Staff Reviews

Bailing Out Big Brother

Media criticism goes from rebelling against media oligarchs to handing them a lifeline.

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The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again, by Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, Nation Books, $26.95

At the dawn of the new millennium, when the then-successful Internet access company AOL bought out the old-media conglomerate Time Warner, the media historian Robert W. McChesney called it "a violation of any known theory of a free press in a democratic society," predicting in The American Prospect that the deal would lead to "another round of mergers that should leave the entire realm of communication under the thumbs of a small handful of companies." The one certainty, McChesney said, "is that the eventual course of the Internet—the central nervous system of our era—will be determined by where the most money can be made, regardless of the social and political implications."

McChesney was not just wrong about all of the above. He was spectacularly wrong. The threatened wave of massive mergers never materialized. AOL Time Warner lost a then-record $99 billion in 2002, dropped the "AOL" from its name in 2003, and spun off the Internet company altogether in 2009. Instead of heralding a new age, the merger is now seen as marking the last big burst of irrational exuberance from a long-gone era. And the "eventual course of the Internet" has been determined not by a handful of mustache-twirling profiteers but by millions of frequently anonymous individuals, some seeking profit but most using the simplest of online tools for the sheer bloody hell of it. The social and political implications of bottom-up media have undermined the very media oligarchs McChesney so feared.

This was more than just an outlier prediction that didn't pan out. Most media critics—the people who, year after year, clog the shelves of Barnes & Noble with depressive tomes such as Losing the News, The Vanishing Newspaper, and The News About the News—missed the mark by equally wide margins. Tom Rosenstiel, one of the deans of American media criticism, warned darkly of "the end of an independent press." On his left, Norman Solomon spoke of "new totalitarianisms." New Left media entrepreneur Robert Scheer (an old friend of mine) referred to AOL Time Warner as "Big Brother" and lamented that it was time to "forget the Internet as a wild zone of libertarian freedom." Do you feel more or less free online today, punks?

The 2000s, which stand as arguably the single most disruptive and creative decade for media since the dawn of the William Randolph Hearst/Joseph Pulitzer press baron era, forced what might be called the Media Monopoly wing of journalism criticism—which holds, as argued by the influential 1983 Ben Bagdikian book of the same name, that a dwindling handful of megacompanies own and control the means of journalism production—to change its tune. In a few short years people like McChesney went from bemoaning the democracy-threatening concentration of power at the largest media institutions to lamenting the democracy-threatening job losses at the same companies. The Internet, once considered a dangerously unregulated free-for-all (having been, as McChesney wrote in 2000, "privatized and turned over to Corporate America" with the public getting "nothing in return except a tidal wave of corporate PR bulls**t") is now seen as the last best hope for media reform.

This shape shifting would be little more than an intellectual curiosity if it weren't for one pressing fact: The media criticism establishment, McChesney most of all, is pushing hard for an unprecedented federal government intrusion into the free press. And its alarming proposals are gaining a sympathetic audience on Capitol Hill.

In March 2009, McChesney and John Nichols, the Washington correspondent for The Nation, penned a widely circulated story for the progressive weekly calling for a journalism "stimulus" costing $60 billion over the next three years. Provisions included a $200 tax credit for newspaper subscriptions, the elimination of postage rates for magazines receiving less than 20 percent of their revenue from advertising, and taxpayer support for "a well-funded student newspaper and a low-power FM radio station" at "every middle school, high school and college."

In 2005 the same duo had published a book whose subtitle complained that the American media "destroy democracy." Now they pitched their plan to save the media as a way to "sustain" the country's "democratic infrastructure." Apparently a lot can change in just four years. "Only government," McChesney and Nichols concluded in the Nation piece, "can implement policies and subsidies to provide an institutional framework for quality journalism."

McChesney and Nichols have expanded their argument to book length in The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again. As the title implies, the authors see the current crisis—during which several major media companies have declared bankruptcy and shuttered century-old newspapers—as a cleared site on which central planners can construct the kind of journalism McChesney and Nichols pined for when savaging the corporate media. "Journalism," they claim, "is a public good that is no longer commercially viable. If we want journalism, it will require public subsidies and enlightened policies."

