I live in the small resort community of Orange Beach, Al on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, located approximately 60 miles from Mobile. The areas largest newspaper, the Press-Register is one of the two-dozen newspapers owned by the Newhouse family, one of the wealthiest families in America. It is a highly partisan newspaper and their bias is shown daily in their editorial policy and their choice of "letters to the editor"- they publish.
Being an openly Barack Obama supporter, my letters are published only after countless inquiries and cajoling of the editorial department. It usually takes weeks after submission and of course, the point of the letter, which is usually a response to an editorial, is diminished. If it is a letter supporting Sen. McCain it gets published on a timely basis or a letter criticizing Obama but one in support of Sen. Obama takes much longer, if at all. The letters printed supporting Obama, seem often to be the poorest worded and least insightful.
The Newhouse family not only owns 26 daily newspapers from Staten Island to Oregon, but in Alabama they own the daily's in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, along with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Add to this, Parade, Conde Nast, Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, along with publishing houses, Random, Knoff, Crown, and Ballantine-- plus over 1 million viewers on their cable system. Could one draw the conclusion that Newhouse has not only a political view but that they insist on their reader/viewer be fed the same view?
The following is an excerpt from the book, "The Boss of Bosses"- by Edwin Diamond describing S.I. Newhouse, son of founder Samuel Newhouse.
"One of the more revealing passages in this maddening, provocative, and ultimately frustrating study of the vast Newhouse media empire deals with a series of lunches in the Grill Room of the Four Seasons, the premiere canteen of tout media New York. Samuel I. "Si" Newhouse, oldest son of the founding father Sam, is meeting with one of his employee-executives, book publisher Robert Bernstein, who has pushed the profit levels of Newhouse's Random House to a creamy 15 percent of (steadily rising) revenues. Despite this admirable performance, the revered Bernstein is later fired by Si Newhouse for not being more aggressive in pursuing even bigger returns from mass-market titles.
But that's not what's really creepy about these Grill Room lunches. On hand with Si and Bob is Steven Newhouse, son of Si's brother Donald. Thirty something Steve is considered the most promising of the third generation Newhouses, a Yale man likely to run the empire when Si, who was born in 1927, steps down. (The other candidate is said to be Jonathan Newhouse, a son of Si's brother Norman.) Throughout the series of lunches with Si and Bernstein, Steve utters not a word. "It was apparent that you were not to seek his opinion even though he was there," recalls the astonished Bernstein. In Corleone fashion, Steve's silence was "enforced" by Si in gestures and body language "invoking the weight of a family code."- Advertisement -
We hear constantly from the Republican side about the liberal media but if you check the media ownership in this country, you find some of the wealthiest and largest corporations in the country controlling this so-called liberal media.
Typical of the quality of the editorial you see in the Press-Register is in today's paper is an attack on Joe Biden titled "A hypocritical scrooge"-. They say after looking at Biden's tax return is shows him "to be a scrooge, a hypocritical blowhard and something of a blockhead when it comes to managing his own money." [emphasis added} It goes on to say that if his $245,000 joint income had been $5000 more he would have met Barack Obama's definition of rich. What Obama has said is, that anyone making over $250,000 could expect a tax increase.
The editorial also states that McCain donated 28% of his salary to charity and the Biden's had given only $500. It purposely omitted that McCain and wealthy wife Cindy file separately. My guess is, this editorial came down from "headquarters" and this from a family that one member S.I. the IV, appeared in a documentary Born Rich. (Born Rich was done by one of the Johnson's of Johnson & Johnson and tells what it was like to grow up in wealth and privilege.) This is the family that is controlling the news for millions.
Here is a chance for us "citizen journalists" to fight back. The editorial attack on Biden--on one hand, criticizing him for not giving away more money and on the other for not having more money--is "damn if you do and damn if you don't." They make no reference to Biden's tragic loss of wife and child and his raising two children, choosing to go back and forth to Washington each and every day. I would guess that $250,000 for the Biden family does not leave a lot left over. If you think this attack is unfair and highly bias, send Frances Coleman, the editorial page editor an email and tell her so.
Her email is email@example.com. Let us show the corporate media that we, yes us, the small voices can be loud as hell if we stand together.