Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is Press Consolidation REALLY All That Bad?

At the Eschatonic Crack Den, today, the commentor named "pluege" posted:
US corporate media is the biggest threat to the United States.... If the democratic congress does nothing else, they need to break-up big media to lessen US corporate media's influence and to open the airwaves for competing information, i.e., the truth..

That's true; but the reason for this being true is not the obvious one...

I watched that Frontline special last night, which highlighted the true and greatest danger posed by the mainstream press is that it will decline more and more into youtube/myspace irrelevance; and its complete and utter fealty to the stock market in the meantime.

And the notion of proprietary, almost feudal entitlement that is manifested among and by the stock-brokers, managers, and investment gurus, around the stocks in which the market deals. They do not see themselves as instruments or conduits through which business is done; far from it. Instead they regard themselves as the "Owners" of the companies and corporations whose stocks they trade. This is a MOST unhealthy attitude, it seems to me.

The stock market, through 'analysts', is telling the nation's great papers to leave the big national news to the NY Times, USA TODAY, and WSJ, and concentrate on 'local' or even hyper-localism, and ignore the responsibility of the institution of the press to provide context for the events which they report. This will mean that the picture of the world available to most folks will become all the more tihtly controlled, and narrowly circumscribed.

Watching, I wanted to break some faces, watching that piece, all the smug self-satisfaction oozing outta those smooth, greasy faces, botoxed, groomed and polished, with their practiced, condescending smiles and their empty, corpoRat eyes...

And with their monomaniacal focus on 'the bottom line'.

The Bottom Line: that's the danger, and when we hit it, it'll squash us all fucking flat...

This is because, as the FL piece repeated endlessly, the news stories picked up and distributed so pervasively and profusely by the web mainly arise from reporting done by newspapers with a national/international constituency, and a couple of international news services. It does not take a genius to realize that CorpoRats have decided that the profligacy of news is not in the best interests of profitable corpoRat governance, and so they have devised a scheme whereby, under the strictest accountability scheme of all--cost accountancy--they can root out and silence all those voices that have so hectored against their excesses for the last century or so.

Did YOU realize the LA Times made 20% return on investment last year, and was S*T*I*L*L not deemed profitable enough?

The danger represented by corpoRat/market hegemony to every and all aspects of the life of the people, the nation, and finally the whole fucking WORLD has seldom stood out in more stark relief than in the NewsWars, part III.

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