Although McChesney and Nichols hold down the left wing of the media criticism establishment, their call for government meddling has been echoed throughout the field's mainstream, including journalists you wouldn't normally expect to seek increased federal interference in their business. Leonard Downie Jr., the longtime and now-retired executive editor of The Washington Post, co-wrote a big white paper for the Columbia Journalism School in September 2009 on "The Reconstruction of American Journalism," calling for, among other things, a national "Fund for Local News" to be administered by the Federal Communications Commission. "American society," Downie and co-author Michael Schudson declared, "must now take some collective responsibility for supporting news reporting—as society has, at much greater expense, for public education, health care, scientific advancement and cultural preservation, through varying combinations of philanthropy, subsidy and government policy."

These sentiments would have been considered shocking when Downie's paper was butting heads with Richard Nixon in the early 1970s. They now are commonplace not just within the self-conscious mediasphere, at places like the Columbia Journalism Review and the Poynter Institute, but among the people who run the federal government.

"Not nearly enough is being done to find ways to preserve these institutions that are so critical to our democracy," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in September 2009, during one of several hearings on Capitol Hill last year on how to reverse the flagging fortunes of Big Media. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chaired a Senate gabfest on the subject, semi-coherently expressed his sense of urgency: "The increase in media conglomerates has resulted in an increase in agenda-driven reporting and over time, if those of us who value a diversity of opinion and ideas, and are unafraid to be confronted with pointed commentary and analysis, do not act, it is a situation which will only get worse." In March 2009, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced a Newspaper Revitalization Act that would give papers targeted tax breaks and allow them to restructure as 501(c)(3) nonprofits as long as they stop endorsing political candidates and agree to limit the amount of advertising they run. 

That same month, Attorney General Eric Holder singled out newspapers for possible preferential treatment under the law. "I think it's important for this nation to maintain a healthy newspaper industry," Hoder said. "So to the extent that we have to look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that that industry faces, that's something that I'm going to be willing to do." Even President Barack Obama got into the act, telling the Toledo Blade in September: "What I hope is that people start understanding if you're getting your newspaper over the Internet, that's not free and there's got to be a way to find a business model that supports that.…It's something that I think is absolutely critical to the health of our democracy."

Though a big new federal journalism stimulus is highly unlikely, reeling newspapers during this bailout season have already benefited from official favors, from government-brokered meetings with potential buyers to grant money normally earmarked for job retraining. With new calls for assistance springing up every month, it's a matter of time before some of the most well-connected and influential companies in the country start getting legislative results.

McChesney and Nichols' contribution to the discussion is largely to soften the intellectual ground for what the authors know is controversial even among the most left-wing journalists: giving the government a greater role in the care and feeding of its watchdog. "In the dominant view, there is no role for the government in the news media except to stay out of the way," they write. "We need to send this dogmatic understanding of a free press to the same graveyard that will receive the corporate news system. Let's be clear about this: the bedrock principle that government must not censor or interfere with the content of journalistic operations of news media is non-negotiable."

The authors would be more convincing on the latter point if their book didn't start off with an approving quote from Obama, endorsing the questionable (though rarely questioned) notion that newspapers are the cornerstone of democracy. More substantively, McChesney has been one of the leading figures pushing for campaign finance laws of the type the U.S. Supreme Court overturned in January in Citizens United v. FEC. If you're trying to reassure people that government censorship is a non-starter, it surely doesn't help when in the next breath you advocate amending the Constitution so the government can once again censor Hillary: The Movie.

Unfortunately for anyone enthusiastic about both a strong federal government and freedom of the press, there is and always will be a fundamental tension between the two. Like Barack Obama taking over General Motors, McChesney and Nichols say they don't want the government to own newspapers. It's just that in cities where the one dominant daily is falling, the government should "establish an office to oversee and coordinate the rapid transition…into post-corporate newspapers." If the government buys the newspaper outright, it will hold onto the thing "for one year maximum—with strict controls on the official role to guard against censorship and abuses of the public trust." It's fun to play pretend legislation, but the history of lawmaking is littered with unkept promises and unintended consequences.

