Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Corporate News Purveyors

Pay no attention to the corporate entity behind the curtain!!

Here is an ARTICLE about the rise of the corporate media and what it does to the collective "we".


...But Big Media doesn't answer to a foundation. It answers to Wall Street, and to the demands of the market.

Many of those demands are well documented and often decried: The dumbing down of political discourse, an increasing emphasis on pictures instead of words, a lack of critical thinking, and putting profit before journalism.

"ABC News reporters were not able to go anywhere near the war in Afghanistan," Lapham said with some exaggeration, but ABC's parent, the Walt Disney Co., hired Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to make a 13-part series on the war "with the full cooperation of the Pentagon."

"The media always wants to reduce it to a fairy tale," he said. "You can't tell the difference between the war in Afghanistan and 'The Fellowship of the Ring.' Even the names are similar."

Lapham is most dismayed that he has been accused of being unpatriotic, when he isn't. "In a democracy, the most valuable quality is candor," he said. "Democracy works best when people try to tell each other the truth. That's not what we've got. We've got a lot of cant."

Lapham once considered himself a centrist, but said the center has moved so far to the right that he's now seen as liberal. Still, he believes the notion of a liberal media is "a canard . . . utterly a straw man as far as I'm concerned."

The right wing wants to "blame the wreckage of the culture on a few university professors," Lapham said. "The people that have (wrecked the culture) -- it's the (Rupert) Murdochs of the world. Those are the people who say, 'Whatever the market will bear.' The market doesn't think. The market isn't a cultivated person. It's a ball bearing. It will go immediately to what sells. That's what wrecks the culture."

Lapham offered some examples. He used to contribute to "Travel and Leisure Golf," which was edited by a friend of his, Jim Gaines, the former editor of Time magazine. Gaines tried to give the magazine a literary bent, Lapham said, assigning work to writers like George Plimpton, John Updike and Chip McGrath.

But American Express Publishing, which owns the magazine, said the profit wasn't high enough, he said. "They dumbed down the magazine," he said. "Now it's like Golf Digest. It's about your swing. Gaines is gone and it's a whole different game plan."

There are those that will stop reading this article when they see from whence it comes...the San Francisco Chronicle. This negative, gut reaction is in itself a testament to the power and effectiveness of the propaganda campaign to scape goat all things "liberal" of which San Fransico is supposedly the Mecca of sorts. Things that come from San Fransisco are somehow inherantly flawed in the minds of many these days. Review the recent campaign to somehow prevent Nancy Pelosi from becoming the Speaker of the House. She was characterized as a "San Francisco Liberal"- which is as far as I can reckon supposed to be an extremely deranged and virulent species of "liberal" and the harbinger of the End of Days. To me, she's just another politico from another city in the U.S.

I myself when discussing an issue have been encouraged to "just go ahead and move to San Francisco" where I'll find lots of people who agree with me and we can all just cavort and dawdle in our own little delusional universe til doomsday. Doomsday, by the way, will not be long in coming, according to these folks- and will also be brought to us because of the cultural onslaught and scourge of liberalism and the "liberal media". These remarks are often followed with a smirky expression that indicates that the person who has made them assumes that the debate is now over, the final, crushing, ultimate retort having been delivered. I say that this is a perfect example of how the discourse in this country unfortunatly including the Churches has been poisoned by characterization, generalization, inuendo, short cuts to thinking and flat out balderdash.

Another example would be how subjects like air and water quality, topics every human has a responsibility and a stake in, are simply squelched by tossing around catch phrases like "tree- hugger" which is by now a term with household recognition...any mass marketer's dream accomplishment.

I have said before, with every attempt to not sound arrogant and condescending like those who offend me- myself so much, whenever somebody starts trying to tell me about the "left- wing media" I quickly conclude that this person does not know enough about the workings of media or perhaps even human nature to be discussing the topic in the first place.

Simply put, the media is controlled by those who finance and own the journalistic and entertainment production mechanisms and outlets of dissemination. These production and distribution mechanisms are driven by the profit imperative and fueled by advertising dollars. Do the math. Follow the money trails just like the Yellow Brick Road. You will come to the same conclusion that Dorothy came to in Oz when she discovered the "Wizard" behind the curtain pushing pedals and buttons and yanking levers.

When I converse upon these subjects, some people don't seem to grasp the idea that I am not defending the integrity of the media and trying to say that the media does not skew reality. This is just not so. What I am trying to convey is that they are right in being suspicious of the media, but, the idea that the problem is in the political liberalism of the media is simply not supported by solid evidence or a working demonstrative model of how the so called "liberal media" operates. The thesis that I am working from does in fact have a solid basis of evidence as well as a flow- chart- like working model of how it works. Sure there are liberal voices and personlities and agendas and anecdotes working within the media complex. This however, does not by any means validate the idea that the entire media complex is all geared to the same left leaning worldview. In fact the evidence suggests that if anything the truth is closer to the opposite.

Here is what was said elsewhere in the blog, which I stand pat on:

The "Left Wing Media" is a mythical construct of propaganda and is actually a profit-generating arm of the corporate machine that is ironically more associated with big business and "conservative" interests.
The consumerism and hedonism you see on T.V. and the in the movies has NOTHING to do with political liberalism or conservatism for that matter. The endless parade of decadence and materialism that flows out of America is a well oiled marketing machine- selling more cars, fast food, soft drinks, fashion items, video games and tabloid sensationalism to consumers by stimulating them with ever-more provocative imagery and false needs.
Big business and corporatism is responsible for the America's image abroad and her spiritual condition- not political liberalism or Democrats. Follow the the math...its really simple.

