We saw the spokespeople come on the air on all of the news programs. We saw them lie. We saw them exaggerate. We saw them make excuses and interpretations for their candidate that were shameless, baseless and entirely false. We saw the media give them a pass over and over again, tolerating this behavior and “fair balancing” the interview. A truth telling surrogate would be brought in from the other side and the liar was treated as a plausible equivalent.
The hosts pretend like these on-air exchanges end in ties or stalemates, when it is clear that one party is lying their ass off. They leave these issues for another day of mattress stuffing for their new cycles, where no side is completely off base and where they can string these topics out ad infinitum, as if there is no clear answer to the disputes. In short, they deceive the public because is serves their business model.
We saw them conclude these exchanges with some stupid comment like, “This is a close race among two candidates who have high unfavorables with the public.” Similar to the climate change debate (though rarely is this a serious campaign topic to be covered) the media pretends like there are two equally legitimate sides to the argument, when, in fact, only a few bought and paid for carbon “scientists” do the denying.
The media likes arguments and horse races. It sells air time. It keeps the new breaking 24/7, like the never ending sales at cheap retail stores. But, since the corporatization of the infotainment industry, we have been fed highly filtered news. News which doesn’t offend paying advertisers like the carbon industry or giant pharma. For example many of us know that BP has been an irresponsible corporate *uck up. They spend millions on advertising (seemingly trying to improve their image). The basis for that advertising—first and foremost—is to get the network to lay off of them or they will take their advertising $ elsewhere. And that works. When was the last time you saw a story on the big shows about the continuing fallout from the Gulf oil spill?
Just like these media opportunists led us to the current presidential tragedy, they are steadily leading us to the brink of the consequences of global climate change. For the most part, they pretend like there are reasonable disagreements about the science--another horse race designed to never get to the bottom of things, but rather to keep the contenders neck and neck.
Likewise, we don’t hear about how Obama Care was poisoned by the Republicans from the outset. First by keeping a big profit margin in the program for the health care industry. Second by taking away the subsidy for many who need it and thereby forcing an increase in premiums. Therefore, we have the headline that premiums have increased significantly. No real analysis about what can be done to fix it, but tons of uncontexted coverage about Republicans who say “We told you so.”
The bottom line is---and we could go on example after example—you cannot trust corporate media to help bring truth to public discourse. It turns out that they consider that to be someone else’s job. Their only job is ratings and advertising revenue. Pure unabashed profit motives.
So they put on their shows covering the election with high minded background music, with the expectation that they could play this game right up to the end and squeeze every last dime of revenue out of it. This is no more than a game of chicken using our country as a prop. The faces we see are talking heads who have been told by their bosses that truth and resolution are the enemy of a solid revenue stream, that background research and preparedness are luxuries that have no place in the budget, that calling liars out in real time could result in their “shows” being boycotted by the politicians. Simply put, they are news whores.
We need to support alternatives to this scam and get programs like Thom’s in the spotlight where there can be alternatives. We are losing this battle if we don’t find ways to counter the present Tox News standard. That business model is going to kill all of us.
Meanwhile, I will continue to fly my flag at half mast in mourning for our country.