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Monday, January 23, 2012

A great example of why media ownership matters

This is from 2005. But it is just as true today as it was then.

"[President] George Bush must have been delighted to learn from a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that 56 percent of Americans still think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the start of the war, while six in 10 said they believe Iraq provided direct support to the al-Qaida terrorist network — notions that have long since been thoroughly debunked by everyone from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee to both of Bush's handpicked weapons inspectors, Charles Duelfer and David Kay.

"Americans believe these lies not because they are stupid, but because they are good media consumers. Our media have become an echo chamber for those in power. Rather than challenge the fraudulent claims of the Bush administration, we've had a media acting as a conveyor belt for the government's lies.

"As the Pentagon has learned, deploying the American media is more powerful than any bomb. The explosive effect is amplified as a few pro-war, pro-government media moguls consolidate their grip over the majority of news outlets. Media monopoly and militarism go hand in hand.

"When it comes to issues of war and peace, the results of having a compliant media are as deadly to our democracy as they are to our soldiers. Why do the corporate media cheerlead for war? One answer lies in the corporations themselves — the ones that own the major news outlets.

"At the time of the first Persian Gulf War, CBS was owned by Westinghouse and NBC by General Electric. Two of the major nuclear weapons manufacturers owned two of the major networks. Westinghouse and GE made most of the parts for many of the weapons in the Persian Gulf War. It was no surprise, then, that much of the coverage on those networks looked like a military hardware show."

.... the article continues here>


It is quite literally the case that the war in Iraq would not have even been possible without the lack of critical coverage by the mainstream media, those sources owned and controlled by the mainstream press.

And yet, maybe you still don't care:

* About the more than 4,500 dead soldiers (and far more dead contractors and troops from other countries).
* About the more than 300,000 Americans who now suffer from long-term disabilities like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries
* About the million dead Iraqis
* Or even the one trillion dollars we have already spent there.

But whether you like it or not, you will be paying for it. And so will your kids. And theirs.

So perhaps you can at least try to understand why media scholars and reformers are so concerned about the state of the mainstream media?

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