For corporate media to be successful at lying to us on behalf of the portfolios of their owners, board members and advertisers, they must pretend to offer diversity in their reporting so as to convince the majority that different sides of issues are being aired.
Since most Americans get their news from television, that diversity is now said by corporate media to be the range from FOX News, at the Republican end of the scale, to MSNBC at the Democratic Party end.
Terms like left and right as employed by corporate media have become so nebulous that they are meaningless. People who were far right during the sixties, such as Richard Nixon, would be called far left today, because they were left of Bill and Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama (more on this later), as politics in the media have rocketed rightward.
Recently we find FOX’s Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren are transferring their propaganda lines to MSNBC, showing there is no real difference. Though they come from the supposed right wing, each will be allowed to have their own programs on the supposed left-wing MSNBC and each will be paid millions of dollars annually for this.
The reason these transfers are so easy is that MSNBC executives know Kelly and Van Susteren can be trusted to give the corporate viewpoints of the MSNBC board of directors and advertisers, the same viewpoint they narrowly spewed at FOX. It is fascinating that none of the corporate “journalists” openly admit that they are doing this.
If indeed there was a trace of leftist politics in MSNBC management, wouldn’t they have been able to find an actual leftist to do programs at MSNBC? I know a number of leftists who would work for a tiny fraction of the millions that will be paid to Kelly and Van Susteren, and they would do a much better job of representing the mainstream.
But alas, MSNBC is the network which dumped Phil Donahue on 25 February, 2003, when their executives feared (according to their emails) that Donahue might invite guests on his program to oppose the impending illegal invasion of Iraq. Chris Matthews urged MSNBC to fire Donahue, since Chris, who still has the MSNBC program “Hardball,” avidly supported the illegal invasion.
MSNBC begins each morning with Joe Scarborough’s program “Morning Joe.” Scarborough is a former Republican member of Congress known for being extremely conservative. One wonders how anyone might see this network as left of anything short of the Third Reich.
The highest paid celebrity at MSNBC is Rachel Maddow, who gets $7 million per year to tell viewers that the Democratic Party is good, and that Republicans are bad, which has more to do with keeping citizens corporate controlled than left or right.
Maddow spent much of the past few years pushing the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, so again, one must wonder how MSNBC could be thought of as leftist. Hillary was actually in the leadership of the Democratic Leadership Council, a group formed to make the Democratic Party into a corporate clone of the Republicans.
The nation’s political discourse, led by a corrupt media, has moved in the past half century from a mix of liberal and conservative media to a mix of conservative and right wing. One only has to go back to Richard Nixon, who signed the EPA, OSHA, ABM Treaty and many other progressive things into law, things no modern Democratic President would even consider.
Obamacare? It was Nixon’s idea, and evolved through the extremely right-wing Heritage Foundation to be signed into law by Republican Governor Romney before Obama adopted it. Congressional Democrats in Nixon’s time were for expanding Medicare to all citizens, and rebuffed Nixon’s attempt to introduce this medical care system based on corporate profit, as is Obamacare (which is why it is failing, all that overhead paying million dollar salaries for executives, billions in profits to the descendents of robber barons, and more billions for unnecessary bureaucracy).
Some of President Obama’s first tasks when taking office in 2009 were to send another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, after running as an antiwar candidate, and bail out the banksters who gave him more in campaign financing than they had given to any other candidate in history. After bailing out the banksters for their failed scams, giving them billions they used to pay themselves bonuses, Obama did not bail out the victims of the banksters, the millions who lost homes, and the millions who lost jobs.
We are told by the mainstream media that FOX is politically right and MSNBC is politically left, but apparently their millionaire “journalists” are completely untainted by such labels and may spring from seat to seat in their lucrative game of musical chairs. Since left and right do not seemingly matter, this can only be because their views are not in the public interest, but in the interest of their corporate employers.
Left and right are not as important in today’s corporate media as adherence to support for laissez faire capitalism, the defense cheats, banksters, polluters and other criminals who run the USA like a private plantation. Rest assured that Kelly and Van Susteren will obediently see to their cotton-picking needs.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.