Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Feature: The Media in Amerika

NOTE: The following is a feature 'work in progress' which we will be updating on a semi-regular basis.
In this indispensable Robert Parry essay from Consortium News (April 20, 2005), the decades-long project by the Right to take over America's newsmedia is detailed. Some excerpts;
In the mid-1970s, after the U.S. defeat in Vietnam and President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal, American progressives held the upper-hand on media. Not only had the mainstream press exposed Nixon’s dirty tricks and published the Pentagon Papers secrets of the Vietnam War, but a vibrant leftist “underground” press informed and inspired a new generation of citizens.
The Right concentrated on gaining control of the information flows in Washington and on building a media infrastructure that would put out a consistent conservative message across the country. As part of this strategy, the Right also funded attack groups to target mainstream journalists who got in the way of the conservative agenda.
The Left largely forsook media in favor of “grassroots organizing.” As many of the Left’s flagship media outlets foundered, the “progressive community” reorganized under the slogan – “think globally, act locally” – and increasingly put its available money into well-intentioned projects, such as buying endangered wetlands or feeding the poor.
Meanwhile, through the 1990s, the conservatives poured billions of dollars into their media apparatus, which rose like a vertically integrated machine incorporating newspapers, magazines, book publishing, radio stations, TV networks and Internet sites.
As the 1990s wore on, mainstream journalists adapted to the new media environment by trying not to offend the conservatives. Working journalists knew that the Right could damage or destroy their careers by attaching the “liberal” label. There was no comparable danger from the Left...Once five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a state-court-ordered recount and handed Bush the White House, both mainstream and conservative news outlets acted as if it were their patriotic duty to rally around the legitimacy of the new President...The protect-Bush consensus deepened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as the national news media – almost across the board – transformed itself into a conveyor belt for White House propaganda.
So there you have it. Since the fall of Nixon, the right has poured billions of dollars into the creation of a monolithic media apparatus, while the liberals have wasted their time and money on foolish projects like feeding the poor and saving the planet.
There is no mystery as to why the right, the GOP and their corporate sponsors are doing this. Nixon's downfall was not due to the vigilance of the Constitutional 'checks and balances' of the Congress and Supreme Court. Nor did the FBI or the CIA lead an investigation leading to Nixon's demise. In fact these entities acted as willing co-conspirators and can probably be relied on to conspire with whoever occupies the White House, the bootlicking attack dogs of their political masters. No, Nixon fell to the aggressive actions of an independent press that, like the White House tape system, no longer exists.
Only a miracle or a mass uprising of an enraged public will dislodge the current criminals from their place of power. (..To be continuously expanded.)

Related Posts:
The Truth About the Mainstream Media
Olbermann Nails It
The Path to Truthiness
That Damned Liberal Media
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