Keep Democracy SAFE

Media Reform

The media involves all aspects of communication, including newspapers and television, the internet, talk radio, and more.

WHO’S AFRAID

The myth of the liberal media persists, even though media outlets are being gobbled up by corporations, whose voices are typically conservative. Internet users were asked recently who they were most afraid of, the government, or private industry, and they said overwhelmingly, private industry.

They don’t fear Big Brother as much as Big Business!

The Constitution is about We the People, not We the Corporations. It was established to promote the general welfare, not serve the interests of a few. If a few people can decide what is or is not heard on the public airwaves, what is or is not seen on the internet, then the public interest is not being served.

As Robert Kennedy said in 2005,

“Today, six giant multinational corporations now control all 14,000 radio stations in our country, almost all 6,000 TV stations, 80 percent of our newspapers, all of our billboards and now most of the Internet information services. So you have six guys who dictate what Americans have as information and what we see as news. The news departments have become corporate profit centers. They no longer have any obligation to benefit the public interest; their only obligation is to their shareholders, and they fulfill that obligation by increasing viewership.”

 

 

BILLIONAIRES AT THE HELM

If billionaires run these corporations, do you think they will “promote the general welfare”, as described in the Preamble to the Constitution, or their own interests? Australian-born media billionaire Rupert Murdoch owns News Corp, Fox News, MCI Communications, and part of Hughes Electronics, which operates DirectTV. He owns Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal. Glenn Beck was a prime spokesman of his on Fox News and now continues to spread his view points on his own internet TV channel and on his syndicated radio program. Roger Ailes, the immediate past president of Fox News Channel, used money from the Fox treasury to contribute a million dollars to conservative Governors’ races in 2010, actively recruited conservative candidates to run for President in 2012, and was until recently, an advisor for Trump's presidential campaign.  So much for “fair and balanced”.

BILLIONAIRES WITH FEW TAXES

Rupert Murdoch, Ailes’ boss, is arch-conservative, fighting taxes. Sound good? But according to Wikepedia, News Corp and its subsidiaries in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands and the Virgin Islands pay around 7 percent in taxes. Seven percent!  What percentage are you paying? Does Murdoch care about you, or himself? If billionaires and corporations don’t pay their fair share, the burden falls on the rest of us. If corporations oppose government regulations that might cut into their profits, whether the corporations are BP, insurance companies, Big Pharma, Big Ag, or Wall street banks, then we are back in the days of the Wild West or the days of the Robber Barons with winner take all, no holds barred, no regulations to protect consumers. We don’t have trickle down economics, but profits gushing up to the richest in this country to the exclusion of the rest of us.

MORE VOICES NEEDED

How about having MORE voices on radio and TV, more high speed internet available to all, more perspectives for the American people to consider, more balance on the public airwaves, so the message is not always pro-corporate interests and anti-government? How about curbing the uncontrolled media consolidation that is devouring the airwaves and the internet?

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996

There used to be sensible rules in this country about how many radio and TV stations and newspapers one corporation could own. All that changed with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which paved the way for unlimited ownership of radio stations by large corporations. Clear Channel Communications Inc. bought stations across the country and now operates more than 850 radio stations nationwide and reaches more than 154 million people, or 75 percent of the 18-and-older U.S. population. The Katz Media Group, one of its subsidiaries, is the largest media representation firm in the United States, representing more than 2,600 radio stations and more than 400 television stations.

We have fewer and fewer corporations controlling more and more of what Americans see and hear.

It is time to rewrite the Telecommunications Act of 1996. See ACT NOW

MISINFORMATION ON THE AIRWAVES?

What ever happened to facts in news? The courts have decided that news does not have to be true. See the film Broadcast Blues, for the full story. Check suewilsonreports.com

Why is so much misinformation and hate on our public airwaves? Broadcasters think they can say whatever they want to sway the public.

How does this affect democracy? The corporate drumbeat continues year after year, on radio, TV, Internet and robo-calls into your home. The drumbeat increases just before elections, to sway voters to elect leaders who will do their corporate bidding. We’re not talking about small businesses here. We’re talking about large multinational corporations, which exist to increase their profits whether that includes outsourcing American jobs, squeezing out small businesses or jeopardizing the health and safety of our people and our planet.  Remember the BP oil disaster of 2010.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Is there anything We the People can do? You bet.

Fight for a free and open internet. Oppose media consolidation.  See freepress.net

Tell the FCC we demand comparable time on radio during election campaigns. Sign the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tell-fcc-give-comparable-time-on-radio/

Demand more voices on TV and radio, not fewer, so that broadcasters on our public airwaves represent all the public, not just a few. Encourage and support community radio stations, such as wslr.org in Sarasota — See prometheusradio.org.

Stand up for NPR and PBS, so their voices are not shut out. Call your legislators.  See ACT NOW- Quick Links

Start holding our local radio stations accountable, so they don’t abuse the licenses they hold, and press the FCC to pull their licenses, if they do. See ACT NOW—Media Reform, www.mediaactioncenter.net

Start connecting the dots and watching the bottom of TV ads to see who is paying for them. It is “Americans for Prosperity”? That’s a PAC funded by billionaire oil magnates Charles and David Koch, who oppose government regulation because they wouldn’t be able to get away with the 300 oil spills they have caused over the past 10 years if we had the regulations we needed to protect us. They couldn’t hornswaggle the EPA into not classifying formaldehyle as a carcinogen, just to keep their profits up at Georgia Pacific, if regulators were allowed to work unfettered and protect the public. See the film Koch Brothers Exposed. The trailer tells you how to buy the DVD. Then schedule a house party or other free screening and post the event at www.Kochbrothersexposed.com.

Press our Congressmen and Congresswomen to pass the DISCLOSE ACT (see ACT NOW - Media Reform), so people can see who is paying for all these ads, and find out who is behind front groups like “Americans for Prosperity.” That group is so well-engineered by the Kochs that, in addition to saturating the TV markets with ads nationwide, they make robo-calls right into the homes of Americans, to sway their thinking.

“Americans for Prosperity” is a nice-sounding name for a front group run by billionaires. It’s all about THEIR prosperity and that of their hired minions, not yours.

MONEY AND MEDIA: THE ENDLESS LOOP

It’s time for us to realize that money controls the media that is controlling what people see, hear, and think, and ultimately, who they vote for. It is an endless loop: big bucks from big corporations go to the broadcasters who sway the people to vote against their own interests for officials that support the interests of the corporations.

It is time to break the cycle. It is time for the people to stand up for their rights, see through the hype, speak out, get involved, get active, and VOTE. See ACT NOW