Rush Limbaugh---as loathsome as he is --is a tool, a media whore! The real power still resides in the media boardrooms and they just don't give a shit if every media outlet in America is run by a muzak machine or a raving lunatic like Limbaugh. They're in it for the big bucks and power.
Limbaugh's lies and misrepresentations would have been seen to be those of just another run-o-the-mill fringe nut job if the right wing had not succeeded in stealing what had been the publicly owned air waves! They did seize the media as the textbook first step preceding the takeover of legitimate government. The GOP and the complicit Rush Limbaugh conspired to benefit the very, very few --the ever shrinking 1 percent --which as a result now owns more than 95 percent of the rest of us combined. For the shrinking number of huge corporate media conglomerates 'public service' is just a quaint sop that over some twenty years, they've done away with completely.
Whenever Rush heard his masters' voices, he served them well. He rationalized and excused the new age of robber barons; he sugar coated 'greed is good'; he elevated Scrooge to sainthood: "Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons...then let them die and decrease the surplus population."
Tragically --much of Rush's power comes from cowardly, so-called 'Blue Dog Democrats' easily spooked by liars like Limbaugh and Hannity.
In conservative states, right-wing talk show hosts are spreading lies about reform. No wonder Blue Dog Dems are blocking health care overhaul....The Blue Dog Seven are spooked by pressure from their constituents and recent polls that show American's approval of Obama's health care initiative has dropped below 50 percent for the first time.It is bad enough that folk like O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh betrayed the nation with a concerted, orchestrated campaign --a policy of lies! It is worse that Democrats have either rolled over or bent over to take it! The public is likewise betrayed, stabbed in the back, by the FCC, the Federal agency that had been given the responsibility by law to represent the public interest but instead sides with the huge media moguls.
Drive across the seven states they represent: Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Utah, turn on your car radio, and you'll know why public opinion has changed. According to Pew research, 22 percent of Americans get their news from talk radio. And conservative talkers have been lying to their listeners about what's in the health care bill.
Lies from Sean Hannity like, "If you don't have private insurance the year that this bill is passed, you can't get that later on from your employer." Lies from Rush Limbaugh that the bill would "outlaw individual private coverage." Lies provided in talking points from the Republican National Committee like "Democrats are proposing a government controlled health insurance system, which will control care, treatments, medicines and even what doctors a patient may see."
Tell a lie often enough [Rush's motto and modus operandi], and people will believe it.--Limbaugh's Lies Sabotage the Health Reform Debate
Despite overwhelming public opposition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted time after time in favor of relaxing media ownership limits. housands of Americans have spoken out at public hearings and written to te FCC in opposition to media consolidation. In 2003, when Michael Powell's FCC voted --without any public input-- to allow one company to own up to three television stations, the local newspaper, the cable system and up to eight radio stations in one media market, more than 3 million Americans spoke out and the courts eventually overturned the rules. In December 2007, the Commission overturned a 30-year-old ban prohibiting a single company from owning both the local newspaper and a television station in the same community. The Senate subsequently passed a "Resolution of Disapproval," but further action stalled in the House.--Common Cause, Media and DemocracyThe result of FCC inaction or incompetence has been the de facto theft of the publicly owned 'airwaves', your airwaves, the 'airwaves' that the Communications Act of 1934 said belong to you --the people --as a principle of law. The use of the term 'de-regulation' to characterize the government theft and subsequent transfer of your airwaves is 'Orwellian', a tactic intended to hide the real intent. And we have let them get away with it! If you have checked the price of air time lately, you must surely know that this theft has been worth billions, possibly trillions!
The truth is the government of the US, dominated by the endemically corrupt right wing and the organized crime syndicate called the GOP, literally stole your airwaves and transferred ownership of them to right wing liars and demagogues like the Fox Network, Sinclair et al --big corporations where the likes of Bill O'Reilly and other right-wing shills had merely to wag an accusing finger while shouting "LIBERAL, LIBERAL" to sink a candidacy or --earlier --impeach the most competent President since FDR.
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,Reasonable, rational voices are simply drowned-out by the right wing noise machine consisting of the Religious Right and the K-Street advocates of big corporate financed fascism --a mind-numbing 'hell's broth' if ever there was one.
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.--Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)
In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In his 4th edition, published in 1992, he wrote "in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media" -- controlling almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation.In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth.--Media Reform Information Center, Links and Resources on Media ReformThe following just in subsequent to Big Dan's comment [below] having to do with media consolidation.
WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says.Why should Rush Limbaugh, for example, be paid millions for puking up lies and loathsome opinions on airwaves that by right and by law belong to YOU? So ---what, in fact, happened to the American media?
The report, written in 2004, came to light during the Senate confirmation hearing for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. received a copy of the report "indirectly from someone within the FCC who believed the information should be made public," according to Boxer spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.
--Media ownership study ordered destroyed, FCC draft suggested fewer owners would hurt local TV coverage
After Nixon's demise, the right wing of the Republican party decided that they could no longer afford to allow the free dissemination of information to the US public. The simple solution? Have their friends buy up the major networks, newspaper chains and magazines, so they could be controlled from the top on the corporate level. The Left's Media Miscalculation was to stand by and watch them do it."The American Fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist, the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."-- Henry A. Wallace, Vice President to FDR, 1944 --The Danger of American FascismHaving wrested control over the channels of public information, they went on to remove any impediment to their injecting their poisons into the public dialogue. The first step was to get rid of the fairness doctrine.Under FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler the FCC began to repeal parts of the Fairness Doctrine, announcing in 1985 that the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated the First Amendment.In 1986 the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a loose interpretation by the FCC of an aspect of the Fairness Doctrine, ruling that Congress had "never made the doctrine a binding requirement." In August 1987, the Commission abolished the doctrine by a 4-0 vote, in its Syracuse Peace Council decision. The FCC insisted that the doctrine had grown to inhibit rather than enhance debate and suggested that, due to the many media voices in the marketplace at the time, the doctrine was perceived to be unconstitutional.In the spring of 1987 Congress attempted to contest the FCC vote and restore the Doctrine (S. 742, 100th Cong., 1st Sess. (1987)), but the legislation was vetoed by President Reagan. Another attempt to resurrect the doctrine in 1991 ran out of steam when President George H.W. Bush threatened another veto. (Wikipedia)The next step was to further remove any requirement that a "news" show tell the truth. FOX and a number of other "news" organizations took it to court in an elaborate and complicated case that began in 1996 with an investigative report into the effects of a Monsanto product given to dairy cows called BGH. Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson were reporters at FOX affiliate WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. They produced a story that, while true, was not exactly friendly to Monsanto."The station was initially very excited about the series. But within a week, Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story. When they refused and threatened to report Fox's actions to the FCC, they were both fired."A wrongful dismissal lawsuit was filed by Akre, which she won.The jury unanimously ruled that she was only doing her job as a journalist by refusing to air “a false, distorted or slanted story.”FOX appealed, and the result was stunning. "During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves." On February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the settlement awarded to Akre. The Court held that Akre’s threat to report the station’s actions to the FCC did not deserve protection under Florida’s whistle blower statute, because Florida’s whistle blower law states that an employer must violate an adopted “law, rule, or regulation." In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly. Well, not wanting to resort to such an obvious pun, I am unable to avoid it. 'It is up to the station' sounds to me way too much like putting the FOX in charge of the hen house. [insert groan here] --SadButTrue, The Existentialist Cowboy
Fox Insists that it has a 'Right to Tell Lies'
- Just five candidates have been the focus of more than half of all the coverage. Hillary Clinton received the most (17% of stories), though she can thank the overwhelming and largely negative attention of conservative talk radio hosts for much of the edge in total volume. Barack Obama was next (14%), with Republicans Giuliani, McCain, and Romney measurably behind (9% and 7% and 5% respectively). As for the rest of the pack, Elizabeth Edwards, a candidate spouse, received more attention than 10 of them, and nearly as much as her husband.
- Democrats generally got more coverage than Republicans, (49% of stories vs. 31%.) One reason was that major Democratic candidates began announcing their candidacies a month earlier than key Republicans, but that alone does not fully explain the discrepancy.
- Overall, Democrats also have received more positive coverage than Republicans (35% of stories vs. 26%), while Republicans received more negative coverage than Democrats (35% vs. 26%). For both parties, a plurality of stories, 39%, were neutral or balanced.
- Most of that difference in tone, however, can be attributed to the friendly coverage of Obama (47% positive) and the critical coverage of McCain (just 12% positive.) When those two candidates are removed from the field, the tone of coverage for the two parties is virtually identical.
- There were also distinct coverage differences in different media. Newspapers were more positive than other media about Democrats and more citizen-oriented in framing stories. Talk radio was more negative about almost every candidate than any other outlet. Network television was more focused than other media on the personal backgrounds of candidates. For all sectors, however, strategy and horse race were front and center.
