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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

As with so much else wrong in our country today, the problem with the press is not really right and left, but right and wrong.

The GAO has conducted several two-year studies on the Bush Administration's use of government funds for propaganda purposes. They have spent billions of our dollars to propagandize us. This is illegal because propaganda is a weapon to be used against an enemy, and in doing this, the Bush Administration (again) casts the American people as such.

You aren't going to hear a lot about these illegal expenditures, though, because the US media is on the receiving end of much of this money.

Not only that, but the US press is a major lobbyist of this government: to the tune of three times what the oil interests spend, and this has paid off in spades. On December 18 the FCC is going to try to push through another hasty round of consolidation and hand more newspaper-cross-broadcast to the totally unsastisfactory big players. I certainly hope The Nation will keep spotlighting that.

Mike Karras

Portland, OR

Dec 9 2007 - 8:09am

Web Letter

Was this piece supposed to be serious? Really? Alterman's six-point summary of what's really wrong with the MSM is nicely written; unfortunately, it is rather meaningless unless you accept his unspoken, underlying premise (and it's a big one), that we have a "free press" in this country, not run by the government. Come on, Eric! It is troubling that you don't even mention known realities such as "Operation Mockingbird" or the CIA "assets" widely known to have walked the halls of MSM's offices, as early as 1948. Whatever! Let's ignore those inconvenient truths for the moment.

In fact, the MSM is not only complicit in the lies that we are fed on a daily basis by the radical right-wing, it has a vested interest in pushing those versions of reality which increase their bottom-line. NEWS FLASH: War means big bucks for corporate America, and not just for defense contractors. Advertising revenues go up for the MSM in times of crisis and war. Think about it: is John Q. Citizen more likely to watch the evening news when the lead story is (a) the full-scale invasion of Iran, or (b) the decline in unemployment in the high-tech sector? The answer is obvious, and with increased viewership comes increased advertising revenues. So, is it remotely possible that the MSM would actually foster an environment of fear, and twist the news to garner citizen support for a bogus war, simply to increase corporate revenues? Hello!?

A final thought. Corporations are legal entities, with some of the same legal rights that we living, breathing, human beings have. These legal entities are not, however, legal beings; huge difference, folks. I'm afraid that this truth, with all of its attendant implications, needs to hit home before there will be any demand for real change. In difficult and dangerous times, living and speaking the "truth" requires a supreme act of courage. Courage can never be mustered by a corporation. That, my friends, takes soul.

Fred Sprouse

Breckenridge, CO

Dec 8 2007 - 10:54pm

Web Letter

As well-meaning as Alterman may be, this article does not even touch on the problems of the so-called MSM. I have dedicated the past five years of my life to studying this issue and educating others about this issue, and I can tell you this: the problem is not bias, the problem is deception. Bias is just a distraction.

Information is controlled and control is centralized. This is easily proven, and I do so in my live presentations. On issues ranging from energy technology to health to 9/11, there is an organized control over what the MSM allows the public to see.

First of all, look at the members of the media. Count how many of them are members of political or secretive political organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations (a conspiratorial organization shrouded in secrecy that yields a tremendous amount of political control). Then look at the obvious: every single major media outlet reports the same news and ignores the same news. This is not coincidence.

I can not convince people in one letter that there is a major conspiracy with the media, but I will tell you this: bias is not the issue--although it is clear that bias is rampant.

If anyone wants more information about this, feel free too contact me at TvNewsLIES.org.

Jesse Richard

Brooklyn, NY

Dec 6 2007 - 11:59pm

Web Letter

Bravo! I prefer to call the beast the Mega Media. Amidst the omission, commission and self-censored pablum that can no longer pass for reporting there are glimpses of reality on the net...

Wake Up, America! Wake Up!

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Dec 6 2007 - 7:13pm

Web Letter

In fact, the Iraq situation never fit the definition of a civil war at all. At no time was the violence there being at the direction of two or more rival governments organized to rule the same territory. Massive sectarian violence, of course, but not a civil war! That difference is critical in how the political solution is playing out over the next few years.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Dec 6 2007 - 4:18pm