Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fake News?

Media outlets that Western elites refer to as “independent” really are not independent.  They are major corporations with inherent conflicts of interest that both determine their output and allow them to peddle it widely.

The most-watched news channel in the US, for example, NBC, has been owned by one of the world’s biggest nuclear weapons manufacturers, and does not like to publicize this or its many other conflicts of interest, even though they might be of some interest to viewers.

But one might argue that we could still call corporate media businesses independent since at first glance they appear to at least be independent of government.  We would have to admit this would be a sneaky move because it would still attempt to downplay the corporate conflicts of interest, but let’s see if it is even accurate to say corporate media are independent of government.

The owners of these corporations are some of the wealthiest people in the US (and world), and as major studies out of US Ivy League universities have amply documented, US government policy is determined not by the US population, but by people in the top tiers of the income scale.  (Chomsky points out the US is “not a democracy, and was not intended to be.”)  So to claim that major corporations are independent of government is also misleading, since major corporations, to a very large extent, are the US government.

Not only do their owners exert major influence over government policy, but people from the highest points in the media corporations also continually cycle between the corporations and influential positions within the government.

Further, as has been amply documented by many journalists including Carl Bernstein, this corporate government clandestinely collaborates with top media corporations to further regulate their output.  Bernstein quotes William B. Bader, a former CIA intelligence officer, who divulges that “[y]ou don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are Agency people at the management level.”

Thus, it seems a bit of a stretch to call the major US media corporations “independent” in any sense of the word.

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You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison