Big Media: One; The People: Zero

news cycleWell, last Tuesday’s elections went almost as predicted by Big Media. I say “almost,” in that even though the Democrats got creamed in the House races, they managed to barely hold onto the Senate. All year, Big Media were pretty much salivating over seeing a repeat of 1994, wherein the Democrats lost both the House and the Senate to the Republicans, a blowout many attributed to so-called liberal “overreach” on the part of then-President Clinton’s administration.

Aside from the Republicans, the corporate media were big winners in this year’s turbulent mid-terms. This election was the most expensive non-presidential election in history, with $4 billion spent by candidates. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, independent groups were able to anonymously bankroll an onslaught of political advertising on behalf of mostly Republican candidates.

And Big Media was there to cash in. Hundreds of millions of dollars from political spots went right into the coffers of television and radio stations and cable outlets across the country. It’s no wonder that political pundits paid little attention to the corrosive effect all this advertising – much of it deceptive – had on the outcomes of the electoral races. The media barons would no doubt be the biggest obstacles to an effort to require all political advertising be free.

The corporate media is primarily interested in boosting ratings by pumping up the horse race between the Democrats and the Republicans. They are less interested in providing voters with accurate information about issues and candidates that the electorate needs to make sound decisions. Worse, we have radio and television outlets spewing propaganda 24-7, with no accountability demanded by advertisers or federal regulators. So what you end up with is a confused electorate, whose voting patterns give an unclear and distorted picture of what it is they exactly want from their representatives.

The profit motive, the quest for ratings, and false equivalency are killing the credibility and independence of the Fourth Estate in this country. They’re also killing our democracy. The mainstream media are largely to blame for a public that is increasingly ignorant and ill-equipped to make rational decisions about public policy.

Sylvia Moore

The wall between news and entertainment must be restored. Journalists must stop giving fanatics, lunatics and shysters equal weight with academics, scientists and other experts in various fields. It’s time for all reporters, editors, producers and publishers to stop the “he said, she said” stories, and start informing their audiences as to who is telling the truth and who is lying. Exposing lies is not “biased,” because the truth cannot be biased. The news must become a public service again. The survival of our democracy depends on it.

Sylvia Moore

Reposted with permission from the LA Media Reform.

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Comments

  1. John Lloyd Scharf says

    Your argument sounds like you want to suppress First Amendment rights. Exactly who is the fanatic we should suppress, if not you?

  2. Steven Earl Salmony says

    First, a warm “thank you” is extended to Emily Spence who accomplishes more in a few days of ‘spreading the word’ that I can in several years.

    **********

    It appears to me that people everywhere are going to have become more accustomed to discussing unchallenged scientific evidence of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth, despite conspicuous resistance to discussions of this kind. For a moment imagine that human overpopulation of a living Earth is like a live human organism with lung cancer. Please note that although it is exceedingly difficult to talk about “the big C”, it is much more demanding to speak out about the cause of the lung cancer: smoking tobacco products. Similarly, despite the challenges we have to speaking out loudly and clearly about the skyrocketing increase of absolute global human population numbers during my lifetime, it is much more difficult say anything about what might be causing global human population growth. Of course that brings us to human population dynamics and the science of Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel, indicating that human population numbers appear as a function of an available food supply for human consumption and that human population dynamics is essentially similar to, not different from, the population dynamics of non-human beings and organisms. Perhaps this is the last of the last taboos. The denial of the science of human population dynamics appears to me as one of the most colossal failures of nerve in human history. The abandonment of intellectual honesty, moral courage responsible action is unconscionable.

    One day human population dynamics will become a topic of open discussion, that is certain. Global gag rules will be eschewed rather than promulgated. When that time comes, I trust it is not too late to make a difference in the lives of our children. They are probably going to be inconceivably victimized because the Earth will have been unimaginably ravaged not only by the arrogance, folly and greed of their elders but also by our cowardice in the face of looming global ecological threats.

    Lester Brown reminds us now that “civilization’s foundation is eroding”. He and we pay careful attention to the distinctly human-driven symptoms of what ails us and report them everywhere; but when will we examine the possible causes of the ailment itself and report findings of what appears to be a non-recursive biological problem? If the human overpopulation of Earth is the problem, when is extant scientific evidence of human population dynamics to become the object of rigorous scrutiny, careful analysis and professional reports?

    Many too many experts possess scientific knowledge of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth, I believe. Rather than speak out, they have remained electively mute. They know and could do better; they have both the tools and the empirical evidence at their fingertips; they are abdicating their responsibility in raising awareness of the those that still do not yet see and understand the human-induced aspects of the global predicament looming before humanity.

    Many experts have had a multitude of opportunities to comment on human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth in professional conferences like those sponsored every four years by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population and in an array of speciality journals dedicated to human ecology, population biology, human demography, etc. The experts have uniformly refused. Their abject failure to respond more ably to the challenges presented to humanity in our time is woefully inadequate and inexcusable. It would be unfortunate if the silence of so many of the ‘brightest and best’ in my generation of elders was ever construed by the children as giving consent to this ignominous behavior.

    Thanks to all of you who comment now here for taking ‘the next step’ by accepting this opportunity to organize a discussion of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth. Sooner or later discussions like this one will have to occur openly in many places, I suppose, despite the fact that widely shared discussion of what looks to me like the very last of the last taboos is forbidden by the self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us, the ones who value money, power and position before all else and exclaim their dishonest and duplicitous ‘work’ is, of all things, “God’s work”.

    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/
    http://www.panearth.org/

  3. -Nate says

    Sylvia , you’re right of course, no amount of lying will change the truth so please , keep at it .

    I watched all the news outlets and they ALL said the repubs would win by a landslide .

    Follow the money was the watchword back when TV News really was honest news .

  4. Citizenrite says

    I wonder what media you were watching. Nobody was predicting the Republicans would take the Senate, except for Dick Morris on FOX News and he was constantly questioned. And I would bet you never watch FOX but get all your information from Media Matters which is obsessed with FOX News.

    As the races tightend toward the end nobody I saw was making that prediction.

    Pullyerheadout. It wasn’t the media that cost the Dems the election, it was Obama, Pelosi and Reid and arrogantly ignored the American people month after month. It was statements about the healthcare bill by Pelosi that they had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

    It was Obama, who now says it wasn’t policy but a communication problem. Well, half right. It was a communication problem but not the way he thinks. The Dems weren’t listening to the people, that is where the communication broke down.

    When you are young you simply don’t understand these things.

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