To allay such concerns, the authors highlight historical government support for publishing in the U.S. and breezily assert that European journalists don't have any problems being independent despite all the subsidies they get. Even if the latter were true—and it's not—both arguments are about as convincing as McChesney's 2000 lament that the Internet was "a direct testament to socialism" until it got "commercialized" in "an extraordinary case of corruption." Sure, it's interesting that the government created and helped maintain the Internet until the World Wide Web took off in the early '90s. But the fact that commercialization and just plain decentralized play expanded the system into the globe-altering phenomenon it is today does not recommend a return to the boring and controlled old days. Nor does the comparative plentitude of thin and unprofitable newspaper titles in subsidized Western Europe mask the fact that corporate-owned American papers have for six decades been the envy of the world in terms of size, quality, and compensation. That the system is changing now, particularly at the top end, is occasionally traumatic for participants, but it's no reason to abandon the American separation of media and state.

There is a pattern here, and it doesn't manifest only in journalism. Anti-corporate crusaders have long decried the power and behavior of Detroit's Big Three automakers. Yet by 2008 many longtime Detroit critics were clamoring for the Big Three to be bailed out, in order to save jobs and build the electric cars of their dreams. That's what McChesney and Nichols want to do with media, producing in the wake of the allegedly imminent corporate die-out a journalism that does a better job covering labor, poverty, statehouse politics, and the run-up to the next war. It's fitting that they would require the federal government to effect these changes, because without the use of force it's unlikely that the largest media institutions would produce such an item-by-item reproduction of progressives' journalistic wish-list.

The modern era of media criticism was kicked off in 1947, when a collection of the best and brightest summoned by Time Publisher Henry Luce and University of Chicago President Robert Hutchins concluded that the news media have a core role in the functioning of a society, and that they should therefore carry out their work with the utmost social responsibility. It was the act of an establishment trying to codify a set of lofty norms that—coincidentally or not—would dovetail uncannily well with the rapid consolidation of the news industry. Five-paper towns were becoming one-paper towns, and the survivors were finding that their local monopoly was both more profitable and less resented when producing high-quality, fair-minded, civic-oriented news.

Establishments, of course, attract company men while repelling the type of rabble rousers who don't fit in with professionalized conformity. So beginning with the launch of The Village Voice in the 1950s, an "alternative" journalism sprang up, taking as foundational the idea that straight journalism was too stuffy to see the real news in front of its face. Both sides of the divide freely borrowed ideas and style from each other in the 1960s and '70s, particularly within the New Journalism movement, and by the time Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly came out you had, roughly speaking, two large groups of media thinkers: those who bemoaned corporate media from within and those who criticized it from without.

Then something funny happened. The media stopped consolidating. The end of the Fairness Doctrine, which had mandated equal time for opposing political views, begat a boom in AM talk radio. Desktop publishing begat a huge newsletter industry and other niche publishing projects. Cable television greatly expanded the kinds of news available, and the Internet ripped the lid off everything but McChesney and Nichols' imagination. ("The Web has yet to emerge as a distinct journalistic force," they insist.) Critics had become so accustomed to railing against media consolidation and the corporate owners who insisted on maximizing profits that they failed to appreciate that their vocabulary of citizens "drowned out" by oligarchs had long since become untethered to reality. 

The best that can be said for The Death and Life of American Journalism is that, without explicitly acknowledging their past hyperbole, the authors at least see a future that doesn't involve outright slavery. The worst is that they want the government to use force to make their dreams come true. 

Matt Welch (matt.welch@reason.com) is the editor in chief of reason.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

77 responses to “Bailing Out Big Brother

  1. Freedom of the press is a right. Where’s my free printing press?

    1. You don’t get one till 2014.

  2. Am I taking crazy pills?

    1. I wish MAGNUM would stop all these bastards.

  3. No more Pentagon papers will be published if this comes to pass.

  4. One the one hand, why buy the cow when you can have milk for free?

    On the other hand, you don’t want the cow to starve to death.

    For Our Masters, its a real dilemma.

  5. If there’s anything the government needs to subsidize, it’s crazy pills.

  6. I just can’t believe we’re to the point where a socialist grab is being tolerated in this country. Sure, many of us have objected, but here we are–banking, auto manufacturing, medical services. Boom.

  7. At least Teh Mob was honest about their particular brand of insurance.

  8. “Let’s be clear about this: the bedrock principle that government must not censor or interfere with the content of journalistic operations of news media is non-negotiable.”

    So just give us money, no strings attached. Yeah, that’d be historic.

