If there ever was a time when the public received unbiased information from a “free press,” that time is long gone. As a former (occasional) political reporter, I can tell you every word you read or hear about politics is “spin.” Your only hope of obtaining relatively untainted information is to watch C-Span and make up your own mind.
The government – every government everywhere – should require media outlets to fully identify their reporters and commentators. They should have to list the writer’s or commentator’s professional credentials and background, educational credits, political affiliation, religion – even stock ownership. The public would then be better able to “consider the source” in processing the information provided.
Fortunately, most voters tend to follow their own biases and prejudices. They turn to political “news” and commentary only to reinforce those prejudices. And they regurgitate “talking points” and “buzzwords” picked up from the pundits only to give their own ideas more appeal.
In the words of 17th Century English poet Samuel Butler: He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still, which he may adhere to, yet disown, for reasons to himself best known.
If voters were more malliable, they would be herded like sheep by the propagandists of the corporate-owned media. And that means the “neo-cons” would rule the world. We would probably have gone to war with Iran by now, and American troops would remain in the Middle East for generations.
That’s right. Conservatives control most of the media, not liberals, despite what you may have heard about “the liberal bias” in the press.
For some years now, ownership of the media has been consolidated in a few ultra-powerful hands. Today’s press is controlled by giant corporations like Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, the Rupert Murdoch empire and General Electric. You can Google your favorite “news” source and find out who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. Trust me: You will be surprised.
Naturally, the CEO of Time Warner does not phone Wolf Blitzer and tell him what to say on CNN. But over the past several years, the owners of the media have systematically placed like-minded executives in key positions that control the flow of information to the public. I won’t bore you with a raft of examples. But haven’t you noticed a trend toward recruitment of “conservative” columnists and on-air commentators lately?
The New York Times is a “liberal” newspaper, right? Yet, a few months ago the Times hired columnist William Kristol, one of the most prominent neo-cons in America.
The son of Irving Kristol, a founder of American neo-conservatism, William Kristol was chief of staff to Secretary of Education William Bennett in the Reagan administration and to Vice President Dan Quayle in the senior-Bush administration. He is also editor of the Weekly Standard, a strident voice for militarism and neo-colonialism abroad and the reversal of social programs and democratic rights in America.
Kristol is not the only “conservative” at The Times. The newspaper’s chief foreign columnist, Thomas Friedman, was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the war in Iraq, and David Brooks consistently churns out right-wing propaganda in support of the occupation.
The Times still has some “liberals” on its op-ed page – Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert and Maureen Dowd, for example. But I see fewer and fewer of their columns in our local (Lakeland, Florida) newspaper, which is owned by The Times.
What in tarnation is going on? Politics, as someone once said, makes strange bedfellows. The conservative right has acquired a new and extremely powerful ally – the Zionist Movement. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: all Jews are not Zionists and all Zionists are not Jews. Rupert Murdoch is not a Jew but he is reportedly a Zionist.
I cannot prove it, and I could be way out of line, but when I scrutinize media ownership I come to the conclusion that Zionists control much of the media. That might explain the anti-Obama media bias that was reported recently in an independent study.
Obama is far less likely than McCain to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” or keep American troops in Iraq for a hundred years. And who benefits most by the presence of American troops in the Mid-East? Our ally, Israel. It seems to me that the Zionists would prefer a President who is unconditionally willing to shed American blood and deplete the American treasury to provide a bulwark for Israel than one who would try to negotiate a fair and just peace between Israel and its neighbors.