Under a dictatorship the Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and the consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State-that is to say, by a small group of party leaders and the soldiers, policemen and civil servants who carry out their orders. In a capitalist democracy such as the United States, it is controlled by what Professor C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite. This Power Elite directly employs several millions of the country’s working force in its factories, offices and stores, controls many millions more by lending them the money to but its products, and, through its ownership of the media of mass communications, influences the thoughts, the feelings and the actions of virtually everybody.
- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited 1958
We all know mainstream media is a joke, but sometimes its inherent idiocy can be best highlighted with a little humor. So thank you very much Conan O’Brien.
Don’t worry serfs, be happy.
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Here we go; more centralization, consolidation, and corruption as America barrels its way toward serfdom. The best part of this saga is that Obama was one of the most vocal Senators against such rule changes when George W. Bush was in office, but not a peep from him now. Bernie Sanders (Vermont Senator) and Michael Copps (FCC commissioner from 2001 to 2011) wrote an excellent Op Ed in Politico. Here are excerpts:
A cornerstone of American democracy is a free and open press providing diverse viewpoints. As Thomas Jefferson said in 1823, “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted to be freely expressed.” In America today, however, a trend toward corporate media consolidation is drowning diverse opinions and eliminating local control. In 1983, 90 percent of the American media was owned by 50 companies. Today, 90 percent is controlled by just six corporations: General Electric, News Corp., Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS.
The Federal Communications Commission may be on the verge of making a bad situation worse. It is considering a rule change that would clear the way for even more media consolidation. All Americans should be deeply concerned.
The failed 2007 bid to change the rules came after a similar 2003 effort to weaken the limits on cross-ownership that prevented a handful of media conglomerates from completely dominating ownership of the news outlets in our communities. Those proposals met with 3 million public comments, 99 percent of which opposed the FCC’s proposal.
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