    BTW, was there anything interesting on the second page? Won’t get fooled again, but I’m always afraid I might be missing something, just that once.

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  9. “Only government,” McChesney and Nichols concluded in the Nation piece, “can implement policies and subsidies to provide an institutional framework for quality journalism.”

    Only government can set us free.

  10. Newspaper Revitalization Act that would give papers targeted tax breaks and allow them to restructure as 501(c)(3) nonprofits as long as they stop endorsing political candidates and agree to limit the amount of advertising they run.

    This is unintentionally funny. Everyone who’s ever worked for a non-profit knows that ‘non-profit’ doesn’t mean ‘not profitable’. You have to make money to sustain a non-profit, period. Otherwise you’re laying off employees, just like the non-profit I work for did last year.

    By limiting the amount of advertising they can run is like saying that they can be a non-profit as long as they don’t make too much money. This status basically guarantees dependence on government subsidy. It’s a roadmap for journalism to be forever under the thumb of government.

    This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface on the whole political endorsement issue. I don’t take newspaper endorsements seriously at all, but I think the media’s right to them is undisputed. But again, with this logic, it sews up newspapers as:

    1: being forever dependent on government.
    2: never campaigning against, making statements against or challenging incumbent politicians as those statements or challenges would be seen as “express advocacy”.

    In any other circumstances, we would consider this move to be wholly conspiratorial. At minimum, it’s darkly sinister.

  11. If they succeed what stops me from getting a nice fat subsidy, spewing out crap writing about nothing in particular and collecting reporter and editor salary for myself?

    1. You have no lobbyists.

  12. “Journalism, is a public good that is no longer commercially viable. If we want journalism, it will require public subsidies and enlightened policies.”

    Is this a parody?

  13. This shape shifting would be little more than an intellectual curiosity if it weren’t for one pressing fact: The media criticism establishment, McChesney most of all, is pushing hard for an unprecedented federal government intrusion into the free press. And its alarming proposals are gaining a sympathetic audience on Capitol Hill.

    ‘Tis impossible to rape the willing.

    However, McChesney appears to enjoy rough paternal sex.

  14. I find myself explaining government takeovers like this and always feel the need to qualify my statements by saying I’m not being hyperbolic or I’m not a quack. How do we get more people to understand just how real the loss if liberty is and how’s it’s getting worse? I know we can say tell them to read but let’s face it many are too lazy. I guess looking for a way to put together a Libertarian Cliff’s Notes to get them to understand the big picture then we can point them to sites like Reason for the details.

    1. Libertarian Cliff Notes is one piece to the puzzle and that is being worked on. However another big part of the problem is many Libertarians for whatever Reason don’t really have Libertarian principles at their core. I’m sorry but there is no way in hell a principled Libertarian could support Obamacare and yet here they were on this site trying to make that case.
      Also when a Libertarian stalwart like Reason damn near avoids the whole conversation the week leading up to Obamacare one has to wonder if they are in for the fight or determined to watch the Titanic go down while playing the violin.
      Their tag line is “Free Minds and Free Markets” and yet when the free market was under massive assault we got Drew Carey in Cleveland episodes 1-5

  15. It would seem to me that “Congress Shall Pass No Law Affecting…Freedom..of the Press” would preclude any official funding or other government supports for newspapers.

    The MSM’s credibility is so tattered now that accepting government funds would be seen as being (more) co opted by the State.

  16. My English is not good, not too much to see to understand. But thank you to share with me

    1. Yes it was, Abie.

  17. thomas saboMany years after receiving my graduate degree, I returned to the State University of New York at Binghamton as a faculty member. One day in a crowded elevator, someone remarked on its inefficiency. I said the elevators had not changed in the 20 years since I began there as a student.
    When the door finally opened, I felt a compassionate pat on my back, and turned to see an elderly nun smiling at me. “You’ll get that degree, dear,” she whispered. “Perseverance is a virtue.” thomas sabo

