Monday, April 23, 2007

Oh. My. God.

I turn on the TV this morning and there is racist Michael Smerconish -- shaved head Philadelphia radio shock jock -- sitting in Imus's studio. Out with the old white male racist, in with the new white male racist! Those black and female faces on MSBNC in the days following the ouster of Imus were just token window dressing. Now we're back to GE's favorite form of news: conservative shock jock.

Smerconish's guest is the mad Camille Paglia, who is nervously babbling that our education system is failing boys and that we should allow them to go straight into factory jobs. Factory jobs? What factory jobs? What parallel universe does she live in?

The only good thing about having Paglia on television is that she talks so fast you can't understand her. And she's such a period piece. She announces that she's a Madonna feminist. Does that mean she is going to Africa to adopt a baby? Sheesh.

I read on dailykos last week that the major corporate media was encouraged to take control of the news by Karl Rove in 1999. I guess Rover was very persuasive.

dailykos: Rove Met With Jack Welch in '99 to Create Media Cartel. W/Poll

Patricia Goldsmith, Smirking Chimp: Restore Fairness, Return to Reality

[] As Rep. Louise Slaughter said in a 2004 interview with Bill Moyers, after fairness was defeated,

AM radio rose. It wasn't even gradual, Bill. I mean, almost immediately. And I should point out to you that when we tried to reinstate [the fairness doctrine] again in '93, one of the reasons we couldn't was that Rush Limbaugh had organized this massive uprising against it, calling it "The Hush Rush Law."

Slaughter goes on to explain that the law wouldn't have hushed Rush-that would take more than an act of Congress, I'm afraid-but it would have mandated that time be given to people who represent other sides of any issue discussed by Limbaugh. The same is true for Hannity, O'Reilly, and even Imus. They just wouldn't have the airwaves all to themselves the way they do now.


[I]n 1999 Karl Rove reached out to GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch, promising radical deregulation for the broadcast industry (GE is the parent company of NBC). This fit right in with some of Welch's thoughts and ambitions. He had long felt that the news division at NBC wasn't living up to its full profit potential. According to a a must-read article, "The Media Cover-up of the Gore Victory Part Four: Democracy, General Electric Style," by David Podvin and Carolyn Kay, that conversation led to some important changes:

Toward that end, Welch said that he would finally deal with a longstanding grievance of his: the ludicrous idea that news organizations should be allowed to operate in conflict with the best interests of the corporations that own them.

. . . The new dimension that Welch introduced was the concept that mainstream media should aggressively advance the political agenda of the corporations that own it. He did not see any difference between corporate journalism and corporate manufacturing or corporate service industries. . . .

In general, he saw corporate news organizations as untapped political resources that should be freed from the burden of objectivity.

. . .

He began to aggressively, but very discreetly, evangelize the gospel of corporate media as a corporate lobbying tool.

. . .

Welch told associates that he enlisted two members of the GE board to assist him in shaping the coverage of the election by other news organizations. . . . They quietly encouraged the executives of the mainstream media organizations to rethink the relationship between news divisions and business organizations.

And a cartel is born. A cartel can be a group of corporations within one industry who meet to set prices.

So, MSNBC, owned by NBC GE, has performed an elaborate corporate charade in firing Imus, but has gone back to furthering its corporate interests by putting a conservative on the air to shape the news in its corporate interests. Wow.

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