Help wanted: Large, powerful nation needs media that's not sold out

The "liberal media" line bleated out by Conservatives like so many Orwellian sheep has always perplexed me. They will fight you tooth and nail on Exxon making $40 billion a year in profit because "that's what corporations are supposed to do, that's capitalism." Yet when it comes to the media, they seem to have this unshakable belief that the corporations running the mainstream media are hellbent on destroying the U.S., profits be damned. It's senseless and stupid.

Currently, our mainstream media is so dreadfully bad, so corrupt, that it's actually starting to border on criminal. And today, it appears some in the media are starting to sheepishly come out of hiding to let the world know that their corporate overlords have been using them as puppets for some time. First, ABC's Jessica Yellin:

"The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.

"And my own experience at the White House was that the higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives--and I was not at this network at the time--but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, I think over time...."

But then a shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, "You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?"

"Not in that exact.... They wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces," Yellin said. "They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience."

Then NBC's Brian Williams:

In Katrina the evidence was right next to us. Sadly we saw fellow Americans, in some cases, floating past, face down. We knew what had just happened. We weren't allowed to that kind of proximity with the weapons inspectors. I was in Kuwait for the build up of the war and yes we heard from the Pentagon, on my cell phone, the minute they heard us report something that they didn't like. The tone of that time was quite extraordinary.

And this adds to New York Times running a story the hidden ties between the Pentagon and the supposedly neutral military analysts, and how they all worked as one to foist the Iraq war onto the public, one interview at a time.

Expect to have Yellin's story die, much as the military analyst story has died. As Will Bunch said: "The response? The next story about this on NBC, ABC or CBS -- which normally take their cues from the front page of the New York Times -- will be the first."

These stories will die because the U.S. is a nation run by corporations, and those corporations aren't about to investigate themselves. The mainstream media is a farce, and journalism in the U.S. is only alive at the most local of levels.

Other than shake in anger and frustration, all I know to do now is to point you in a couple areas where level headed writers will explain it all better, and investigate those who should be investigating: Glenn Greenwald and Will Bunch.

If you'd like to add some other real reporters in comments that we should we watching, please do. Because I'm still an optimist when it comes to the U.S. I still believe things can improve and we can move away from a corporate-fascist state. But we can't do it with a media that is neither independent, nor competent.


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus