.

We started Free Press because our democracy demands a diverse and independent media. The Bush administration’s attack on the foundations of self-government requires a response of similar caliber. I hope you’ll join me in the year ahead as Free Press works to hold the administration accountable for all its attacks on journalism and see that such abuses will not be repeated in the future.

Please take a moment to visit our online campaign to defend democracy from the White House assault on the media.

Onward,

Robert W. McChesney
President
Free Press
www.freepress.net


"In a time of universal deceit,
telling the truth is a revolutionary act"
 
 
- George Orwell 

Misinformation

"A substantial percentage of scientists also say that the news media have done a poor job educating the public. About three-quarters (76%) say a major problem for science is that news reports fail to distinguish between findings that are well-founded and those that are not. And 48% say media oversimplification of scientific findings is a major problem. The scientists are particularly critical of television news coverage of science. Just 15% of scientists rate TV coverage as excellent or good, while 83% say it is only fair or poor. Newspaper coverage of science is rated somewhat better; still, barely a third (36%) of the scientists say it is excellent or good, while 63% rate it as only fair or poor."  (Survey 7/2009)

Of course broadcasters vigorously oppose the fairness doctrine. It is ok for US broadcasters to lie, unlike Canadians for example.

Worldwide Press Freedom Index :           

The annual worldwide press freedom index from Reporters Without Borders shows the United States, which is supposedly spreading freedom and liberty throughout the world, is in a fast decline regarding the freedom of its own press. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10839.htm or http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn12102005.html

David Dadge's book "Casualty of War" details Bush assault on the free press.

FAIR 20th Anniversary Logo


This is terrible for democracy. I have been in 47 states of the USA since 9/11, and I can attest to the horrible impact the deterioration of journalism has had on the national psyche. I have found America a place of great and confused fearfulness, in which cynically placed bits of misinformation (e.g. Cheney's, "If John Kerry had been President during the Cold War we would have had thermonuclear war.") fall on ears that absorb all, without filtration or fact-checking. Leading journalists have tried to defend their mission, pointing to the paucity of accurate, edited coverage found in blogs, internet sites, Fox-TV and talk radio. They argue that good old-fashioned newspaper editing is the key to providing America with credible information, forming the basis for wise voting and enlightened governance. But their claims have been undermined by Jayson Blair's blatant fabrications, Judy Miller's bogus weapons of mass destruction coverage, the media's inaccurate and inappropriate convictions of Wen Ho Lee, Richard Jewell and Steven Hatfill, CBS' failure to smell a con job regarding Bush's Texas Air Guard career and, sadly, so on. Laurie Garrett's resignation letter from Newsday (subsidiary of the Tribune.)

Media Repression

Why Noam Chomsky is the Subject of Relentless Attacks by Corporate Media and Establishment 'Inttellectuals' (2/23/2013)

FBI and IndyMedia

Index on Censorship

Note from Jay Hanson

(Paul Craig) Roberts says: "The problem that truth faces is that the western media continually lies."

How true!!  If you crave news and commentary beyond the everyday lies and horseshit served-up by the mainstream, Al Jazeera is best!!  http://www.youtube.com/user/aljazeeraenglish?ob=4&feature=results_main

Also use "al jazeera english, long" in the youtube search box to discover more WONDERFUL video programming.

The second best I have found so far is The Real News Network http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealNews?ob=0&feature=results_main

...

There is an alternative to the everyday horseshit served-up by the mainstream!  It's on youtube. 

Jay
--

Corporations are not people.
Money is not speech.
www.4america2.us

Another classic by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.   This one should  be widely circulated.  
 
 http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Video

Orwell Rolls in His Grave (you can watch it on-line)

Links

Project Censored Study of Media Bias at the Associated Press.

Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting

The War Criminal in the Living Room: Paul Craig Roberts

Media Tell the Rich Man's Story, Starve the People of Real News (10/6/2009)

Why media ownership matters. Who owns CNN ? Check out these media watchdogs: FAIR and also FreePress.net

Weapons of Mass Deception (2004) 98 minute movie

US media is dead.

Court has ruled that media lies and distortion of the truth are legal. That's why the story about BGH didn't get out. See the comments at the Organic Consumers Association website.

PR Watch


Bibliography

"I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." --Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the 21st Century: Robert W. McChesney

THE MEDIA MONOPOLY by Ben Bagdikian. (Beacon Press. Boston. updated 1992.)Media is, increasingly, concentrated. Although the situation was bad enough in 1992 when this book was first published, the trend has accelerated.

