Juan Cole Great This Morning!

I just got through reading Juan Cole’s blog entry for today and it’s a zinger. He is agreeing with Al Gore in his new book:

What is important about what Gore is saying is his focus on how the pollution of America’s information environment by 1) corporate media consolidation (all television news is brought to Americans by five private corporations, the CEOs of which all vote Republican) and 2) government propaganda (i.e. lies purveyed to Americans using the money and resources of Americans).

Yes, the MainStream Media (MSM) is dominated by middle-of-the-road, let’s-not-upset-the-applecart smarmy announcer types who are working for their Republican CEOs and can’t get too far out of line, in fact not out of line at all. (Stephen Colbert manages to do it through humor and irony which increases ratings.) Juan goes on to show how the Bush propaganda has raised the perceived threat level of Iran to 27% from 20% last December. Read his arguments for why Iran is not a threat to us.

I’ve got a link to Juan Cole on my second sidebar under Alternative Media.

  1. Danielle’s avatar

    The American public made up of equally intelligent persons now find they cannot trust the nightly news. When I first heard of the thwarted New York terrorist plot, my initial reaction was disbelief. I am working on my analysis of this feeling as well as the actual event itself.

    Wishing you well in the great state of Maine, my friend.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks very much, Danielle. You’re one notch further into reality than me: it took me a couple days to realize there wasn’t all that much to the plot. I mean that the danger of it happening was remote. Now I’m just ignoring it.

    I’ve been distracted of late by numerous things and have gotten out of the habit of putting energy into this blog. Thanks for commenting, and wishing you well Danielle.

  3. Chris’s avatar

    Gore’s comments on TV news and supposed consolidation implies there are no other means for Americans to receive their news and information. He of all people should be familiar with the internet and the tremendous opportunities and outlets created allowing citizen journalism, social networking, and tons of other sites and blogs dedicated to informing the public.

    I do a bit of consulting with the NAB on media issues and have seen the may claims and discussion regarding media ownership. The fact is that decade-old rules do not reflect these changes in the media marketplace of the past decade let alone since the rules were last reviewed four years ago. We are urging the FCC to consider the concerns of our local broadcasters who cannot compete against the large online outlets for the advertising revenue they need to survive.

    Also, you may find this article from Adam Thierer, to be interesting as he discusses in detail the plethora of choices we have today.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_2_media.html

    Thanks.

  4. barbara’s avatar

    Hey Mard,
    I still have to read your link to Juan Cole.
    I just want to say that I tagged you for a meme.Come and check it out :)
    I hope to see you soon.
    Take care.

  5. chris davis’s avatar

    Hi Marde –
    Thanks for this bit of news; your brief comments on what is happening help me to be a better consumer, and where the media is concerned, that is pretty important, otherwise we just let info slip in and color our world as they’d have it. The other guy or female (Chris) who commented here is right to be aware of where else to get the “news”, and that reminder was helpful too.
    Thanks again,
    Chris

  6. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks for your comment, Chris. I believe Al Gore says in his new book, although I have not yet read it, that we are fortunate to have the online alternative news media as a counter balance to the MSM whose owners vote republican. It’s good that you are urging the FCC to consider the concerns of our local broadcasters. I’ll check the link you give too. Thanks for your long and thoughtful message.

    Hi Barbara! Good to hear from you. I’ve been neglecting my blog for quite a while now because I’ve been busy doing my treasurer’s work for the UU church we belong to, as well as spending a lot of time — probably too much — trying to figure out what new computer I’ll buy. Hopefully, by next week I can get back here in earnest, and I’ll check out the meme you’ve given me asap. Thanks and take care.

  7. Mardé’s avatar

    Hi Chris Davis. You must have entered your comment at the same time I was typing mine, and I didn’t notice it, otherwise I would have replied to it. (Gotta reply to everybody — I think that’s a blogger’s rule 😀 or it should be.)

    Yes, it’s easy to get our world colored! That’s why it’s so good to have a diversity of media. I try to read left of center blogs because, well, I think they are interested in getting at the truth. Am I biased? Perhaps some, but I believe in reason and truth too, and have to be aware that there’s propaganda out there. That’s why I like Juan Cole, and there’s another one too that I always read, Talking Points Memo by Josh Marshall. I’ll add it to my Alternative Media list on my right sidebar. But I gotta run now!

  8. Mardé’s avatar

    Chris — the other Chris — I finally got to read the article you linked to on the City-Journal by Adam Thierer. He claims that there is plenty of diversity in media today, and not to worry if the FCC wants to allow some cross-media ownership by media companies. So, if Rupert Murdoch wants to own TV, radio, and newspapers in a certain region, it’s not a problem because there are plenty of choices in the vast media landscape out there, including the internet.

    But I think a case can be made that the major media in this country helped the Bush administration make the case for war in Iraq. Sure, you could always find dissenters but the proportion was very small and they were made to feel unpatriotic, even ostracized. Only Knight-Ridder, now McClatchy Newspapers, among major media had courage enough to consistently question the leading arguments for war in Iraq.

  9. Chris (the other Chris)’s avatar

    Marde, thanks for the responses. I should also note that I haven’t read Vice President Gore’s book and thus haven’t seen his full take on the situation.

    As I touched on earlier, individual local broadcasters cannot fairly compete against other media outlets who aren’t burdened with outdated federal regulations. In today’s vast media marketplace broadcasters must provide top quality and local content in order to survive. We only hope the FCC recognizes these developments in their review of the ownership rules.

    Additionally, reforming these rules would allow local broadcasters to experiment with formatting. For example, should one broadcaster own two radio stations in a single market, they aren’t going to rely on the same format. That wouldn’t make sense and wouldn’t be an economically viable option.

    Thanks again.

  10. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks again for your response, Chris (the other Chris). I see your point about local broadcasters not having the same format on two or more stations, owned by a single broadcaster, in a single market. We’ll see what the FCC comes up with.

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