What the Corporate Media Isn’t Telling You About The TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP as it’s more commonly known, is a public health disaster waiting to happen.

According to leaked documents, the proposed trade deal, which I like to call the Southern Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement - SHAFTA - would extend patent protections for drugs made by Big Pharma to prevent rival companies from making generic version of those same drugs. This a huge deal.

For hundreds of millions of people all over the world, generic drugs are a cheaper alternative to the more expensive drugs sold by Big Pharma. So if the TPP goes through, real live breathing people (Doctors Without Borders estimates about half a billion of them) will effectively lose affordable access to the medicine they need to survive. And that's just one small provision of SHAFTA - pretty much every major industry in the world has their own little honeypot in there.

The TPP would also let corporations sue countries in international courts owned and run by corporations, with judges handpicked from corporate law firms. In other words, if a corporation doesn't like a regulation, or thinks it'll diminish their profits, they can sue your town, state, or our federal government over it - and that would gut environmental and financial rules without any input from “We the People” or our elected representatives in Congress.

Considering what’s at stake here, you’d think that the media would want to fill its broadcasts with wall-to-wall TPP coverage. I mean, half a billion people losing access to life-saving drugs just so Big Pharma can boost its profit margins? Corporate controlled courts? That’s ripe material for a primetime special!

Apparently, though, the mainstream media could not care less about the TPP or its disastrous effects on public health, the economy, and the environment. According to Media Matters for America, during the 17 month period between August 2013 and February 2015, only one nightly network news show, PBS Newshour, mentioned the trade deal - and they only mentioned it just eight times. ABC, CBS, and NBC didn’t mention the TPP once.

Cable news stations did a little better when it comes to TPP coverage than their network counterparts. According to Media Matters, Fox So-Called News and CNN each talked about the trade deal once and MSNBC talked about it 71 times. But those 71 mentions were mostly on one show, The Ed Show, and because MSNBC is only available by premium subscription, most Americans never watched Ed Schultz talk about the TPP.

The mainstream media’s complete and utter silence on one of the biggest stories of the year, maybe even the decade, is shocking but not all that surprising. That’s because when it comes down to it, the mainstream media - which is really just the corporate media - want the TPP to happen. They want the TPP to happen because the TPP tightens the screws over copyrights so that they can have profitable controls over content. And they want the TPP to happen because, as giant transnational corporations, they want to be able to sue governments over regulations they don’t like.

This is one of the great ironies of American society. For all the very real protections our Constitution provides for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the actual media aren’t all that good at telling us what’s really going on. Profits and ad revenue get in the way of that, you know.

What does this mean? It means that we need to look towards independent and alternative media sources for news, especially when it comes to issues like the TPP that affect the bottom line of the giant corporations that own CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, or any of the other big media players.

The mainstream media will always stay silent on stories that interfere with their ability to make money, but that doesn’t mean we have to. So call your two senators and your member of the House of Representatives and tell them to just say "No" to SHAFTA/TPP and to the Fast Track authority that'll be necessary to shove this terrible deal through congress.


oneworldatpeace's picture
oneworldatpeace 8 years 17 weeks ago

It seems that under TPP China can build a Factory in the USA with foriegn materials and LABOR, ignore all Codes, Electrical, Plumbing, structual or ENVIRONMENTAL Regulations, Staff the Factory with FORIEGN WORKERS! USE ALL THE WATER THEY WANT! POLLUTE THE LOCAL AREA ALL THEY WANT! and, when the plant blows up and kills people, THERE WILL BE NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT?

because our sovereinity has been sold out along with our human rights, just like Marx proposed as the ultimate result of capitalization.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 8 years 17 weeks ago

Because the TPP is being negotiated in secret, it's probably a lot worse than the leaks suggest. And the leaks indicate it's a horrible agreement. The only thing I've heard on the major news outlets is that we need the TPP so that we can compete with China and Russia. Only on alternative news--Common Dreams, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower's Lowdown, Daily Kos, Flush the TPP, Citizens Trade Campaign, Public Citizen, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Crooks and Liars, 350.org, etc.--will you hear or read about the horrors that the TPP will visit on the middle class.

