They say that a nation gets the government that it deserves. If that's the case, our nation that seems to consist of apathetic voters who drown their thought processes in “reality” shows and other idiotic mainstream media offerings is definitely getting what it deserves, corporate owned government! Many people base their voting decisions on the quickie soundbites and surreptitiously corporate backed political ads they see on the evening news programs. They believe that nonsense because it is repeatedly drummed into their thick skulls by a mainstream media that is an integral cog in America’s corporate/government complex.
In the “good old days” when fairness and diverse sources of information were protected by government regulations, basing your vote on information gleaned from TV newscasts wasn't that much of a danger to our democracy. However, these days it's almost guarantees that our choice of any given political candidate or vote on any given issue will be corporate America’s choice. The electeds of BOTH parties created this situation years ago when the Fairness Doctrine was decimated by the Reagan administration and the Clinton administration's Telecommunications Act Of 1996 watered down The Communications Act Of 1934, letting a few mega-corporations own most of the broadcast outlets in the USA. Translation, this is a self-perpetuating mess created by BOTH parties!
The only way that we are going to escape this chicken/egg situation is to get every American to use the internet as a primary source of information about every candidate and every issue. Those of us who routinely use the internet as a primary source of information about our world should educate everyone who uses the mainstream media as their sole source of information. If we can teach our friends and family to use internet tools like Google to crosscheck each and every bit of corporate propaganda that is palmed off as “news” by the mainstream media, we're well on our way to getting our country back!
If you happened to watch most of the network and local TV news coverage of the One Nation March On Washington, you probably noticed several massive distortions of the truth. The most glaring and most prevalent out and out LIE came from several broadcast "journalists" who stated or implied that the One Nation March was hastily done in reaction to the Tea Party rally that was fielded by a certain right wing talk show host one month earlier. Correct me if I'm wrong, as I recall, the One Nation March was announced in early spring (in March, I believe) of 2010, probably planned way earlier. The second major distortion of the truth was the inevitable crowd size comparison between the September march and the One Nation March, there was none because the One Nation March had double the crowd size! Finally, we had to subject ourselves to the glib remarks implying that the the purpose of the march was to shore up support for a Democratic Party that is desperate for help in November. Hello mainstream media, the One Nation March On Washington's purpose was to unite working people, the unemployed, the middle class, the poor and fight for their interests! The march wasn't a mere pep rally for the Democratic Party!
We have a couple of ways to fix sloppy journalism, be it intentional or otherwise. We can call the offending station's news department and demand that the "journalist" in question be given a course in remedial journalism 101 where he or she will be reminded of the meaning of the five W's of journalism. We can call the offending TV stations and tell them that we are going to boycott their sponsors until they clean up their act. While those methods provide immediate personal satisfaction, they only fix a small part of a widespread problem.
The only way we can fix the distortions and undue political influence that is rampant in the broadcast media is to contact our electeds and demand that they enact modifications to the Communications Acts. similar to the Fairness Doctrine, etc. that empower the FCC to enforce equal, fair and undistorted broadcast journalism. As a broadcaster, I know that biased and slanted reporting in some segments of the mainstream media can literally change the results of an election by what is said or not said about a person or issue. We're talking about a future of our democracy issue here! If you can distort how you report the news, are Federally licensed to use the airwaves, a natural resource that is owned by every American and on loan to you to be used in the public interest and are big enough to influence enough potential voters, you should be subject to regulatory oversight. We the people can no longer allow you to hijack the truth on behalf of a few corporate interests!
If you carefully analyze the past few years, you will notice that the broadcast media has an undue influence over everything from the spawning of a new "movement" to who gets elected. Do you thing the fact that almost all large broadcast operations are owned by major corporations matters? What's all this talk about the Fairness Doctrine? To find out, visit my Listen Here! page.
The Stench Usually Comes From The Mouth.
In this case, the head I'm referring to is the real power behind our government, our corporations. The mouth is none other than our beloved conservative radio talk show hosts, with a little help from much of the broadcast news media. I look at it this way, our corporations have armies of lobbyists that get our elected officials to do their bidding. That leaves the corporations with one difficulty, we vote those same elected officials into and out of office hopefully based on how they handle issues that are important to us.
The corporations know that they can always rely on the media, also run by major corporations to help them sway the ignorant masses out there, otherwise known as ordinary people like you and yours truly. They know that, since they buy most of the advertising on the broadcast media, they will probably be handled favorably in the newscasts. Once in a while, into each corporation's life, a little rain must fall. For the health insurance corporations, that rain took the form of healthcare legislation.
“Lucky” thing for the insurance industry that conservative radio talk show hosts “decided” to fight for their cause. If there was a corporate medal for services above and beyond the call of duty, a number of those talk jocks would be wearing them on their fast food stained radio station tee shirts. Those conservative talkers did nothing less that help to create a pseudo-populist movement, fondly referred to as the teabaggers, those delusional people who were actually brainwashed by the previously mentioned talk loudmouths into believing that protecting the interests of America's health insurance companies is the patriotic thing to do. Their toxic teabag talk has, in some cases, caused the less hinged of their audience to get worked up to the point of violence.
So there you have it, our country is under the control of a corporate two-headed hydra: One head controls our elected officials with it's lobbyists, nothing like a few bucks to smooth things out.
The second head controls the voter with misinformation and fear. The cure for the problem is to bring back the Fairness Doctrine* for starters. We have to re-regulate the broadcast media to wrest it from it's current corporate de facto monopolistic state. I will be discussing that and more on my next show, until then, keep the faith.
*The Fairness doctrine stated that broadcasters were obligated to provide equal time on controversial issues. That would effectively restore our media to being the free and open market place of ideas it once was.