I am really scared for this country because of all the media company mergers that have taken place recently. Ever since the the Reagan era, the governent has had little control over this phenomenon and, as a result, corporations just get more and more powerful as they consume the small guys. Take a look at what Time Warner owns, for example:
The WB Television network
The largest cable system in the United States, controlling 22 of the largest 100 markets
Several U.S. and global cable television channels, including CNN, Headline News, CNNfn, TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, The Cartoon Network and CNN-SI (a cross-production with Sports Illustrated)
Partial ownership of the cable channel Comedy Central and a controlling stake in Court TV
HBO and Cinemax pay cable channels
Minority stake in PrimeStar, U.S. satellite television service
Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema film studios
More than 1,000 movie screens outside of the United States
A library of over 6,000 films, 25,000 television programs, books, music and thousands of cartoons
Twenty-four magazines, including Time, People and Sports Illustrated
Fifty percent of DC Comics, publisher of Superman, Batman and 60 other titles
The second largest book-publishing business in the world, including Time-Life Books (42 percent of sales outside of the United States) and the Book-of-the-Month Club
Warner Music Group, one of the largest global music businesses with nearly 60 percent of revenues from outside the United States
Six Flags theme park chain; The Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves professional sports teams; Retail stores, including over 150 Warner Bros. stores and Turner Retail Group; Minority interests in toy companies Atari and Hasbro.
DAMN! Do you see how Time Warnerhas the ability to manipulate the masses by having control of so many different forms of media. It's scary!
So let's have a little poll:
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own.
Goin' where the water tastes like wine.
From AltMedia Watch
In the freest press on Earth, humanity is reported in terms of its usefulness to US power
Long before the Soviet Union broke up, a group of
Russian writers touring the United States were
astonished to find, after reading the newspapers and
watching television, that almost all the opinions on all
the vital issues were the same. "In our country," said
one of them, "to get that result we have a dictatorship.
We imprison people. We tear out their fingernails.
Here you have none of that. How do you do it? What's
The secret is a form of censorship more insidious
than a totalitarian state could ever hope to achieve.
The myth is the opposite. Constitutional freedoms
unmatched anywhere else guard against censorship;
the press is a "fourth estate", a watchdog on
democracy. The journalism schools boast this
reputation, the influential East Coast press is
especially proud of it, epitomised by the liberal paper
of record, the New York Times, with its masthead
slogan: "All the news that's fit to print."
It takes only a day or two back in the US to be
reminded of how deep state censorship runs. It is
censorship by omission, and voluntary. The source of
most Americans' information, mainstream television,
has been reduced to a set of marketing images shot
and edited to the rhythms of a Coca-Cola commercial
that flow seamlessly into the actual commercials.
Rupert Murdoch's Fox network is the model, with its
peep-shows of human tragedy. Non-American human
beings are generally ignored, or treated with an
anthropological curiosity reserved for wildlife
Not long ago, Kenneth Jarecke was talking about this
censorship. Jarecke is the American photographer
who took the breath-catching picture of an Iraqi burnt
to a blackened cinder, petrified at the wheel of his
vehicle on the Basra Road where he, and hundreds of
others, were massacred by American pilots on their
infamous "turkey shoot" at the end of the Gulf war. In
the United States, Jarecke's picture was suppressed
for months after what was more a slaughter than a
war. "The whole US press collaborated in keeping
silent about the consequences of that war," he said.
The famous CBS anchorman Dan Rather told his
prime-time audience: "There's one thing we can all
agree on. It's the heroism of the 148 Americans who
gave their lives so that freedom could live." What he
omitted to say was that a quarter of them had been
killed, like their British comrades, by other Americans.
He made no mention of the Iraqi dead, put at 200,000
by the Medical Educational Trust. That American
forces had deliberately bombed civilian infrastructure,
such as water treatment plants, was not reported at
the time. Six months later, one newspaper, Newsday,
published in Long Island, New York, disclosed that
three US brigades "used snow plows mounted on
tanks to bury thousands of Iraqi soldiers - some still
alive - in more than 70 miles of trenches".
The other day, both the Washington Post and the
New York Times referred to Iraq without mentioning
the million people now estimated to have died as a
direct result of sanctions imposed, via the UN, by the
United States and Britain. That, writes Brian Michael
Goss of the University of Illinois, is standard practice.
Goss examined 630 articles on sanctions published
in the New York Times from 1996 to 1998. In those
three years, just 20 articles - 3 per cent of the
coverage - were critical of the policy or dwelt upon its
civilian impact. The rest reflected the US official line,
identifying 21 million people with Saddam Hussein.
The scale of the censorship is placed in perspective
by Professors John and Karl Mueller, of the University
of Rochester. "Even if the UN estimates of the human
damage to Iraq are roughly correct," they write,
sanctions have caused "the deaths of more people in
Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of
mass destruction throughout history."
A third of the people of East Timor were put to death
by the Suharto dictatorship during Indonesia's 24-year
occupation. Yet the American media skirted this epic
crime until shortly before the 1999 referendum. Their
silence was in striking contrast to the saturation
coverage of the "genocide" in Kosovo, used to justify
the Nato bombing campaign, and was in line with
suppression of the post-bombing disclosure that
there was no genocide. In East Timor, the United
States helped Suharto execute his invasion, secretly
and illegally, with weapons and aircraft. For most of
the 24 years of bloody occupation, the US media
maintained a virtual blackout on East Timor.
In the freest press on earth, humanity is reported in
terms of its usefulness to American power. Kosovo
was a major story; it demonstrated the "credibility" of
Nato and America's control over the Balkans. East
Timor was a non-story, "a road bump on the way to
Indonesia", according to a State Department official.
In a study of the New York Times and Washington
Post cited by Goss, 75 per cent of the sources were
government officials - a record not that far behind the
old Pravda. Truly independent reporters such as
Seymour Hersh are described, revealingly, as
"dissidents" and "advocates". What is most telling is
the media's presumption of innocence of the
rapacious American imperial role, rather like
Hollywood's post-Vietnam celebration of America as a
noble victim. In a lead editorial recently, the New York
Times identified the problems of the world, ranging
from poverty to terrorism to disease, as "challenges
to American safety and well-being". That the United
States consumes a quarter of the world's resources,
controls the channels of world trade and the
institutions of inequality, and squeezes whole nations,
such as Iraq, to death, is simply not news.