One thing that the author of this article asserts is that he reckons himself to have been a centrist that moved so far to the right that people consider him a liberal. I have felt the same way for years. When one criticizes the existing order, which is in this case the "conservative" propaganda campaign, they are often castigated as "liberal" just because they are speaking critically of "conservative" assertions. Nowadays, all one has to do to become a liberal is to refrain from singing the praises of conservatives, dare to question them or, God forbid, challenge them on any matter. I don't think I need to elaborate on how counter- productive and yea even dangerous this trend is. It has gotten so bad, that I no longer insist that I am actually a conservative in these discussions. I have come to the conclusion that the definitions of conservative and liberal have become so muddled, confused and overused that the whole conservative/liberal debate is pointless, meaningless and an impediment to everything we need to be trying to accomplish as a community if people with common interests.

If you think about all of this instead of simply repeating ideas that have been repititiously served up by other people with agendas for you to interpret media data in a certain way- you will likely come to the same conclusion that I am offering you here.

There are plenty of other entries in this blog that point up examples of what I am talking about. There are also some good clips and educational materials linked. If you click on media related tags at the bottom of this entry it will take you to other ramblings and educational spots on this topic.


Starrider said...

I feel the personal need to re-iterate why I seem to be stuck on these types of subjects...

In my mind I imagine some folks that will see a post like this one and fail to see the "geo-theological" narrative that I am working from.... fail to see the connection to Christianity...
I want to say something about that. I was watching something on CBN last night.
There was a guest on the show...the lady from Lebanon who wrote the book "Because They Hate" about radical Islam. I had some thoughts that I believe connects the dots on this.

Here's the deal;

We can all agree that upon the nature of things spiritual and carnal...things
we can change and things we cannot.

In my own view, which seems very simple and kind of obvious to me myself, when we can simply dismiss ALL of the problems of the Middle East as being rooted in a bunch of crazy, suicidal fundamentalists, and that we (the "Christian" nations) are the sort of innocent, virtuous bystanders- and that the Middle eastern world simply hates us for ONLY religious motivations - we are blinded and missing something vital in understanding not only the conflicts- but ourselves as a nation, ourselves as representatives of Christ within that nation, the World, the enemy as in the REAL enemy and his game etc. Sure, there is an obvious connection with the conflictsto the radical Islamic view about those of us who they consider to be infidels. We are often encouraged by voices in our own society to listen and take seriously what radical Islam says on this. They are correct. However, we should also listen when they list the litany of grievances they have that have triggered these movements. I will dare to say that although I would never legitimize or condone killing innocent people with bommbs (that goes for us too)- they do have some legitimate beefs with us. if we simply refuse to acknowledge or adjust those items then we cannot even begin to hope for reconcilliation and peace.

Osama himself, when it was suggested to him that his group simply hated freedom and democracy and that is what motivated them, chuckled and said, "Go and ask your President why we didn't attack Sweden then."

That's a good question to start with to get at what I am saying with ALL of these posts.

All this is why fact, truth and perception really matters. If we simply continue to make charicatures out of these problems and not confront our own worldview and not look in the mirror throught the eyes of the adversary

I believe that all of this this subject matter cuts right to the heart of nearly everything about our lives, the zeitgeist we live in and the MEANING OF IT ALL... theology...GEOTHEOLOGY if you will.

If you ever saw that movie the Matrix...I have even made references to it here- I regard all this the same way... When you see through the guises, the pretenses, the masks and the games...the MATRIX... you understand the Enemy... suddenly you understand God, you understand life, you understand purpose, you understand more fully what salvation is...what we sare saved from... the value of it and you also understand the Redeemer more fully.

Maybe I am out on a limb by myself on this- but that is where I am trying to
take PEOPLE...not the government...PEOPLE. I am not simply trying to bash
the (R)'s.

I got into another long conversation with a friend of mine the other day who
was kind of ribbing me about the "Super Christian" pose of the blog. I explained to him very lucidly that Christ himself as well as the Apostles and many of the early church leaders were persecuted and/or killed for saying the same sorts of things that I was writing about. They were considered as an element that would weaken the defensive posture of the nation and lead to the "nation" being overpopulated with those who were unwilling to fight and kill for its interests when they were not percieved to be what their God desired and then overrun by its enemies. The truth is that the World runs on the fuel of fear and domination...and when us Christians refuse to engage on those terms and refuse to compromise...we are percieved as a serious threat. The problem is that when we don't refuse to participate we become a tool of the infernal...we become part of the REAL problem.... and the problems are never solved.

Now my friend there is a guy that was raised in Church and then turned away from it
during the rise to power of the Christain Right and the Falwells and Robertsons of the world. Here is a guy that believes in Jesus- but could not stand "Christians"...or what he percieved as Christians...for many years.

The conversation made a serious impression on him....he said he'd never heard anyone say what I was saying...and in fact he has silently believed
the same way for quite some time.... He is also thinking of going back to Church and re-discovering his faith. I feel good about that- not only because my friend is re-awakening to the call of God in his life- but that I am not out on a limb by myself on this understanding of the world as well.

Starrider said...

The leftist media theory is a myth. I have begun to understand that the whole conservative-liberal debate is useless and the terms are meaningless. There is no left and right - just authoritarian/wordly and more authoritarian/wordly. There is left and further left and right and further right so that they both really fall in approximately the same position on the dial I encourage my fellow men, Christians and citizens to climb out of those respective boxes and become discerning human beings again.