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Our Problem is Not State-Run Media, It’s Corporate-Run Media

Robin Alexander

Posted on March 19, 2019 22:56

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An independent and responsible press has long been considered vital to the proper functioning of a republic. The fourth estate is viewed as corollary to the three branches of government; its watchdog role is considered vital. Sadly, today’s media is not the ideal overseer. Not because it’s allied with government, but because it’s allied with corporate America. Actually, it IS corporate America. Enter the progressives and observe how it all pans out during this presidential campaign season.

It’s hard for media to strike a balance between survival and independence. But did we ever envision a time when journalists (who are supposed to nurture a hearty cynicism where power is concerned) would not only share cocktails with power, they’d work for it too? I’m not sure which is worse.

On the one corrupt hand, access is everything and the competition is stiff, but it’s hard to hold a drinking buddy’s feet to the fire. On the other corrupt hand, big advertising dollars dictate what’s covered, and how.

Currently, Democratic presidential candidates (and members of Congress) are divided into two camps: the progressives and the mainstream corporatists (aka moderates/incrementalists/centrists – you get the idea). During this campaign season we should observe how corporatist media pamper their political counterparts, while progressives are smeared.

The reason: Progressives seek to shake up the system; corporatists are quite happy with the way things are, thank you. Ergo, the more moderate, the more status quo, the more acceptable.

So, how do you smear a progressive?

Example #1: Politico censured Liz for taking $90,000 from employees of Amazon, Google and Facebook between 2011 and 2018. Note the implication of corruption. Campaign rule one: taking donations from employees is not corrupt – taking donations from management, maybe. Why release this now? Last week she called for some old-fashioned trust-busting.

A public servant’s true colors are revealed in the voting record. I don’t love everything about her, but Liz has been a relentless anti-corporate consumer advocate.

Example #2: It’s all over the news that AOC and her current chief-of-staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, ran a $1 million slush fund in 2018. Campaign rule two: Sometimes the truth is told but not until paragraph 14. As Governors for the “Justice Democrats,” Chakrabarti and AOC did funnel monies into a centralized account with the purpose of helping all JD candidates with minimal waste. Campaign finance laws were scrupulously researched and followed.

AOC is anything but status quo and she's wildly popular; Chakrabarti formerly worked for Bernie: it’s a two-for-one special.

A public servant’s integrity can be measured by the size of the donations. Justice Democrats did not take any corporate PAC money. It was small-dollar contributions all the way.

Example #3: And then there’s Ilhan Omar, accused of anti-semitism for calling out AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. Campaign rule three: Mainstream corporatists love their lobbyists.

You can rail against AIPAC all day long as far as I’m concerned and not be anti-semitic.

The list goes on: The obsession with RussiaGate supports the status quo because it allows mainstream corporatists to obscure the fact that they’ve ignored the working and middle classes for 40 years, the real reason for losing in 2016.

The daily Trump debacles fuel ratings and hence advertising dollars - and it’s all about those Benjamins.

And that’s why, as pod-caster Jimmy Dore says, “a jag-off comedian like me has half a million listeners.”

Robin Alexander

Posted on March 19, 2019 22:56

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Source: Mediaite

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