MANUFACTURING CONSENT. Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. Pantheon Books, New York. 1988. How issues are framed and topics chosen. Documents how propagandistic our mass media are, the manner in which the marketplace and the economics of the media shape the news. Edward Herman is Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Noam Chomsky is an MIT professor, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Robert McChesney

The More You Watch, the Less You Know. Danny Schechter. Seven Stories Press. 1997. "In America, the very idea of using publicly owned airwaves to broadcast in the public interest has been under attack for decades. Privatization is our ruling ideology in part because privately owned media restricts serious discussion of how it might be different. They do so less to serve abstract ideology that concrete interests, but the deeper effect is to undermine the very idea of a public interest."

Make-Believe Media, the politics of entertainment. Michael Parenti. Saint Martin's Press. NY. 1992.

Inventing Reality, the politics of the Mass Media" by Michael Parenti.

WHO WILL TELL THE PEOPLE. William Greider. Simon and Shuster 1992. Who gets heard, who gets ignored, and why. Relationships that link politicians with corporations and subvert the needs of ordinary citizens. How modern "methodologies of persuasion" from public relations firms, direct mail companies, opinion-polling firms, foundations, and consultants, have created a new hierarchy of influence over government decisions. A lone congressman who tries to represent the public interest can find himself aligned against an army of well paid authorities. The institutions designed to represent people: unions, political parties, press, are gone or transformed so radically that they no longer speak for the people. With lone exceptions, no one is intelligently monitoring the action for the taxpayers and alerting them to trouble. Political parties used to perform this role, but have abandoned it. The media report on selected events, but style and focus of their news do not fulfill this function either. Neither, for that matter, do the ranks of reformers and civic organizations, which are mostly devoted to their own specific issues.

Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy. Robert McChesney. and Global Media with Edward Herman.

'Secrets' by Angus Mackenzie, University of California Press, 1997. subtitled the CIA's war at home. Describes the CIA's illegal, direct intervention into the domestic press.

CENSORED. the News That Didn't Make the News and Why. Carl Jensen (Founder of Project Censored) The Top Censored story: The Great Media Sellout to Reaganism. In return for loosened regulation, big media dispensed relentlessly positive news about Reaganism and the great trickle-down dream. The FCC relieved broadcasters of traditional public service requirements, made it almost impossible for citizens groups to challenge station license renewals and lifted limits on the number of stations a single corporation can acquire.

Sound & Fury. Eric Alterman. The Washington Punditocracy and the collapse of American Politics. A community that lacks the means to detect lies, . . . also lacks the means to preserve its own liberty.

Spiked: Andrew Kreig

Rich Media, Poor Democracy, Robert W. McChesney.

The Political Economy of Media, Robert W. McChesney

The Kingmakers, How the Media Threatens Our Security and Our Democracy; Senator Mike Gravel and David Eisenbach, Phd.

Digital Destiny: Jeff Chester How Congress sold out the public interest to conglomerate media for money. Excellent description of the issues, and good ideas to improve policy. What you don't know can hurt you, but don't expect broadcasters to tell you about it.

Blinded By the Right: David Brock.

 The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How it Corrupts Democracy. BROCK David.New York, Crown Publishing, 2005.

The Obama Hate Machine: Bill Press

So Wrong For So Long: How the Press, The Pundits, and the President failed on Iraq: Greg Mitchell, Editor of Editor and Publisher.

Casualty of War, David Dadge

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists expose the Myth of a Free Press. " appallingly convincing book, a book that suggests that the truth about our media-military-industrial complex might go beyond even our paranoid imaginings." Michelle Goldberg (click to see the entire review.)

Guardians of Power, the Myth of the Liberal Media: David Edwards and David Cromwell; Media Lens.

Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy (Paperback) by Jeffrey Feldman

Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You. Waldman, Paul, Although this is five years old, Waldman does a superb job of showing where the bias really is in our media.

Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush, Boehlert, Eric

Nightly news nightmare By Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter

The Exception to the Rulers: Amy Goodman with David Goodman

Family of Secrets: Russ Baker (Note) Check out media connections with the CIA in this book.

Regret the Error: Craig Silverman

End Times, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Claire

Watchdogs of Democracy ? The Waning Washington Press Corps and how it has failed the Public. Helen Thomas

The Case Against Media Consolidation available for download at no charge under a creative commons license:  Contact: Jen Howard, Free Press, 202-265-1490, x 22

Newspeak in the 21st Century by David Edwards and David Cromwell

Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: Gerry Spence

The Mouse That Roared, Disney and the End of Innocence: Henry A. Giroux

The Outrage Industry: Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence (Crown Publishers, 1999) by David Grossman

Centerwall, Brandon S., "Exposure to television as a risk factor for violence," American Journal of Epidemiology, 129/4, pp 643-652, April 1989. An Epidemiologist who has examined the evidence and found that media causes violence.

