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The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

Robert McChesney, on Jeff Bezos Acquiring the Washington POst

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Permalink Headlined to H2 8/11/13

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Robert  McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana--Champaign. His work concentrates on the history and political economy of communication, emphasizing the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. He's been described by Utne Reader as one of the "50 visionaries who are changing the world". And by right winger David Horowitz as among  The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.

My Interview Notes-- mostly questions

We're going to start off talking about Amazon Owner Jeff Bezos' acquisition of the Washington Post, and then about his latest book, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, which he co-authored with John Nichols, another of my favorite media writers. 

So, what's your analysis of Jeff Bezos as the new owner of the Washington Post?

     Back story, the context that's crucial is that commercial journalism is dying rapidly" because advertising has jumped ship. As a result there's just no money in journalism"

As a result the value of major media has dropped to one tenth of what it was 10-15 years ago. 

So, billionaires who want to have political influence have gobbled them up. 

Billionaires have different interests than the mainstream. 

We need a fundamental discussion of the collapse of journalism in t his country. 

The Wapo was owned by a family. What's the difference between jeff Bezos owning it or the Grahams owning it?

Frociously anti-labor, against paying corporate taxes, against anti-trust laws, want's to protect his monopoly. 

He sent a letter saying he won't influence the Washington post.  What do you think?

The way power works in any news organization is you have a culture that emanates from the top" 

So, the employees at the Wapo will on their own accord, based on what they know of Bezos' issues and positions, self edit their approach to issues and people. 

Now, the threat of the Koch brothers has raised a big uproar of opposition. Should people be just as upset about Bezos purchase of the Washington Post? 

   "What does it take to have competing, credible news rooms". ?"

Your book, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, talks about this. 

You use the phrase   "Hollowing out of journalism." What are you talking about there?

     Election journalism is probably the worst journalism in America-- pathetic, horse-race journalism

What are your solutions to the problems-- the Billionairization of mainstream media and the hollowing of journalism?

"Right wing, dollarcrats, rich dudes love having a journalism free environment. "

What about the bottom up side, the change from curation to connection-- like huffpo and opednews.com-- blogging, without editors or news-rooms. 

Do you have thoughts on why Bezos bought it (WaPo) instead of Amazon?

Internet has probably become the greatest generator of monopoly in human history. 

Google Facebook, microsoft, apple, verizon, qualm intel, ebay, amazon-- 12 of the 30 largest companies in the US are internet monopolies. 

Bezos is a much bigger player than your run of the mill Sheldon Adelson. 

Like what kind of questions (of how democratic a society can be with billionaires controlling monopolies?)

What will journalism look like in five years?

Do you have much hope that this {independent journalism) is going to happen?

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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