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E.J. Dionne Talks Corporate Media

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E.J. Dionne hit a a home run in his Wapo column today. He’s all about the rightward tilt in American media (details differ but the same principle applies for Canadian Corporate Media).

For starters he says:

A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

And a little later:

While the right wing’s rants get wall-to-wall airtime, you almost never hear from the sort of progressive members of Congress who were on an America’s Future panel on Tuesday. Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Raul Grijalva of Arizona all said warm things about the president — they are Democrats, after all — but also took issue with some of his policies.

All three, for example, are passionately opposed to his military approach to Afghanistan and want a serious debate over the implications of Obama’s strategy. “If we don’t ask these questions now,” said Edwards, “we’ll ask these questions 10 years from now — I guarantee it.”

And whatever happened to single payer as a policy option:

Polis, Edwards and Grijalva also noted that proposals for a Canadian-style single-payer health-care system, which they support, have fallen off the political radar. Polis urged his activist audience to accept that reality for now and focus its energy on making sure that a government insurance option, known in policy circles as the “public plan,” is part of the menu of choices offered by a reformed health-care system.

But Edwards noted that if the public plan, already a compromise from single-payer, is defined as the left’s position in the health-care debate, the entire discussion gets skewed to the right. This makes it far more likely that any public option included in a final bill will be a pale version of the original idea.

And finally:

…For all the talk of a media love affair with Obama, there is a deep and largely unconscious conservative bias in the media’s discussion of policy. The range of acceptable opinion runs from the moderate left to the far right and cuts off more vigorous progressive perspectives.

Dionne doesn’t ask the question but I will. Why does the media act as he describes?

I believe that to answer this question one needs to ask two others.

1. Who owns the media.
2. What is the function of the press in an open capitalistic society?

The answers to those questions lead me to the term, “Corporate Media”, not traditional media, and not mainstream media. In the United States and Canada, the press or the media is meant to promote and protect the interests of the corporations that run everything.

Don’t take my word for it. Just ask this guy.

Written by slothropia

June 4th, 2009 at 11:01 am