Saturday, October 15, 2011

How Big Corporate Media Utterly Fails the Public

Newspapers originated as partisan broadsheets full of pointed political views. They advocated. But by the 20th century newspapers fell into the hands of big corporations that were selling fish wrap (i.e. the paper was the medium of advertisers and they didn't want to upset readers, so toned down vague-and-fuzzy reporting replaced any serious opinion and investigative journalism). Papers stopped being intellectually challenging and because useful onto fish vendors to wrap the fish they sold or for homeowners to line the bottom of their bird cages to catch bird droppings.

Here is a post by Dean Baker in his Beat the Press blog making this point for the umpteenth time:
Post Does the Old He Said/She Said on Perry Energy Plan

Texas Governor Rick Perry announced an energy program yesterday that involved drilling everywhere in sight. According to the Post article on the plan, Perry claimed that his plan would create 1 million jobs. In classic he said/she said style the Post told readers:

"Perry predicted his energy plan would create more than 1 million new jobs. Weiss [a researcher at the Center for American Progress] sharply disagrees."

This is utterly useless information for readers. A Washington Post reporter should have the time to talk to some experts on this issue and/or read some of the key articles. Post readers do not have the time. Simply reporting opposing claims that readers have no ability to access is a pointless exercise. Trees died for nothing.

(Perry's claim is nonsense -- it is unlikely that it would in the long-run lead to even 100,000 additional jobs [0.07 percent of total employment]. The short-run effect would be considerably less.)
Is there any surprise in the fact that newspaper readership is plummeting and newspapers will go extinct? Why pay for pablum like this?

And... is there any surprise that major political parties have quietly fallen into the hands of big corporate lobbyists? With no "press" to challenge the politicians, most Americans have no idea that their government has been stolen from them. They have no idea that the traditional electoral exercise is a farce. The decisions of what laws will be passed -- indeed, even the writing of the bills -- has passed into the hands of big corporations.

The whole world of "American politics" is a kabuki dance of smoke-and-mirrors with lots of pretended outrage and threats when in fact all the deals have been quietly done behind locked doors as money passes hands to fund politicians and their "campaigns" (think John Edwards with his million dollar slush fund to hide Rielle Hunter and his illegitimate "love child", this was a "campaign donation" from billionaire heiress "Bunny" Mellon).

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