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]
"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
"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
the Internet has not solved press problems (5/21/2015)
There ought to be real discussion of public policy such as
the trickle-up economy, environmental devastation, healthcare,
union-busting, outsourcing, income
inequality, real 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 more 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.)
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
'news'. The largest media conglomerates are relatively small appendages
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.
"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 prevails.
About Disney (owner of ABC).
Digital TV: A Giveaway to Corporate Media (8/28/2008)
Problems are largely because concentrated media is
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
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
major Republican presidential candidate.
For example, see this Frontline
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.
It is clear that the corporate interest is almost never
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
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
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)
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. "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
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
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.
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)
CQ Stomps Out Newsroom Dissent (9/30/2009)
Media: a Weapon of Mass Destruction (7/30/2009)
Porn Wars (5/22/2009)
Plummeting Press Freedom (10/30/2008)
US News Media Latest Disgrace (4/21/2008)
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.)
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.
Debating for Dummies: Eric Alterman
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.
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
out in his book, 'Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy' that when
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
public view. Discussion becomes constrained. By omitting certain
the agenda is tightly controlled. Worse, conscientious reporters are
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
Are you surprised that
is increasing? In 1989, Brandon Centerwall of the
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
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
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
(Check tghe schedule for the learning channel....they are better than
The Telecommunications Act had no detectable consumer
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Robert W. McChesney
"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.
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.
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.)
(Paul Craig) Roberts says: "The problem
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.
Corporations are not people.
Money is not speech.
The War Criminal in the Living Room: Paul Craig Roberts
Weapons of Mass Deception (2004) 98 minute movie
"I know of no country in which
there is so little
of mind and real freedom of discussion as in
Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Robert McChesney
The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the 21st Century: Robert W. McChesney
MEDIA MONOPOLY by Ben Bagdikian. (Beacon Press.
CONSENT. Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. Pantheon Books,
Rich Media, Poor
Democracy: Robert McChesney
More You Watch, the Less You Know. Danny Schechter. Seven Stories
Press. 1997. "In
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.
by Angus Mackenzie,
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.
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.)
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
Regret the Error: Craig Silverman
End Times, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Claire
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.
Gang. One Newspaper versus the Gannett Empire. Richard Mccord,
Breaking the News. How the Media undermine American
James Fallows. Pantheon Books.
of Power, Corporate TV's Threat to Democracy. Dennis W. Mazzocco.
South End Press.
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.
The Newscasters by Ron Powers: 1980.
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.)
"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
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
The Electronic Republic.
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,