Derailing Democracy, The America The Media Doesn't want you to see. Dave McGowan, Common Courage Press, 2000. "Following the same course that virtually every other major industry has in the last two decades, a relentless series of mergers and corporate takeovers has consolidated control of the media into the hands of a few corporate behemoths. The result has been that an increasingly authoritarian agenda has been sold to the American people by a massive, multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state." --Dave McGowan, from the introduction to "Derailing Democracy"

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." --Former CIA Director William Colby


Vulgarians At the Gate: Steve Allen

"Made possible by ... the Death of PBS". Danial Ledbetter. 1997

Air Wars, The Fight to Reclaim Public Broadcasting, Jerold M. Starr

The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting: David Barsamian.

The Chain Gang. One Newspaper versus the Gannett Empire. Richard Mccord, University of Missouri Press. 1996. This excellent book was an award winner, but you didn't hear about it from the newspapers. Richard Mccord, University of Missouri Press. 1996

Breaking the News. How the Media undermine American Democracy. James Fallows. Pantheon Books. New York. 1996.

Networks of Power, Corporate TV's Threat to Democracy. Dennis W. Mazzocco. South End Press. Boston, Mass 1994.

The Mighty Wurlitzer: Hugh Wilford

Spiked: how chain management corrupted America's oldest newspaper: Andrew Kreig.

Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War: John MacArthur (Hill and Wang,1992

Stealing Time, Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner: Alec Klein

Abandoned in the Wasteland. Newton Minow. (Formerly of the FCC) Children are not the only victims of broadcasting, but Minow is not too concerned about the rest of us.

The Newscasters by Ron Powers: 1980. St. Martins Press. "Until local television news ceases to exploit the entertainment bias that is conditioned by its host medium, and shares some of the profit with its "market" in the form of comprehensive, compact newscasts, it is engaging in a pollution of the worst sort: a pollution of ideas. Its options should be the same as those of any polluter: clean up the mess or pay the consequences.

HOW TO TALK BACK TO YOUR TELEVISION SET. Nicholas Johnson. Atlantic Monthly Press. 1970. This book is old, but the problems described are more severe today. (Nicholas Johnson was a member of the FCC.)

Adventures in Medialand. Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, Common Courage Press. Monroe, Maine. 1993.

"By the time American kids are 18 years old they have watched 26,000 murders on television alone. Heavy metal and rap lyrics often encourage rape and bigotry. It is contrary to common sense and research to think you can create such a culture and not have any effects." (From: Boys will be Boys: Breaking the link between masculinity and violence, by Myriam Miedzian. reviewed in Time magazine 9/16/91.)

The FCC: The Ups and Downs of Radio-TV Regulation, by William B. Ray, Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press. 1991. (Ray has been there. Chief of complaints for the FCC.) TV and radio programs have often broadcast wildly inaccurate news and/or information, only to be inadequately policed by the FCC. How Eisenhower FCC licensed only Republican stations, LBJ became wealthy, corruption in station licensing (assign then justify), and the disgraceful Reagan FCC promoted trafficking in stations, eliminated the fairness rules and generally has abandoned its role as protector of the public interest.

Read All About It! James D. Squires. How Corporate owners of American Newspapers have sacrificed the ideals of a free press for profit and how democracy has suffered as a result. Insights into the relationship between the Chicago Tribune and the Cubs (baseball team), and on ownership of the New York Daily News. (Al Neuharth appears frequently. See his "how I became an SOB".)

THE NEXT CENTURY, David Halberstam, 1991, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York. pg. 106. "Thanks to television, the national agenda becomes not what our long-range or our most pressing problems are, but those that produce the best film. This means that in a mass democratic society, the most critical part of the communications circulatory system, network television, is essentially blocked. As the network news format trivializes political debate, the political system adapts to it. Serious discussion of serious issues is too complicated. Candidates and their advisers learn what the networks want: a telegenic background and a hyped-up attack or counterattack, the more simplistic the better. Television runs only ten and fifteen second sound bites from our leading politicians; soon the politicians begin to talk in such brief bites; finally they begin to think in them."

The Electronic Republic. Lawrence K Grossman. Viking. Twentieth Century Fund Book. 1995. Lawrence K. Grossman former head of NBC news and president of the Public Broadcasting Service describes events at NBC after it was purchased by General Electric. Mr. Grossman has excellent recommendations but, as always, Republicans are on the other side. The fact is there is strong control of the press and communications by a small group that are control our agenda for their own ends.

Three Blind Mice: How the Networks lost their way. Ken Auletta; Random House; 656 pages. "Now everyone can see how a diet deprived of independent journalism in the mass market, that is can shrink society's stomach for the truth." It may not be possible to reform an information-delivery system so deeply commingled with the political and economic command system that is so well entrenched in this country. "Book review in Time, August 12, 1991 (p 60):

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