NDAA, SOPA, PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES, AND IRAN: CORRUPT MEDIA AT PLAY
By David Seaman
December 26, 2011
As an illuminating infographic over on Frugal Dad points out, in the early 1980s ninety percent of American media was owned by 50 companies. Today, in 2011, that same ninety percent of broadcast influence is owned by just six companies. In other words, 232 media executives more or less control "the information diet of 277 million Americans," according to the graphic.
Consolidation is not a huge problem when the companies involved continue to provide high-quality products to their customers; when consolidation is used to lower costs and realize "synergies," rather than to simply crush competitors.
I'm not at all convinced that the U.S. media consolidation we've seen has led to substantial cost savings, or improvements in the "product" offered. It has, however, led to a startling lack of diversity in news coverage.
When I first reported on the NDAA -- which Obama is about to sign into law, and which literally allows for "martial law," in the US, according to Rep. Ron Paul and others -- some family and friends who read my article did not believe me.
They considered me an "alarmist" and a weirdo in search of pageview traffic.
Then, a few days later, the *New York Times* published an op-ed slamming NDAA and its supporters. "The Daily Show" did a segment showing the ludicrously un-American nature of the NDAA's indefinite detention provisions. After that, those same doubting friends called me and emailed me. I was right!
It was insulting. I'm a liar until Jon Stewart and the doddering Gray Lady talk about it?
The problem here is that we still wait for our cable shows and our newspapers to break stories. During that waiting period, we lose valuable time. (In reality, cable shows mostly run with whatever happens to be the most popular online.)
The solution? STOP WAITING for it to appear in the *New York Times*. The NDAA was as real as cancer weeks before they reported on it.
I first learned about it through my social media accounts, as did many others. We need to elevate people with a good track record of reporting news via social media -- bloggers like myself are not confabulators or pageview whores. We're the canary in the coal mine, and the last line of defense when our mainstream media is asleep at the helm.
Start telling your friends to follow people on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ who don't post cat pictures and Tim Tebow-esque religious commentary all day long.
Shut out the mainstream media's death grip on the flow of information.
Why do you think the despised censorship bill, SOPA, is being crammed down America's throat? In large part, I believe it's to provide a competitive advantage for those dying beasts like CNN and FOX. To shut out the powerful emerging ecosystem of news blogs, social media, and online journalists who provide damn good coverage, and don't have any allegiances to a certain political party, agenda, or the sick ratings game.
The mainstream media only has influence because you give it influence.
As a user on Twitter, @blacksheeprpt, recently tweeted: "Over the holiday weekend I told a relative about the #NDAA. She said I was just spouting propaganda, the govt would never pass such a law."
But if she'd "seen it on CNN," I would bet this relative would be shaking in her boots, and calling her Congressman to demand answers.
Social media is the newsroom now. Stop pretending it isn't.
As this post goes live, Drudge Report has as its headline story: "WAR GAMES: IRAN TAUNTS U.S. SHIPS."
The mainstream media is always playing its game. I'm seeing more and more coverage that we need to go to war with Iran, like right now. Wasn't the same said about Iraq? And should we be so quick to trust a media that has steadfastly ignored the vast NDAA and SOPA online outrage? A media that didn't even ONCE mention these radical, highly controversial bills during the presidential debates? Fool me once...
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