Wednesday, September 9, 2009

THE RIGHTWING CONTROLLED MAINSTREAM MEDIA

I mean, why otherwise would the mainstream media give so much attention to extreme rightwing fringe lies and fantasies.

The excuse is that the news thrives on "controversy." They kept referring to Obama's speech to school children as "controversial" and his attempt to reform our healthcare system as "controversial." No. The war in Iraq was controversial. More people demonstrated against it around the world than ever before demonstrated against anything in history.

But they were hardly covered by the media until the tide of public opinion turned and could no longer be denied. Yet a very tiny minority with paranoid fears about Obama infecting their children's minds and turning them into mind controlled robots has to not only be covered but become the main story of the week, while a huge majority of parents polled had no objection to Obama addressing school children as Reagan and Bush Sr. and other former presidents have.

I hated Reagan's agenda: the breaking of unions so working families could no longer afford college for their children or even a home without both parents working and maybe even each working two jobs etc. He created the whole "homeless" problem. What used to be a few "hoboes" and such before Reagan, under Reagan became entire families living in their cars etc. And so much more (the use of torture in the whole Central American debacle, as has recently come out in the released CIA papers).

But there was no outcry from the left against Reagan speaking to schoolchildren, even though he pushed his rightwing agenda and fantasy version of reality. There was no outcry about Bush Sr. boring them to death. But a man who overcame great odds, unlike the Bushes or even Reagan for that matter, to accomplish incredible educational achievements and even become president, an example to all our kids of how perseverance and commitment and hard work can help you rise above the obstacles life throws in your way, no, that's too much for children to hear.

The story should have been to investigate the sources of these objections (false rumors and lies etc. from the usual rightwing suspects). But nope.

Not even to mention the stories being ignored by the media while this nonsense goes on. Here's three that I haven't seen mentioned and which are more important than anything else the media is wasting time on lately:

1. Water. There's a great documentary I caught on the Sundance channel the other night (called FLOW) about how several major corporations are basically taking control of the world's fresh water and selling it back to us while degrading and destroying the environment. It's heartbreaking. And it's been in the works for a while, as many of us know and have already written about. Internationals like Vivendi and Suez, American corporations like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestle's. All of them finding the sources of fresh water, whether in Michigan, India, Africa, etc. They end up digging wells so deep they deplete the local sources of fresh water and then they pollute what's left with the waste from their water treatment and bottling facilities etc. impoverishing what were once thriving rural communities. And they've gotten together and formed some kind of world water counsel to set the rules, in which all the main players have major stakes in these corporations! They'd bottle air if they could and make us pay to breathe.

2. Just one year ago the world economy had broken down so thoroughly, most economists were predicting the worst economic downturn since The Great Depression with the subsequent consequences. Now, most economists agree that the steps taken by especially the Obama administration with the stimulus package and the saving of several financial institutions (the Bush attempt is a little more iffy since the results cannot be calculated because much of the money they handed out is unaccounted for at this point). What was an unemployment rate above 25% in the Depression, has been kept below 10% so far, and even if it goes to the expected 10%, it will still be a miraculous turn around given the circumstances just twelve months ago. Had McCain been elected and allowed to do what he was suggesting at the time, there is no doubt things would be so much worse everyone would recognize what we have now as a blessing in comparison. Let alone if the last administration was still around. They're the jokers that created the mess in the first place.

3. Oh and speaking of the above, has anyone seen the media cover the story that the U. S. treasury has "turned a profit of some $4 billion from eight large banks that have settled their debts—an annualized return of about 15%—and payments from other companies could add billions more" (according to Time). 15% in this economic climate! You might find this stuff in print or on the web, but on the mainstream TV news shows, nothing. Barely a squeak, but they go on and on about the current "controversy" made up entirely by rightwing propagandists who strategize this stuff into existence solely for the purpose of destroying Obama's presidency and returning the Congress to Republicans so they can do what they did the last time they were in charge: lead us into unnecessary wars and death and destruction (including of our reputation) and the almost total annihilation of the economy (not just here but worldwide!), not to mention torture, invasion of privacy, and complete corporate takeover of the government (and yes I know that even with Democrats in power, though not with an unbeatable majority, corporate power still rules much of DC, but already a lot of the excesses from the previous eight years have been reversed by Presidential orders and new legislation).