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  19. WastingtonDC:
    Publishing physical content is a failed business model! That said, and gotten out of the way, we move on, to repeating the mantra that I fervently hope will convince Sir Rupert Murdoch to destroy the failed business model of physical publishing, as he is destroying the failed business model of network television, at least in the soul destroying bundled butchery form in which it is practiced, in America.
    Google, PayPal, and Sir Rupert must now agree to formulate and execute my Lomax two cent solution, to the multibillion dollar problem that is destroying the Lame Stream Media in particular, and the physical publishing industry, in general. Consumers of content must be enabled to pay their two cents for each article, and twenty five cents, for each book, they choose to read, directly to the producer of their chosen content, with none of the collected millions of pennies paid to read the perfection of Charles Krauthammer’s 800 word article diverted to paying for union employees destroying trees, or hauling them to mill, press, newsstand, home and then our landfills. The same goes for the world’s books also made available in my oft suggested Google’s Global Free Library, at no cost whatever, for all the children who will never see more than a few printed books, and presented for pay, on a trust but verify honor system, for those folks who have the where withal necessary to click on the author’s payment line, after the standard teaser allowance, or where ever the best authors choose to put their pay me now, click to read on, line.
    Billions of readers of a dozen or a few online media outlets daily, are ready to put a PayPal Googler’s $100, or more, as necessary, for the float to allow Google to maintain their Free Library, the day their geeks get the “how to do it securely” bits worked out.
    Sir Rupert must strike, again, to make another bold step change to an industry, as with Fox and the WSJ, albeit it means the immediate destruction of billions of dollars of his family owned monopoly infrastructure. Since that union driven waste of resources was devised, back in the day, for controlling writers, artists, and their fans, or herding cats, if you will, and is doomed to extinction in any event, being the first adapter is sure to save and make Sir Rupert’s family more money, in the long run.
    We want to pay our writers directly, with the free market shaping the systems that deliver us content, and we will not abide any approach that limits the anarchy apparent in Sir Rupert Murdoch’s Market Watch commentary approach. That is: with 5000 characters allowed per comment, with it all archived to embarrass either writers or their detractors, non-censored, and only mildly refereed. Basically it is bare knuckle combat, politely stated, and encouraged as commentary.
    Fair and balanced, open commentary began, and has been refined, in Market Watch. It has been increasingly emulated, albeit poorly executed in some outlets. I have repeatedly called for this free for all approach, in NYT, and throughout the industry, by media outlets hoping for any sort of survival, in any form.
    Producers importantly for the vendors, why would I buy a cell phone, or other personal device, when my one go anywhere small computer does it all. It appears that Sir Rupert’s satellite system approaches, coupled with Google Free World Library would encompass all the world’s content, within a decade.refusing to allow Google to provide their content free, to all the world’s poorest oppressed peoples, can allow themselves to be chosen, or forced to kiss physical publisher’s rings, and respect their bias, whilst paying their unions to destroy the planets lungs. The rest of us will gladly join the schools recently giving away their physical collections, and await paying a professor/text author, .25 for a year’s use of his newest book, eagerly sought after, if it’s any good. Of course, those less useful will find no place on our go anywhere net books, with reader apps, as appropriate. Why would I buy both a reader and a laptop, PC, netbook? More

  20. truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.”
    “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”
    “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.”
    “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

  21. Someone actually still reads newspapers. Maybe they should subsidize black and white TVs and those mechanical push mowers that don’t have motors too since no one uses those anymore either.

    They just miss the good old days when the only choice was which of their propaganda tools you’d get fed their bull-crap by. In those days you could travel anywhere in the country and get the exact same news and spin. The internet proves those of us who felt that kind of endless coincidence was impossible.

    A true Free Press would have widely differing views and perspectives on events of the times, it should reflect society, and society is not homogeneous.

    Great article, Matt, I agree many common, often anonymous people make the Net roll and often just for the hell of it. That’s why it’s so great, True Freedom of the Press, those of us looking for more truthful information can find it if we look hard enough, research and fact checking that once took weeks or months and numerous trips to libraries and archives can be done in minutes or hours. Sure there’s a lot of garbage and nonsense, but with a little practice most should be able to navigate around it easily. Small annoyance for access to something as priceless as a true free flow of information.

    Better enjoy it while we can, good fortune has kept those who made media offline their personal propaganda and manipulation tool from getting a good foot in the door so far. But they won’t quit, and one they get a real toe in it will be the beginning of the end.

  22. *The internet proves those of us who felt that kind of endless coincidence would be a theoretical impossibility were right.

    sorry, drank a little too much last night and woke up with QWERTY stamped backwards on my forehead. Seen I forgot to hit submit, but forgot I was re-writing that line when the keyboard rose up and hit my face just before my unintentional nap.

