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The lack of news regarding progressive rallies is hardly news, but it is important that we continue call out the corporatist mainstream media on such absurdities:
A sparsely attended Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., on March 31 in support of federal spending cuts received generous media attention. One report (Slate, 3/31/11) suggested there was “at least one reporter for every three or four activists,” and a Republican politician joked that there might be more journalists than activists at the event.
An antiwar rally in New York City on April 9 was in some respects very similar. Protesters were speaking out on an equally timely issue (wars in Afghanistan and Libya), and connecting them to the budget and near-government shutdown in Washington.
The difference? The ratio of activists to journalists. The antiwar protest had thousands of attendees–and received almost zero corporate media coverage. …
We call on news media to explain the journalistic principle that makes thousands of progressive activists far less newsworthy than dozens of Tea Party protesters.
Obviously there is no “journalistic principle” which induces the corporate media to focus on the rallies of the extreme right while ignoring more progressive causes. The very notion of “journalistic principles” fails to apply to the corporate media, because the corporate media is not in the practice of producing genuine journalism. The MSM does not exist to educate the populace or contribute to the free spread of information in a democracy. Instead, it exists merely to propagate the corporate agenda, which entails, of course, earning maximum short-term profits regardless of the long-term consequences.
After all, in a pseudo-free-market economy like our own, where the ideals of Capitalism are admired with almost religious fervor, the profit motive reigns supreme. The corporate media is actually able to accomplish two major goals in pursuit of those glorious profits. First, the media industry itself is a major source of revenue, as corporations make billions in selling audiences to advertisers. It doesn’t really matter what content is on offer; it simply has to be entertaining or convincing enough to get people interested. So the crap that passes for news in MSM coverage is geared first and foremost towards garnering a large enough audience to sell to advertisers, but this slant towards entertainment value simultaneously helps them to achieve their second goal: perpetuation of the status quo.
Corporations have never had it so good. For all practical purposes, they own our government. They fund politicians on both sides of the imaginary RepubliDem divide, they spend billions of dollars on endless lobbying efforts, and in many – if not most – cases they provide the actual legislation for bills which are eventually signed into law. Corporations pay no taxes, and in many cases actually receive vast sums of corporate welfare, which comes in the form of tax rebates or bailouts. Meanwhile, the American population remains fast asleep while these behemoth corporations metaphorically rape and pillage on a scale that would have made even the greediest European colonialists blush. What’s not to love about the status quo?
Corporations want things to remain this way, and would be willing to spend huge sums of money to do so. The tragic irony is that corporations are actually able to profit from their attempts at perpetuating the status quo. Indeed, we Americans are so stupid we have allowed their lies to turn into a multi-billion dollar industry, as we eagerly consume the corporate narrative through the guise of the cleverly packaged mainstream media. Sure, most Americans will complain about the media being biased in one way or another (shockingly, many Americans seem to believe it is liberal), but how many ordinary people do you really know who actively seek out information from non-corporate sources? I like to think I mingle with a fairly progressive crowd, but the sad reality is that most people I know rely on the major players – the NY Times, CNN, MSNBC and their ilk.
So it should be absolutely no surprise that the MSM fails to cover genuine progressive rallies, because the story of real Americans waking up and rising in opposition to the vast corporatocracy is just not in their interest to cover. Even asking such a bogus question offers a sense of legitimacy to the MSM that it hardly deserves, and our time would be better spent developing and contributing to independent, progressive media sources.