11 comments:

JIm said...

Reagan and Bush 1 addressed the children but did not have the "Dear Leader" touch of sending out a recommended study course including, reading the Obama biography and addressing a letter to Obama on how the children could help him. That was dropped after the conservative outcry. I addressed a letter to my children’s school addressing concern that they would interrupt academic classes to hear his speech. They emailed all parents advising that the speech would be shown during last period which is a study period. Parents or children could opt out. That seemed like a perfectly reasonable approach. Unfortunately the school took my letter of concern, before the Obama curricula had been pulled, as an opt out and James and Shannon were pulled out. Oh well. It is available on line if the want it. By the way, there was not only an outcry after the Bush 1 speech by Dick Gephardt and the Democrats, there was a congressional investigation. Obama over came odds and received a great education. To bad that he is standing in the way of Washington DC children who are equally deserving as he and his children are to receive a great education. He sided with the Democrats and the teachers union to deny vouchers to subsequent grades of inner city children. What a hypocrite!

The Depression had a double dip in 1937 when FDR raised taxes and tariffs. The high unemployment continued until the draft and the war. Obama and the Democrats war against American business most certainly is delaying and maybe preventing a normal recovery. The US dollar is a good barometer of the health and world confidence in the US . It took $1.29 to by a Euro in late April this year. It now costs $1.45. Put another way the Euro has appreciated 12% against the dollar in four months. It should not be surprising that his job approval has cratered.

One has to be easily impressed, when turning a profit on 4 billion is announced and trillions have been spent.

“Let alone if the last administration was still around. They're the jokers that created the mess in the first place.” (Mlally ) Speaking of Jokers, never mind, I won’t go there. I would hate to get deleted.

JIm said...

Right Wing controlled mainstream media is figment of your imagination. I think of mainstream as NYT, Wash. Post, LA Times, CBS, NBC, ABC and their cable affiliates. Of those, not one is right wing. I wish some were balanced but that is just a wish that is unlikely to be fullfilled. Fox is balanced. Their news coverage is center to possibly slightly right. The commentary other than Geraldo and Greta is right. I forget who the night time right wing commentators are on CNN and MSNBC. Maybe you can share their names with us.

tom said...

Fox is balanced? What fantasy world do you live in? Fox starts the day with the Fox and Friends and follow through with Republican talking points hour after hour. Glen Beck is balanced? Sean Hannity is balanced? O'Reilly is balanced?


And if Fox has the largest viewing audience aren't they mainstream.

JIm said...

I said the straight news is balanced like Shep Smith. Most of commentators are on the right. Geraldo and Greta are on the left, though lately Greta seems to be seeing the light. Also on most of the commentator shows you get the left's opinion as well as the right. It is rare that you get the right's opinion on the network shows.

harryn said...

as usual, i agree with most of what you're saying michael and less surprised by mr. jim's twist on reality ...

1. water - i'm not surprised by the big biz strategies - it will be the new liquid gold - like "chinatown" - and your bottled air is probably prophetic - there's already an industry on air purifiers, resorts that tout clean air, and 'clean' rooms for those who can afford them ...

2. the 08-09 broken economy as the result of eight years of bush economics - actually, its broken 'vision' - the right doesn't have a plan - rather, they play into a broader, twisted scheme of darby dispensationalism - had mccain won we'd be in a third world war by now and all these concerns about economy, healthcare, corruption, etc., would be given up to a pro-patriotic national will to answer to a higher calling to the 'end times' led by the palins of the party ...

3. pay-back; been going on since two months after obama took office - a pretty quick turn around of national will and retreat from the bad boy behavior in board rooms - just long enough for the threat of retribution to pass and a way to figure out another back door to implement high profits - oh, and all this 'controversy' stuff in the media is a great smoke screen for business and greed to continue undetected for a while - what ever happened to the big bonus scandals ...

i differ in opinion on this idea of 'controversy', and the media's fixation with it -
to some extent its true, but there are only so many colors in the spectrum and a limit to the variety of human behaviors ...
the media has moved from the sublime [truth, cronkite, etc] to the ridiculous ...
when controversy becomes ordinary you have to look for the 'outrageous'- that's what the media and rightwingers have been doing - and they take their lead from their point men: limbaugh, beck, palin, hannity, etc.- if they get away with it, apply it ...
just like joe wilson's outburst at the presidents speech last nite - if it would have worked, it could have turned into an unprecedented free-for-all and wilson would have turned out to be a hero in the republican party - which i'm sure the talking heads will make it out to be - a historic tea party event ...
or like when jim makes his comments - the more outrageous, the more you look - like a morbid preoccupation with watching the horrific ...
news media has turned into an industry looking for the 'outrageous' - and look who runs it all - big business - there's times i flip on the five, 24 hour news stations and all i have is commercials, personalities, or a furor of arguments ...
cronkite said: "i have a deep aversion to conformity - i look for the story, not the story line" ...

t.p. said...

