George Monbiot correctly observed in his commentary, A Televisual Fantasy, Americans do not live in a free society, they live in a corporate society. Simply put, there can be no real democracy if information is controlled, manipulated and censored.
The corporate decision to censor critical reporting is pushing millions of viewers off their TVs and on to their computers, which is ultimately bad for advertisers and business, and great for website owners, especially liberal website owners.
Regimes are not necessarily defined by a single despot or dictator. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOXTV, CNN: what the CEOs of these media corporations refuse to acknowledge is that in the process of censoring watchdog reporting, regarding the Bush administration’s policies, they are turning at least fifty percent of the population off to their networks. Millions of people are disgusted with the media programs from news to entertainment.
Large sectors of the population have had enough of the silly propaganda being aired as “news” over network channels. We’re not screaming from opened windows, “I’m not going to take it anymore!” as in the film, “Network,” instead, we’re just turning the TV off and using it only for viewing DVD movies. As for news, the fifty percent that voted for Kerry are turning more and more to the web for facts and critical analysis.
Think of the networks like restaurants. Suppose the networks limited their menu to greasy hamburgers and fries with absolutely no variation whatsoever. This is precisely what the network CEOs have chosen to do to their news departments.
The other night, just for the heck of it, I watched Brian Williams to see what he was reporting. I knew what to expect, but I had no idea that NBC was going to surpass my expectations! In Brian Williams’ "Road to the Inaugural," George W. Bush was transformed into an icon with his Evangelical worshippers saluting their great “moral” leader. Brian Williams practically fell to his knees in supplication. The editing was remarkable in terms of propaganda. Bush’s head was crowned in the center of the U.S. seal like a halo. And just below, the camera zoomed in on a Bible beneath Bush’s head. Ironically, a few minutes earlier, Williams announced that the “search for weapons of mass destruction is officially over” like an insignificant footnote.
With just this sort of ridiculous media adulation of George W. Bush, networks have forced educated skeptics to go elsewhere for the news. And that “elsewhere” is the web.
So who are the people that the media CEOs are catering to? Media surveys support the data that the 18-25 age group turn to the internet instead of TV. When asked what is more preferable: TV or the Internet, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, in a Youth Study 2004, 75% preferred the Internet to 15% preferring TV. Nightly network news shows are viewed regularly by 64% of people 65 years old or older compared to only 22% in their 30s and younger.
The Democrat-liberals are so turned off by the blatant propaganda, especially after this last head-rolling episode at CBS, they have shut off the network news with a vengeance.
The question remains: Who bothers to watch TV corporate news these days? Answer: The elderly, Bush-supporting Evangelical Christians. That means that the networks are fighting over a mere twenty percent of the conservative viewership. It seems like a stupid business decision – but I suppose the media cronies will go to great lengths to support their corporate leader, George W. Bush, even if it means cutting half the population out, i.e. American consumers who buy more products than the retired age group.
Guess who else won over the Evangelical Christians with total corporate support?
Hitler always considered himself a Christian and had the support of the mainstream "German Evangelical Church," which believed in obedience to state authority.
Besides being anti-Semitic, he was also anti-homosexual, anti-intellectual, anti-liberal and anti-color, and he worshiped the military and had total corporate cooperation. He said we should “regard Christianity as the unshakeable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation,” and wrote in “Mein Kampf,” “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” Sound familiar?
Christianity is being used, again, in an anti-Christian way. There are billions of corporate and political dollars invested in these lies, and by the time enough people of good will begin to see the truth, it may, again, be too late. (Korby Sinclaire, The Tribune; San Luis Obispo).
As for George W. Bush’s Inaugural, massive security patrol will cost tax paying Americans $40 million dollars. No protesters are allowed. $40 million dollars to protect Bush for one day could go a long way towards social benefits. Such unprecedented security measures come closer to a Regime, a Corporate Regime, than a Democracy. We can assume that only 20% of the Evangelical Christians will be watching Bush’s Inaugural. As for the rest of us: TVs off!
Jacqueline Marcus’ (firstname.lastname@example.org) editorials and letters have appeared in the Washington Post, Salon, Slate, CommonDreams.org, New Times, (San Luis Obispo, CA Cover story: “The Politics of Restraint”). Her poems have appeared in national university journals, The Kenyon Review, The Ohio Review, The Antioch Review and many more periodicals. Her book of poems, Close to the Shore, was published by Michigan State University Press. She teaches philosophy at Cuesta College and is the editor of ForPoetry.com.