Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

As TPP Opposition Soars, Corporate Media Blackout Deafening

Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership—dubbed 'NAFTA on steroids'—is receiving unprecedented popular opposition and nearly no news coverage by major outlets

Jon Queally

Last week, more than 550 groups, representing tens of millions of individual members, signed a letter to members of Congress urging them to vote against a push by President Obama for 'fast track' authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a so-called "free trade" deal now under negotation between the U.S. and eleven other Pacific rim nations.

The week before that, another 50 groups launched an energized online campaign called StopFastTrack.com in order to kill the deal—also dubbed "NAFTA on steroids"— they say "threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet."

But if you watch the evening cable or broadcast news shows, you might not know anything about the TPP—not what it is, not why Obama says it would be good for the country, and certainly not why these hundreds of public interest groups, environmentalists, economists, and labor organizations say trade agreements like this are the source of economic and labor woes as opposed to the solutions for them.

According to a new study by Media Matters, over the last sixth months the network evening news shows—including ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS—have ignored the TPP almost completely.

After reviewing transcripts of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelly, ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams from August 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014, Media Matters found no mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Not a single one.

The PBS Newshour did only slight better by having one guest mention the TPP on exactly one occassion when a representative for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argued on the show "that approving the TPP would improve relations with Asian nations."

And the evening cable news shows did little better, with just one show on MSNBC—The Ed Show—offering any routine coverage of the issue while CNN mentioned the TPP only once during the six-month period, and FOX News making no mention of it at all.

Though the nations involved in the talks, as Media Matters notes, "account for nearly 40 percent of the world's GDP and 26 percent of the world's trade," it seems odd that the pending trade deal is receiving so little corporate media coverage even as the amount of opposition it's receiving is so widespread among those trying to promote a more democratic, progressive, and more visionary trade paradigm.

Then again, perhaps it's not odd at all.

___________________________________________________


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Wall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib: Report

"Imagine spending $1 million to oust Rashida Tlaib instead of organizing in Detroit to make sure Michigan goes blue," quipped one progressive group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Can Do Better' Than Biden's Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

The president's approach, said the New York Democrat, is "just enough to anger the people against it *and* the people who need forgiveness the most."

Julia Conley ·


Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse

The U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority could soon "obliterate even the mildest of gun regulations in service of its gun lobby masters."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Enough Is Enough!': Thousands Protest Outside NRA Convention in Texas

"I'm just tired of the NRA subordinating children's rights for gun rights," said one gun lobby opponent just three days after the school massacre in Uvalde.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo