Class Warfare Blog

September 3, 2013

The Corporate Takeover of the Media

Some have doubted that the news media (TV, news, etc.) have been “taken over” by corporations. They admit to there being a concentration as fewer and fewer corporations own media outlets, but to the conclusion that what gets passed on to us as “news” is controlled by corporate interests, well that is just a step too far for them.

They are wrong.

I have been reading a book covering the politics during the years 1939-1941, that is focused upon the how we ended up being fully invested in World War II. In 1939 the country was almost exclusively isolationist. Just before Pearl Harbor, which obviously changed everybody’s minds about something, the country was leaning interventionist. Part of that transition involved the story of the FBI trapping a small, possibly sole and definitely rather inept Nazi spy ring. German intelligence never had a major presence in the U.S., but the federal government at the time, trumpeted loudly and clearly about the German Fifth Columnists and the spy network of Nazi Germany, even though they knew it was not true because they were shaping public opinion to support the decision they wanted to take. This was neither the first nor the last time the federal government deliberately lied to us to get us to “democratically” support some decision they wanted to make. I am sure you can come up with others with little effort (Gulf of Tonkin incident, etc.).

What astonishes me is that with so many reports of people lying to sway public opinion, it seems impossible to run a democracy this way (as a democracy, anyway).

In any case, the news media are completely under corporate control because . . .
1. there are many opportunities to investigate (journalistically) the failings of the federal government to do what is right in the minds of the people.
2. the corporate and monied interests have won “the game” and like things exactly as they are. I have written a great deal about this. Any law the monied interests want changed, gets changed with a small expenditure of funds (bribes). Their profits are at record highs, union membership at record lows, etc.
3. the Republicans and Fox (sic) News can come up with nothing better than faux scandals to have hearings about and to trumpet about on their opinion shows (Bengasi, the IRS, etc.)

So, there are real scandals and lies being told and we hear nothing of them because the corporate interests like the status quo and don’t want the apple cart upset. So, the number of real investigative journalists has been reduced to nonviability and real issues are shrugged off because faux scandals serve as well as real ones. When “news reporters”/politicians trump up a faux scandal and the idiocy of it is exposed, do you end up with more or less faith in your government? Less, you say? And whose interests does that serve?



  1. Ain’t that the truth. The sheer avalanche of shit i see everyday coming through the NYT’s network is astonishing. It’s garbage on top of garbage. I


    Comment by john zande — September 3, 2013 @ 10:13 am | Reply

    • (Shit, fingers hit something and it posted before i was ready. Let’s keep going…)

      I’m in their network, have superuser privileges (wohoo!) and could delete every article if i wanted to. That, or change every single one. That’d be fun, and the thought has passed through my mind more than once.


      Comment by john zande — September 3, 2013 @ 10:17 am | Reply

      • Don’t go all Edward Snowden on me! I like being able to converse with you. (Do they have email in American prisons? Does Brazil provide reditioning services for the U.S.? Hmmmm.)

        Besides not being able to buy a newspaper that has news … not of the Kardashians … one harly knows from whom one can get decent news. I find more and more often that news a I can trust comes from Reuters or the Economist (or as we call ’em in Texas: feriners).


        Comment by stephenpruis — September 3, 2013 @ 10:23 am | Reply

        • Ha! Sadly, all i could do, if i wanted to, was change every electronic article. Problem is, what to insert? It’d have to be the most important article ever, or the opportunity would be wasted. But seriously, i’m tempted to just delete an awful lot of the crap i see. Journalism just ain’t what it used to be. The Guardian is doing OK, though…


          Comment by john zande — September 3, 2013 @ 10:28 am | Reply

          • I am going to check out online subscriptions.


            Comment by stephenpruis — September 3, 2013 @ 11:03 am | Reply

            • Isn’t it free?


              Comment by john zande — September 3, 2013 @ 11:22 am | Reply

              • Apparently so. There was a subscribe button and I signed up and I’m in! I feel a little like Groucho Marx, though, who didn’t want to be a member of a club that would have him as a member. Imagine what the numbers would be if political parties charged $10 per month for their services, i.e. to be a member? I will pay a reasonable fee for a digital newspaper, but $10 per week for the NY Times is a bit much.

                Now our magazine is priceless at $32 per year (including access to all back issues!). Now that’s a bargain!


                Comment by stephenpruis — September 3, 2013 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

                • That is actually a very fair price for a custom mag. How’s your ad sales? (not after figures, just ballpark appraisal)


                  Comment by john zande — September 3, 2013 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

                  • Our ad sales, when we went all digital, went to $0, then the recession killed any willingness of advertizers to advertize at all. The loss in ad revenue was offset but the reductions in printing and mailing costs. Currently we are making do advertizing our own products in the hopes that things will improve later. It helps that the entire staff (me) works for free.

                    Here’s the latest issue, for your edification.



                    Comment by stephenpruis — September 3, 2013 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

                    • Where?

                      I reckon you could land an easy revenue stream. Specialty products are the easiest to sell around. Hate to say it, but you should target survivalist groups. I’m researching the Christian groups right now, and they are a hungry (cash-spending happy/insane) crowd. Bullets wont last forever, and that leaves just the trusty bow.


                      Comment by john zande — September 3, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

                    • I had never thought of the survivalists as a market. Unfortunately it violates our first rule. We do not allow even a whiff of using a bow and arrow as a weapon to be used against other people. We work with a lot of youth groups and there would be no way to destroy the sport faster than have a plague of youngsters shooting other youngsters. Imagine pacifist archers!

                      So many countries have outlawed bowhunting that one of our editorial policies is that we do not show pictures of dead animals, even though we do have occassional bowhunting columns (which are really about the bow and not the hunting per se as there are scads of actual hunting magazines around).

                      So, while survivalists look to bows and arrows as hunting tools, they also look at them as defensive tools, which kind of sets them apart from what we are trying to do.

                      A recent scientific survey has shown that there are a great many more archers than were originally estimated (millions!) and we have just a few thousand subscribers, so the problem is not necessary enough people to pitch but finding a way we can afford to find and pitch them.

                      Thanks for thinking about this and offering your ideas! I will think on them some more.



                      Comment by stephenpruis — September 4, 2013 @ 8:46 am

  2. I can’t really tell the difference between the average ‘newscast’ from an NFL pre game show except the sport is different and they fire the incompetents on the NFL shows.


    Comment by Yngwie F Malmsteen (@YngwieFM) — September 18, 2013 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

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