Monday, September 21, 2009

Independent press is on life support

It's rather revealing that Obama has signaled that he is open to a financial bailout for the media. He told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade that he would be happy to look at bills before congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as non profit businesses. What exactly does that mean for the independent press that has been the backbone of our democracy from its conception?

When you have Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, which is the parent company of NBC, on the presidents team of economic advisers, there has already been a line crossed. There are rumors of memos from the top dogs at G.E. , sent to anchors at CNBC encouraging them to take it easy on Obama, especially after Rick Santelli's rant against Obama's policies, that was one factor in spawning the tea party movement. Then you have MSNBC, which has already forfeited any semblance of an independent media, cheering on Obama from mid way in the primaries. Both cable stations are under the parent company General Electric. Then, of course, there's ABC's decision to broadcast Obama's health care infomercial from the White House without allowing an opposing view, and even denying ad buys that countered the president's rhetoric.

You've got G.E. heavily invested in green energy technology with Jeffrey Immelt the CEO having Barack Obama's ear, and an unholy alliance between private industry and government policy developing, where favors can be appropriated if the news organization at NBC continues favorable coverage of all things Obama. Where has the concept of true journalistic ethics, and media watch dog gone. Lap dog would be a better term to describe the current mainstream media.

And now a media bailout is being bantered about, with even greater implications afoot. We already have an administration that has shown they will reward allies, while punishing news organizations that actually do the job, that has kept government accountable. Notice Obama's Sunday media blitz didn't include an appearance on Fox News Sunday, an obvious snub for their refusal to broadcast his last prime time news conference, and Fox News channel's relentless reporting of unsavory characters in the administration, and corruption by pro Obama allies. It would be an intolerable development for any administration to be given the power to choose winners and losers in the media collage.

There has already been an attempt to silence radio talk show hosts by marginalizing them, and of course congress's renewed love affair with the fairness doctrine, is lying in the weeds. It would require all radio stations to offer opposing views, even if they are not economically viable for ad revenues. You've got this administration threatening legal action against Humana for mailings, warning seniors of medicare service cuts if Obama care is passed. Of course Obama himself can make outrages and overblown promises with no basis in fact, and when he's called out the offender is publicly caned.

Patriots who understand the threat a state run media poses, no matter what party is in power, need to stand up against the death of an independent media. No democracy can survive when the state controls information, by intimidation or economic viability. It's time to stand against the creeping tyranny that the first amendment guaranteed all Americans freedom from, through the musings of a free and independent press.


  1. Awesome post! Follow the money, folks! GE is not your friend. The LSM is not your friend. You want the truth? Check out independent, free-thinking, down-to-earth blogs like this one and others in cyberland and you'll see a night and day difference between these thruths and the crap being pushed by CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, etc...

    The Old-School Media Kings are dead. Long Live Citizen Commentators!

  2. Any assault on the first amendment will undoubtedly lead to civil unrest.

    If the Obamunnists outlaw words, then the debate moves beyond words...

  3. Do you suppose there would be any chance that News Corporation (Fox's parent company) would be offered a bailout if they were in the same situation?