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Corporate Control of the Media? Just a Conspiracy Theory.

shystee's picture

Or maybe not. Glennzilla:

Yellin's admission is but the latest in a growing mountain of evidence demonstrating that corporate executives forced their news reporters to propagandize in favor of the Bush administration and the war, and censored stories that were critical of the Government.

Scotty "Sucka MC" McClellan's new book is bringing some uncomfortable facts out of the woodwork.

Citizens can only make decisions based on the information they receive. Manipulation and control of news information means manipulation and control of citizens.

Just because this does not take place in a Central Committee meeting does not mean that it does not take place. There are more discrete, distributed and subtle ways of achieving the same result.

Via Memeorandum.

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

It doesn't matter who we elect. Because so long as Congressmen suck up to these people, so long as elected leaders and the American public base their decisions on the "facts" these people report, we will have a broken system. The most depressing thing about this entire election has been the desire of some to run into the arms of the media. The media is never any liberal's friend. Never. Ever. We forget that at our own peril.

McClellan's book is clearly making them uncomfortable. James Carville told Diane Sawyer that this would be the rest of the folks in the Bush Administration's lives. Investigations, tell-all books, etc. She immediately launched into "you're not saying the democrats are going to launch endless investigations". To which Carville basically said, Congress would keep looking at it and even if they didn't, historians and tell-alls would keep coming out. Basically, there's no stopping it. So not only will it be the rest of the Bush Administration's lives, it will also be the media figures (not that he said that).

leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

The way we conceive of how conspiracies and the conspiratorial work are too limited. They are rarely quid pro quo, rarely, these days, take place in smoke-filled back rooms, and proceed, often, on unstated but fully shared assumptions.

It drives me nuts when journalists insist on telling us that not once, not once, in their long careers, has any executive ever called them up and dictated anything to them, or otherwise interfered with their freedom to report, as if any of us thought that's how it works. No, of course they haven't experienced control that direct, but the reason these particular journalists have made it onto the Tube, or are featured on websites, or are otherwise included in the sound machines that make up the great echo chamber of conventional wisdom is that those who hire them know already these journalists are safe, conventional, and certified members of the club.

And it doesn't just take a White House willing to use the Pentagon as a propaganda arm. The RNC had no difficulty instigating a propaganda war against Al Gore using a hostile press to propagate endless lies and distortions about him, up to and including the Republican Party and the administration of Jeb Bush stealing the Florida election right under the nose of a free press, with the entire nation watching.

And please, let us remember that poll after poll showed that us regular low-info Americans had no problem waiting however long it took to actually count the votes, it was only the club members who felt they had to save us from chaos, and thus embraced the astonishing notion being pushed by THE ENTIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY, that there was something profoundly un-American and undemocratic about counting votes.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Polls of Americans, as Glenn often cites, usually show a fairly level-headed, patient bunch of people willing to have investigations, etc. But as you point out Leah, the media is a different creature.

I'm not sure it has anything to do with politics per se as it has to do with their profit margins. I don't think they pushed Iraq just so GE could sell more equipment, it's more like they wanted patriotic programming because it's good for ratings. Just as the recount and primaries are a problem because they need "news". They need an end to the story. It would be good for their storytelling to get to Act III and, in turn, good for their ratings.

When you see everything as a sale, then everything gets sold. It doesn't matter what the collateral damage is because that won't affect their bottom line.

Submitted by lambert on

... whether they're comfortable with exactly the same "discreet, distributed, and subtle" methodologies and institutions used in service of their candidate that were used in the run-up to the Iraq war. It really is an "ends justifies the means" question, in the original sense that the means used have to be judged against the value of the ends to be achieved.

I don't think it is, in this case, and one reason I'm in this 'til the last dog dies is to set the record straight and put it to the press and the Kewl Kidz as hard as I can.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

It really is an “ends justifies the means” question, in the original sense that the means used have to be judged against the value of the ends to be achieved.

Digby:

I'm hoping that the current Obama swoon will help Democrats win in November.

Now, she does go on to say that it all might backfire, but the thought is there.

hypnot's picture
Submitted by hypnot on

Scotty “Sucka MC” McClellan’s new book is bringing some uncomfortable facts out of the woodwork.

They knew this was coming, yet no one in the media or in the administration appears to have come up with an answer that they can deliver without shame. I caught the Williams-Brokaw mutual exculpation (watch out, this link is a video) on NBC last night and was hating it until I focused on Brokaw's foot: He was hating it more than I was.

All they could really say was that if you have extremely low expectations for journalists' reporting but high expectations for their coiffure and attire, NBC News is good enough for you.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

the next President should issue an executive order that the Dept. of Defense will not buy from any company with an FCC broadcast license. That would force GE to sell either it's broadcast or defense business. It would put an end to one very obvious conflict of interest.

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

GE is getting OUT of the appliance business.

Trying to anywayz.

Strange times.

And I agree. That simple rule would nip some of this in the bud.

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

It doesn’t matter who we elect. Because so long as Congressmen suck up to these people, so long as elected leaders and the American public base their decisions on the “facts” these people report, we will have a broken system.

I agree, but that is why we blog (some more frequently than others, ahem): to be an alternative information source. Also, it't not just the "facts" but the ideology that the Corporate Media promotes that needs to change. "Be the media" and all that.

Corporate Interests > Conservative Think Tanks > Ideology > Memes and Narratives > Media > Public Perception > Public Opinion > Policy

The goal for me is not to elect my favorite candidate but to change the (media, ideological, informational) enviroment that all politicians have to operate in.

See also shystee's media kabbalah and the original emergent conspiracy post.

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

The way we conceive of how conspiracies and the conspiratorial work are too limited. They are rarely quid pro quo, rarely, these days, take place in smoke-filled back rooms, and proceed, often, on unstated but fully shared assumptions.

The one thing I would modify slightly is the quid pro quo. Even participants in an Emergent Conspiracy expect to gain some benefit from their participation. The difference from Classic Conspiracy is that the benefit is not offered explicitly. But the motive is there. People and groups act in their (perceived) self-interest.

Something I would add to the EC theory is the Social Network aspect. While the conspirators that brought about the Invasion of Iraq belonged to different institutions and never assembled in one smoky room, they all knew each other socially, no?

Submitted by cg.eye on

and speaking tours and book editors/publishers and think tanks... in short, the system the Neo-Cons created in the 70s to reinforce their messages also reinforced a distributed system of communication between thinkers, ratfuckers and politicians of all rancid strengths.

The traitors didn't have to get in a room to tell Gramm to hose California through deregulation of speculative swaps and the larger financial industry, but his masterwork deposed a standing Democratic Governor, got Der Governator into office, made Enron soar and crash, contributed to the tech bust, and made the mortgage scandal inevitable.

Avedon mentioned that Mother Jones article; it is doubleplusgood

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/elec...
-- McClellan: Obama reminds him of the Bush he likes --
"... "intrigued by Sen. Obama's message."

And, he told CBS' Katie Couric, ""It's a message that is very similar to the one Gov. Bush ran on in 2000, and won on, promising to bring bi-partisanship and honesty and integrity to Washington." ..."