Friday, April 17, 2009

The Emperor Still Has No Clothes.


Not a stitch, -and it’s been a cold winter.
Not only has the king unwittingly put one over on the kingdom, he’s about to die from the inarguable, non negotiable reality of his exposure to the elements. It’s a shame really, to be the face of a conspiracy, a scam, a racket, and still pay the consequences.

Who is the king? Actually there are several that I’m referring to. I’m talking about the monarchs who create and obfuscate reality. I’m talking about the transnational businessmen who own the news, Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi, GE et al.

Rupert Murdoch and much of the country have been wondering why newspapers and the news media in general are failing and losing audiences. It’s not just the Internet that is pulling eyes away from news papers and TV. The generational exodus away from news networks reflects the fact that few people trust monolithic, unilateral news coverage and the news brands that deliver it anymore. Ever since Sidney Lumet directed “Network,” (a movie that Glenn Beck has referred to often of late, without a hint of irony or self awareness,) Americans have known their news is bought and paid for by corporations who only have dollars, and their own PR in mind, not the facts, not the things the citizenry needs to know to make decisions.

I don’t believe what I see on TV is the objective truth, do you?

It’s a fantastic turn of events where corporations sponsor a news network with ads, or buy it outright as in the case of GE and NBC news, and go from investing in the manipulation and control of information, to making money off of the audience they are defrauding at the same time. Whether I like it or not, part of my Cable subscription goes to Fox News.

Fox News is not a news network anymore than I’m a reporter.

If they were online exclusively, Fox News would be identified easily as a partisan Blog. Only on television can News Corp.’s charade of opinion and conjecture be promoted as “counter-bias” or some such nonsense. The dwindling of the mass market news audience is due in large part to erosion of said audience’s trust in single branded sources and there’s a silver lining in there somewhere I suppose, but let’s face it, real news, investigative news, that actually discovers life changing information, costs real money. All the Blogs in the world don’t add up to one night of PBS’s Frontline, or one New York Times investigative piece or Wall Street Journal financial article.

The news media oligarchs, be they identifiable individual media despots like Berlusconi in Italy, or faceless transnational corporations, are responsible for the devaluation of the news media properties they purchased and now manage.

So while the news media owners debase the purported mission of broadcast and print journalism for their own ulterior motives and gains, strangely they are also scratching their heads wondering why the advertiser pay for audience model is disintegrating; as if they were blind to the effects of their own exploitation.

The owners of the news are puzzled by everything collapsing around them, like an old man too frostbitten and savaged by the winds to realize he stepped out into the cold without anything on… an old man too proud to listen to someone telling him he has no clothes on… too proud in fact, to admit a mistake.

-SJ

5 comments:

BurrDeming said...

I like the far right media outlets and wish them a long life. I think they are unintentionally responsible for the incredible shrinkage of the Republican party.

Jack Jodell said...

I share your concern and outrage over the pathetic state of our media today, SJ. Burr Demung, though, has a very valid point about the far-right media helping to destroy its political arm, the GOP. I used to become extremely angry with FOX "News", but of late, I have taken to view it like "pro" wrestling: noisy, fake, full of manufactured spectacle, and of no lasting value whatsoever. What really concerns me, though, is the concentration of major media outlets (TV, newspapers, and magazines) into the hands of only six major conglomerates. We are getting a corporatist and often conservative slant on the news we get which dummies it down and brainwashes us into believing there is only liberal and conservative, or Democrat and Republican. There is no real examination of facts and background. What we get instead is conflict and spectacle, and opposite sides arguing. We never get a truly progressive voice or viewpoint to consider. When, on cable or network TV, for example, is the last time you ever heard Naomi Klein or Amy Goodman speak? Never, you say? That's my point. A huge amount of relevant, vital info is being withheld from us by the media. I don't think most folks are aware of it totally, but they're getting bored with the same old corporatist crap. We cannot afford a stupid and uninformed electorate, or we'll end up with another George W. Bush. I would advise everyone to start watching LINK-TV and the BBC for a more rounded perspective on national and international events.

SJ said...

@BurrDeming
Hard not to agee with you there BD. I still worry that there will be less and less investigative reporting overall in America. The amount of money and resources a news entertainment outlet like Fox News devotes to not reporting the news is apalling, and as much as I watch MSNBC, I am suspicious of the influence of their corporate owners on what gets covered and what goes unreported. News Analysis pieces seem to outnumber the actual news itself.
-SJ

SJ said...

@Jack
I'm in absolute agreement. Fox isn't news and by the way LINK TV is great.
Sadly re: Amy Goodman?, she is doing all of their jobs... and getting arrested for doing it. It makes it hard to criticize China's anti-free press stance when someone as non confrontational and ethical as Amy Goodman gets arrested and detained for covering protests.
It's really News analysis that needs to be supplanted or replaced by more actual reporting and information.
I mean... how is it that the PBS news hour covers more of the country's important events, with more detail, clarity and nuance than all of the Cable news outlets combined, -when they're only on for one hour mondays through fridays, and not 24 hours a day like CNN or MSNBC?
It's crazy.
-SJ

Jack Jodell said...

SJ, more accurately, it's corporatism in action. Every time I listen to CNN's John Roberts or John King I want to puke. I think both belong over at Fox. Perhaps the reason they're not already there is that they're sneaky and low-key and not blatantly Republican enough. Cable 24/7 news is shallow, far too repetitive, nowhere near broad enough in its coverage, spectacle or entertainment driven, and one-dimensional. It is about 2% of what it could and should be. We are being short-changed badly by our current monopolistic, corporatist media!