Editorial: How Bad is the Corporate and Conservative Media?

How you can help one of most powerful antidotes to corporate media failure.


Actually both corporate and right-wing press are getting much worse. There are dozens of examples of journalistic failure every week. The right-wing media is often insane as we report on AlterNet in our super popular weekly series on Right-wing wackos. And, increasingly, mainstream media is about protecting the 1% and the media owner’s financial interests. They too often miss the real story or mislead the reader.

We need top flight, tenacious, fearless, progressive media to push back every day.

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It is no accident that the world’s richest man — Mexico’s Carlos Slim, worth $73 billion — is the second largest stockholder of the New York Times. Or that The Washington Post is now owned totally by one super rich person — Jeff Bezos, the emperor of Amazon.

Bezos recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But, the Post’s articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper’s sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon.

Too often the media’s performance is a disgrace to journalism:

  • The New York Times, in an astonishing bit of big bank propaganda, had the audacity to publish, “It is not a crime to make stupid mistakes, and much of what happened in the years before the financial crisis was more foolish than venal.” This is an astonishinglybrazen lie, as AlterNet’s writer explains, “…our biggest banks were found to have committed — or have confessed to committing — thousands of real and deliberate crimes, some of which rank among the largest financial crimes in history (such as LIBOR falsification, phony mortgage scams, and the $800 billion worth of drug money laundered by HSBC, to give just three examples).”
  • It also was the New York Times that first called the bumpy rollout of healthcare.gov “Obama’s Katrina” in a front-page story. Soon, this over-the-top message was puppeted all over the media. If ever there was a flawed, destructive analogy, this is it. Hurricane Katrina amounted to an abdication of government responsibility, resulting in the deaths and displacements of many thousands? How can anyone in their right mind compare this disaster with the slow web-site role out of the ACA?
  • Another media shocker was the shameful and distorted editorial in The Washington Post, which downplayed the retirement crisis and stoked generational tensions by suggesting that Social Security is a burden on young people instead of a vital safeguard. The editorial actually mocked a sensible bill introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would boost Social Security benefits by increasing taxes on the wealthy. The Washington Post’s nonsense was blasted by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who spoke out strongly against cuts of any kind, including Obama’s “chained CPI” cut which would prevent Social Security from keeping up with seniors’ increasing costs.
  • Recently, The Washington Post so-called “liberal columnist” Richard Cohen wrote, “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York–a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.” Enough said on that one. The Post also employs notable rabidly Islamaphobic blogger Jennifer Rubin.
  • Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, actually asserted during an appearance on Morning Joe, “It’s not our job to inform viewers when Republicans lie.” This is what journalism has come to — in the context of one of the most intense disinformation campaigns in history attacking the Affordable Care Act. What do Chuck Todd and NBC think journalists should do?

There are many more egregious examples… but far too many for this communiqué. Put simply, we cannot trust corporate media to protect us. They too often protect the needs of the billionaire class, not all the classes. Help us provide the alternative 24/7. We have your interests at heart. An end of the year, your tax-deductible contribution will mean a lot.

Happy holidays to you,

Don Hazen

Executive Editor, AlterNet.org

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Source: Alternet