Monday, September 8, 2008

Main $tream Media

I was all set to start a thoroughly detailed rant about MSNBC's decision to [take a] dump on their biggest ratings assets, Keith Olbermann, and that ignorant blowhard, Tweety. (For personal reasons, I'd be happy to see Tweety go, but that is irrelevant to my rant.) Sadly, time does not permit me to go into the detail I want at this moment. However, you can read Glenn Greenwald's post on this very topic, and I highly recommend it. Glenn says a lot of what I wanted to say, and even more.

A key point I was going to make, which dovetails with Glenn's post, is that the reason the Main $tream Media panics whenever they are being called "liberal" is because they are dominated by a bunch of right-wingnuts who are terrified of appearing like anything but. It hasn't helped anyone by calling them the Mainstream Media, because doing to implies that their right-wingnut perspective is actually mainstream. I think it is more appropriate to refer to the dominant media outlets as Corporate-Run Media. That would pretty much sum it all up nicely, as most people rightly understand that corporations are inherently evil, and focused entirely on profit and shareholder interest.

That is what's truly behind MSNBC suckerpunching Olbermann. It should be painfully clear to anyone with common sense that a bunch of the GE shareholders - who are no doubt predominantly Republican - have taken their complaints to the top and demanded action against Olbermann. They added Tweety to the chopping block just to make it appear balanced (at least MSNBC recognizes that he's borderline expendable).

As for their decision to boost up David Gregory, that makes it even more clear that the puppetmasters are Republicans. This is the same David Gregory who sat in on countless White House press briefings asking pointless and useless questions, and was almost completely deferrential to the White House. The same David Gregory who was awarded Best White House Correspondent by the conservative Media Research Center. This is the same David Gregory who helped to make the Iraq invasion possible because of his deferrence to the Bush administration. He is the same David Gregory who is being considered to take over Meet the Press for the late Tim Russert, the same Tim Russert whose sole contribution to political discourse was coming up with "gotcha" questions, except when they would really have mattered (like all questions to any Bush loaylist).

It might have been helpful if Glenn - and others, including myself - work to make it clear by what it means when we say that the "Right controls the media". It is not that the right-wingnuts whine and complain and then the media caves. It is more accurate to point out that these complaints are coming from the shareholders of the parent corporation, and also likely from subsidiaries. This is where the power and influence truly lies.

It occurs to me that if there is going to be any hope of reclaiming this country from the right-wingnuts, it is not going to happen politically until it happens with the Corporate-Run Media. The revolution must begin by attacking the heads of the Corporate-Run Media first.


When talking about the Corporate-Run Media being in the tank for the Right, one would be remiss to leave out discussion of Ron Fournier from the Associate Press. This is the guy who turned down a paid staff position as a senior advisory consultant for communications for the McCain campaign because he thought he would be a more effective foot soldier operating incognito as a so-called Impartial Journalist.

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