Americans themselves are largely to blame. Americans have a choice: they can either behave intelligently or they can continue to be stupid, easily duped by the likes of Fox, Limbaugh and less successful liars! Americans have a choice! But if Americans simply will not behave responsibly or as if they had more than two working brain cells among the lot of them, then there is nothing on the Existentialist Cowboy that will help!There is nothing democratic about a system inherently biased in favor of the "superstars" of big media --Obama, Clinton, Thomspon, Guiliani. There is nothing democratic about a system in which candidates like Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich are discounted out of hand, not because they are not strong on issues but because they haven't gotten benediction from the poohbahs of big media. There is nothing democratic or fair about a system that discounts your preference because you are not or have not read the poohbahs du jour!It's bad enough that my votes are stolen by DieBold It's bad enough that the US Supreme Court would presume to anoint a phony President with a creative, "Alice in Wonderland" interpretation of the 14th Amendment or Scalia's idiotic comment to the effect that ballot recounts could stop whenever and if Bush pulled ahead. It is bad enough that candidates are bought and paid for because the very expense of a campaign militates against those who may be most qualified. Dennis Kucinich nor Ron Paul ever had a snow ball's chance in hell. The primaries are all for show and ratings.But a system about which it is accurately charged that by supporting either candidate, my vote is wasted is absolutely intolerable. As long as the big, evil corporate media machine supports and sustains with Limbaugh, lies and misinformation this evil status quo, America will continue to get --not the brightest and best --but the slick, the bought and the paid for.
Bill Moyers on The Threat Posed by Big Bro Media
Income and Wealth Inequality
Ed Murrow: Why the Fairness Doctrine Must be Restored
- The 'Tea Party' nexus: Mainstream conservatives empowering far-right extremists who want a new civil war
- Why We Must Restore the 'Fairness Doctrine'
- From Common Dreams: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. - Fascist America
- From Get In Their Face! The Secret Government
- Media Matters
The right-wing media have been aghast at the unpleasant realities being reported about all those shouters and disruptors at town-hall forums -- namely, that their anger is being ginned up by corporate interests using right-wing populists to derail their political opponents; and that their ranks are riddled with extremists.Make no mistake about this! The 'Tea Baggers' are armed to the teeth and they intend to kill you on behalf of a tiny elite of just one percent of the United States population. Published Articles on Buzzflash.net
And to the extent that the critics of these protesters try to portray the scenes as purely a product of corporate machinations, they have a point. There is real anger out there, and the anti-reform interests are successfully tapping into it.
But the anger they're tapping into is not a new thing; in fact, it's been around a long time. It's a larger anger at the federal government, stoked (as we've seen in the health-care debate) by a combination of real grievances and a pathological belief in explanations for those grievances that are provably untrue, wrapped in paranoid conspiracy theories about government officials and a conspiracist view of history.
In the 1990s, they called themselves militias or "Patriots." Nowadays, they're organizing around the so-called "tea parties" and now the health-care town halls. These are the wellspring of the anger at these meetings -- but this faction has a long history of being motivated by anger anyway.This is not to downplay the vital role behind the scenes being played by ostensibly mainstream conservative operations, fueled by corporate money. Adele Stan at AlterNet has a thoroughly devastating expose of the machinations behind the protests, beginning with Dick Armey's FreedomWorks operation all the way down to the Birther nutcases who are bubbling up at these shows.
Indeed, Stan gets what the rest of the media are missing: Not only are business and conservative interests ginning up these protests, but they're doing so by empowering far-right extremists from the fringe.
We've been reporting steadily on this phenomenon as it's been happening. Perhaps the best signifier of this empowerment and energizing of the far right on the behalf of the mainstream right is the fact that every single right-wing extremist organization and forum -- ranging from far-right hate groups and white supremacists, such as Stormfront.org, to "Patriot"/militia organizations such as the Militia of Montana and the Constitution Party, to Bircherite conspiracists like Ron Paul and his followers -- are avidly advocating involvement in the "tea parties" and the health-care protests.
And these folks, frankly, are beginning to talk openly of armed revolt. This is something that used to be relegated strictly to the fringes of the far right; now, it's being openly discussed at WorldNetDaily,, which ran a poll with the following headline: SOMETHING IN THE AIR: Is America on the verge of revolution?--The 'Tea Party' nexus: Mainstream conservatives empowering far-right extremists who want a new civil war
Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009Subscribe
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