Dear M:
Great post. The ways is which the media are complicit with the crazy right can’t be emphasized enough. Of course, the media are corporate-owned, so it may be hopeless to expect much truthful reporting from them.

One further point on Reagan: like so many rightwads pretending to be patriots, Reagan was in fact a traitor. He negotiated with terrorists holding U.S. hostages, and did so behind the back of our government and commander-in-chief.

TP

Lally said...

Just want to add that maybe I didn't make it clear, but the influence of the rightwing antics on what the media covers isn't just that many of the corporate leaders and frontmen are rightwing and the corporations that own much of the media, no matter what the politics of the actual reporters themselves, but that if the rightwing says jump they jump. Any antic the right vomes up with (and Paul you're so correct about if that South Carolina politician had gotten others to join in he'd be a rightwing hero and the media would be giving him equal time to the president) is not just covered bu moved to the forefront as the most important news topic, whereas there are plenty of leftists on the outer fringe of that end of the spectrum, and even liberals more in the center, who constantly bring up subjects and raide objections to the corporate takeover of our lives and government etc. and the media ignores them (the water example) etc. It's like the demonstrations in NYC during the Republican convention in 2004. Some of the biggest the city had ever seen, with at least more arrests than the city had seen in decades and decades, including police brutality, etc. and innocent bystanders injured etc. It wasn't even mentioned on most of the major news shows, or just refereed to in passing. Whereas a handful of rightwing nuts can show up at a rally and they're the top news story of the day. Nuff said on this subject for today.

JIm said...

tp
I am unfamiliar with this accusation. Possibly you could illuminate.

"One further point on Reagan: like so many rightwads pretending to be patriots, Reagan was in fact a traitor. He negotiated with terrorists holding U.S. hostages, and did so behind the back of our government and commander-in-chief."

Mike Lally Quote
"of the corporate leaders and frontmen are rightwing and the corporations that own much of the media, no matter what the politics of the actual reporters themselves, but that if the rightwing says jump they jump."

I believe Jeff Immelt and GE is excellant example of corporate ceo pulling the strings of its liberal media underlings Chris,Keith, Rachel etc. This was expressed in a recent GE corporate memo saying that their coroporate interests were much alligned with the current political power group. ( I paraphrase) I am not aware of anything comprable on the right.

By the way South Carolina politician got it right. The president was lying about abortion, illegal alliens and the cost of the program.

Obama has said "Screw You" to Tea party, town-hallers and Republicans. He is going exclusively with his Looney Left supporters. Hopefully the vote will be held after the November vote in NJ and VA which holds the possibly of good Republican victories. Blue Dogs may get the message if that happens.

Loyeen said...

Mike,
I rarely comment, but this time I have to. I e-mailed Jim the information about how our twins’ school was going to show Obama’s speech during activity period. I thought that would be enough to calm him down, but instead they were embarrassed in front of their peers while being taken out of class. (Thanks Jim!) They were two of the three students pulled (by the way there are over 1100 students in their school.) On the other hand I watched the Obama speech with all of my sixth graders. My daughter and son now feel that since they were not allowed to watch the show with their peers, they do not need to hear the political media in our household. How sad is it that we have republicans that can make jokes about Obama and Hitler, but yet would not want them to watch their own President with their classmates. Isn’t it time to move forward with history and not backwards? “Oh well!” Is a response we hear daily in our household from Jim. I love your blog and am finally happy to put my American Flag in front of our house. Thanks- Loyeen (a.k.a Jim’s wife, proud democrat.)

JIm said...

Thank you, My Love. I look forward to dinner so that we may speak of cabbages and kings. Oh well, my way with women has been somewhat unique.

Lally said...

And thank you Loyeen.