  23. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke.

  24. “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”

  25. Well said. Tucker is despicable, Crossfire became despicable (despite the presence of supposed “heavyweights” like Novack and Carville), and Jon Stewart is a comedian who has never proclaimed himself to be anything else. Just because certain people here don’t understand how satire works doesn’t change that fact. The fact that The Daily Show has gained some cultural traction doesn’t change that.

  26. Even if you go on his website, it’s still just a a ten minute discussion. The interview with Jim Cramer simply amounted to Jim sputtering something every couple of minutes while John wagged his finger at him the whole time. I’ve never seen him have an intelligent discussion with anybody, and he only talks to people that he knows he can bully into a corner. Usually idiots, yes, but it’s still dispicable. I don’t watch him that often, but it is people like him that make me wretch. The fact that people go around saying “He slammed so and so” in that “debate” pisses me off. John’s not directly responsible for that, but he certainly plays his audience to get that effect.

  27. “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”

  28. Even if you go on his website, it’s still just a a ten minute discussion. The interview with Jim Cramer simply amounted to Jim sputtering something every couple of minutes while John wagged his finger at him the whole time. I’ve never seen him have an intelligent discussion with anybody, and he only talks to people that he knows he can bully into a corner. Usually idiots, yes, but it’s still dispicable. I don’t watch him that often, but it is people like him that make me wretch. The fact that people go around saying “He slammed so and so” in that “debate” pisses me off. John’s not directly responsible for that, but he certainly plays his audience to get that effect.

  29. Well said. Tucker is despicable, Crossfire became despicable (despite the presence of supposed “heavyweights” like Novack and Carville), and Jon Stewart is a comedian who has never proclaimed himself to be anything else. Just because certain people here don’t understand how satire works doesn’t change that fact. The fact that The Daily Show has gained some cultural traction doesn’t change that.

  30. Also when a Libertarian stalwart like Reason damn near avoids the whole conversation the week leading up to Obamacare one has to wonder if they are in for the fight or determined to watch the Titanic go down while playing the violin.

  31. It’s hard to believe the news media would embrace goverment influence. Of course one can hardly say the media is unbiased anyway. What a crazy turn of events to have them clammering for bailouts when they’ve always run under the separate from government theme. It will be interesting to see what these newspapers and tv news media outlets do in the future.

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  37. It has certainly got me surprised, I never thought that a show like Big brother would look for bail out or something like that, really beyond my imagination.

  38. it has cetainly got me surprised!

  39. Indeed a big surprise for me to know about bailing out talks for big brother.

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  45. Yeh this is exciting, about time we stuck it to them !

  46. It’s hard to believe the news media would embrace goverment influence. Of course one can hardly say the media is unbiased anyway.

  47. i love the south park episode about government bailouts..it’s called margaritaville

    1. haha yea that episode is amazing, i think ppl overlook how smart of a show south park actually is…almost every episode is created to deal with a specific issue

  48. I will be forced to sell my bussines after 35 years auto salvage yard to abide the law. | ran ??? |

  49. “In a few short years people like McChesney went from bemoaning the democracy-threatening concentration of power at the largest media institutions to lamenting the democracy-threatening job losses at the same companies.” this is by far the best quote of your article

  50. Maintain posting the great function.Some really useful information in there.

  51. It will be interesting to see what these newspapers and tv news media outlets do in the future. IBCBET

  52. This is a great speech. Thank for your post

  53. Wonderful speech Anne! So excited for you!

  54. Unbelievable, but why did they freeze the project, was their method cheaper? Did they free him before his sentence was over for this? very interesting indeed

  55. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

  56. The guy truly has enough brains to be embarrassed?

  57. I had this page bookmarked a when prior to but my PC crashed.

  58. violation of any known theory of a free press in a democratic society,” predicting in The American Prospect that the dea

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  60. Warner, the media historian Robert W. McChesney called it “a violation of any known theory of a free press in a demo

  61. I had a misdemeanor d be for the 96 gun law now i will be forced to sell my bussines after 35 years auto salvage yard to abide the law .Because of shells and guns in alot of them in my possesion Clean Record Since.
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