People need to do several things: (1) contact their congressional representatives and get on their tallies as being against the TPP and against fast-track trade authority, (2) spread the word far and wide and don't assume that contacting senators and members of congress is a lost cause, (3) start listening to and reading alternative news sources, and (4) join a demonstration in their area if one is available or start one if they can. I believe that Popular Resistance and/or Flush the TPP has a map detaiing demonstrations around the country.

ezwriter's picture
ezwriter 8 years 17 weeks ago

Thom, you are bringing up issues daily that by themselves are tragic. As you put together this puzzle of atrocities, are you beginning to see a pattern? If you think that there may be a bigger picture agenda behind all this, you may have hit the nail on the head. Chemtrails, aspartame, fluoride, GMO's, possible economic/banking collapse, Shall I go on? Okay, wars created to steal land and resources, banking bailouts, suspicious deaths of whistleblowers in the 1000's over the past few decades, TPP, the patriot act, half of our bill of rights being denied, shall I go on? The list is endless, and if you read about the Georgia Stones, Agenda 21, depopulation agenda, UFO disclosure being denied, you almost have to come to the conclusion that these issues may all be connected, and then you have traveled far enough down the rabbit hole to realize that some very powerful people/corporations have been pulling the strings for centuries.

The travesties and injustices you write about are for the most part being perpetrated by the same entities, in order to gain full control over the masses, and to dumb down society. An apathetic and ignorant public is much less likely to unite to demand change, and to throw these war mongers out of office. Time to WAKE Up people!!!

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 8 years 17 weeks ago

I did find an article in the Washington Post responding negatively towards the TPP.


I have recently written to my representative in Congress Blaine Luetkemeyer, and Senator Clare McCaskill. This would be the second email I've sent to Luetkemeyer asking the Congressman to reconsider his support for the TPP.

I did start a forum thread to anybody interested in Thom's forums. In the forum, I've posted the response that I receive from Rep. Luetkemeyer, and it is all about support the TPP. I was hoping others would include their letters to my forum post, so we could compare and contrast the different responses. I will provided the link below for anybody interested in this project.


I've also written a couple personal blogs on the subject of the TPP and TTIP with source links provided with my blog post.



Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 8 years 17 weeks ago

The news media networks mentioned are a few of what I used to call the "Seven Headed Dragon." In California, that would be channels, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13. Of course they are members of the bigest corporations that are sucking the life out of the United States with their propaganda and favoritism for the bought and paid for criminal politicians within our government, (which seems hardly like our government anymore) along with anything from big pharma to big oil. Yes, folks, the people of the U.S. are in big trouble, and the only thing that whips up on big money is a big F-ing civil war. If things keep going the way they are, that is the inevitable future we will have to look forward to.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 8 years 17 weeks ago

Another step toward the creation of a Fascist system.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 17 weeks ago

Advertiser driven media will never discomfit its clients, big business, also because they are big business themselves and are equally invested in the common undertakings of big business.

The treaty is kept secret because, of course, the people are not to discover this monstrous crime. In the early 2000's there was similar secrecy about FTAA and when Lori Wallach's people were able to lift the text of it and get it on the internet. Then it was all over. The treaty was immediately scrapped.

It is such an egregious robbery of all the people of those regions of the world that it couldn't ever be passed without absolute secrecy. Even legislators can only view the text by special permission and then can't take notes or pictures or even talk about what they were able to glimpse of it in the short time they are allowed to view it. (I'd like to know by what authority they are forbidden to know or speak about it. Aren't they the highest authority in the land?)

The provisions of the treaty and the rules for passing it are illegitimate as they are without anything near adequate consent of the people and any disobedience regarding either, by the citizenry or legislators, would be justified.

What would be needed is to get the word out about it, something of the way of how FTAA was exposed. The big business, corporate media, of course, will be of no help.

The mainstream media needs to be discredited to the public. It's amazing how many people still believe in it, believe that if it's said in the mainstream media it must be true and if it's not it must not.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 17 weeks ago

Mark S -- Where is Ed Snowden or Anonymous when we need them? My request to them is to "get hacking".

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