The River

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

It's the media, stupid

I know you're getting sick of this. I am too, and had pledged to myself that I'd write about something else this week, but I keep running across these pieces that eloquently condemn what our media is doing.

So here's your snippet. Tomorrow I'll have something, tomorrow I'll post about Venezuela, which I learned a bit more about by going to see the documentary "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." How's that for something different? Actually, it won't be a bit different. It all comes back to the media.

Ok, here ya go, from The Scream by David Podvin. Wait, you need to know that, as Podvin informs us, "On December 1, 2003, Howard Dean was ahead by twenty points in the polls when he appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews and said, 'We're going to break up the giant media enterprises.' "

Now then...:

In a dictatorship, the tiny minority of well-armed people maintains absolute power by intimidating the vast majority of unarmed people. In a democracy that is populated by citizens who get their information from a few greedy companies, the tiny minority of well-informed people maintains absolute power by manipulating the vast majority of misinformed people. When you control what people think, there is no need to point a gun at them.

In recent years, corporations have dramatically increased their power at the expense of the average citizen (and with the apathetic complicity of the average citizen). Big Business has evolved from merely being a vital part of society into being master of both the political system and the means of communication. As a result, the boundaries of the national debate are now defined by the interests of the Fortune 500, and the malefactors of great wealth have become increasingly brazen. Americans used to laugh at banana republics, where the ruling elites are so shamelessly debauched that judges go on duck hunting trips with the politicians whose cases they are scheduled to review, but it doesn’t seem quite so funny anymore.

After the last presidential election, the corporate functionaries on the Supreme Court overrode the will of the people by empowering the man who had lost. It was an awkward procedure, so the process has been refined. In 2004, the mainstream media is rapidly disqualifying all the candidates who fail to honor the business agenda, thus eliminating the need for another controversial judicial intervention.

Howard Dean’s campaign now lies in ruins because he chose to confront the multinational conglomerates that run this country. If Dean is so resilient that he fights his way back into contention, the Fourth Estate will be ready to batter him again. In the United States of America, people who pose a threat to the reigning corporate establishment are destroyed. Or, as the Soviets used to put it, emotionally unstable individuals who deviate from the party line are guilty of engaging in “self-destruction”.

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