Friday, March 13, 2009

The Problem With American Media

Over the course of the past few years in various posts I've talked from time to time about freedom-related issues. In various cases I've alluded to a problem with our so-called "free" press. I've talked about astroturf (phony grass roots) campaigns by companies trying to obscure the truth (there's a fine line between that and positive, generated buzz).

The issue is this: News is not, and never should be, a profit center. News is news -- it might be bad news about the very corporation that owns the media. In case you've been living under a rock or on some other planet, these days, there's been quite a lot of consolation of media. Large swatches of what used to be lots of independent media outlets have been gobbled up by conglomerates. As this has happened, our press in various forms has been impacted -- in my not-so-humble opinion, negatively.

I have very intimate experience (at a microscopic level) of this phenomenon in action, having done some time in the on-line news arena. The issue was advertising, and the general tendency to pander to a sponsor. If it was happening in the smallest sense, then I can only imagine the pressures of large corporations to do similar, much more damaging (to the news overall) actions.

Today, illustrating this concept, is the following sound-byte, taken from an extremely interesting article on the dirty-bomb plot surrounding Barak Obama's inauguration. What's that you say? You didn't hear about it? Oh, well, read the sound byte in the article (link provided):

How do you like them apples? Granted, this may not be the real reason we're not hearing about this attempt -- maybe there's some other reason.

Maybe people aren't interested in the topic -- or it was somehow censored by the regular news media by the government (highly doubtful).

Before I shout Occum's Razor or attempt to speculate some other explanation, simply ask yourself:

  • If there was a story like this in the press, wouldn't you have been interested?
  • If a story like this didn't make it to the press, wouldn't you also be interested in hearing why?
  • Why didn't it make it -- why haven't we heard about this one on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, the New York Times and so on?
I know I have my own opinions -- I'd be interested in hearing yours.

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