Mainstream media

The press is supposed to ensure fair and open exchange of information and opinions, but in recent times it seems to be serving a contrary purposes – information filtering and message control. Paul Krugman uses his excellent blog at the country’s biggest newspaper to make this point in very direct terms. Simply put, by doggedly choosing representatives of certain viewpoints and ignoring others media easily defines what “mainstream” is rather than present it.

Another tactic frequently used is given one position on an issue they will present a competing viewpoint in opposition, spouting misinformation and flawed arguments, as if the two were equally valid and reasonable.

Trickery like this turns the media into a tool to perpetuate an agenda – all the more effective because it operates within a system of democratic rules. It’s a level playing field, but but one where individuals cannot begin to compete with concentrated wealth and power.

2 thoughts on “Mainstream media”

  1. This reminds me of the health insurance companies and pharma companies sitting behind the elected representatives at committee meetings in Washington DC with their check books at the ready. Any break with the mandate from these corporate powers = closing of check book. Not even PBS – local KQED – is willing to do a program on the direct corrupting power of these corporations paying to elect the person who will never give us single payer health care.

    If you check the campaign and lobbying reports you will find billions – yes, that’s with a b not an m – is given to the national campaigns and lobbying firms to prevent us from receiving single payer health care… and it is cheap.. they make billions and billions more when our employees (elected representatives) do as they have been recruited to do = keep health care/pharma corporations in control of care and medications. We lose, they win, thank your elected representative for representing their interests not those of the people they represent.

    Local representative Jackie Speier refuses to take a position on single payer telling her constituents at a local town hall “single payer will not win this year, Nancy Pelosi told me.” Well there you have it, she does not represent her constituents who have asked her to support single payer instead she does what Nancy P tells her to do. And we pay her a huge salary with excellent health care to leave us without. What a system, you can’t make this stuff up.

  2. Great example, and when both sides of the aisle submit to special interest control like this, voters are powerless to unseat them in our two-party system.
    This tactic of the media controlling the debate is used on the key issues of our times to perpetuate the status quo and suppress policies that are broadly supported by citizens. The Krugman piece was on economic stimulus policy where the only debate the press portrayed was to ask if it was too much spending, ignoring voices warning it probably was too little. But many more examples come to mind beyond healthcare as you state, which is a timely one: the bank or auto company bail outs (not doing so was declared “unthinkable” though no real analysis of impact was given); drug policy reform – the top question from the Q&A on this topic was laughed off by the POTUS, without giving a straight answer; the Iraq war – where was the anti-war side of the debate, or the position that WMDs might not exist? … and on and on.

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