If the Democracy Movement, now occupying cities and towns across America, concludes with a half dozen transnational media companies still allowing only one opinion to get to citizens, it will have lost.
When our corrupt government recently allocated communication spectrum in going from analog to digital TV, increasing the number of available TV channels significantly, all of it went to the large transnational companies that control the mass media—not one channel was made available for the public interest.
So we’ve wondered what to do within the Movement in order for the people to occupy just one channel from the hundreds in the spectrum. Should we demand that NPR and PBS actually give public interest viewpoints, as many of us thought they were going to do when the Corporation for Public Broadcastingwas formed?
To go that way, we would have to demand that, as a starting point, all of the corporate contributions be banned and the top levels of management be fired for what they have done to the truth, distorted into justifying corporate greed at any cost and National Security State propaganda.
I have written about how horribly NPR has sold out in a piece I called National Propaganda Radio and the Hidden Agenda.
I have had a standing offer at LUV News for many years now that I can take any “news” program on PBS or NPR, including their flagship programs, the PBS NewsHour, Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, All things Considered—whatever, from any future broadcast, and show how it goes against the public interest.
I have sent this offer to management of NPR and PBS, offering to get them a hundred new or renewed members should I lose the bet, in return for an hour of programming time in which I would explain the mass media propaganda system. They can choose the program and the future date, if I can be assured they won’t tip off those who air the program to be particularly careful that day, so they will continue to spew their usual crap.
The propaganda is so extensive now that those working in the mass media don’t appear to see it. Even the sitcoms and dramas contain propaganda lines, and the writers probably are unaware that they are writing misinformation, believing it to be true, having been raised in a culture of propaganda.
Corporate-funded think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation and Hoover Institution repay their masters by having their senior fellows appear in mass media spewing misinformation daily, and attack anyone in the mass media who attempts to tell any truth inconvenient to their transnational corporate masters. They are on NPR throughout the day.
NPR claims they are giving “both sides” of things, a common bit of propaganda itself. One side is often a corporate media stalwart who spews the viewpoint of corporate greed at any cost coupled with the National Security State propaganda of the day, and he or she is often “balanced” by a right-winger from one of the corporate funded think tanks, who is so extreme it does appear to be a differing opinion.
But, in fact, the public interest is left out when this happens. Polling tells us most Americans want the troops brought home, but one does not hear this opinion from mass media talking heads, who will talk their heads off about justifying more wars.
Polling shows most Americans want public health care, like those who live in other industrialized nations, and not expensive medicine that provides multimillion dollar salaries to executives and billions in profits to people who inherit from robber barons, while citizens die every day from a lack of health care. One only hears about corporate health care in the mass media, where the public interest side is missing.
There are times when only one side of an issue is valid, so corporate media must admit they do not always give “both sides,” as they claim. Child molesters are not given an opportunity to opine as to how pretty was their little victim for example, one only hears the side of advocates for the child.
And there are times when there are several valid sides, going well beyond “both sides.” This is a propaganda term to pretend that corporate news is balanced. If the two sides are Democrat and Republican, both support corporate greed at any cost and the policies of the National Security State, none of which is supported by the majority of citizens, so it’s one opinion.
I am of the opinion that NPR and PBS cannot be saved. They have been so hopelessly suppressed as an objective source of news and opinion that the Occupy Movement should abandon them and make a fresh start.
We do need a national TV and radio network of the people, and it cannot take corporate money, which always destroys objectivity. Despite the propaganda, corporations do not give this money because they like to throw away money. Channels must be made available to the public for a public purpose. I have written in the past about a Social Justice Network that could fill this gap, and recommend this as a demand to General Assemblies across the nation if the people are ever to be free.
This demand will be fought harder than any other made by the Occupy Movement. Public opinion is shaped by the mass media, and the ruling Forces of Greed (FOG) will not give up this power without a fight. A second opinion would mean an informed public, the thing the ruling FOG fear most, because that could lead to an outbreak of democracy.
The ruling FOG have already shown brutality to Occupy Movement protesters from sea to shining sea through their bribed lackeys in government, out of fear that citizens might hear a second opinion. Their mass media people have belittled protesters, saying they don’t know what they want, despite what protesters want being very clear to objective observers.
The protesters want the psychopaths who run the nation on behalf of those who invest in the psychopaths who run the transnational corporations to back off and allow a bit of democracy and freedom. It’s really not hard to see if these mass media “journalists” would stop kissing powerful butt for a minute and open their eyes.
Jack Balkwill edits LUV News, a free daily “beyond corporate media news and opinion” email you may join here. He has written for publications as varied as the little-read English Honor Society’s Rectangle to the millions of readers USA Today.