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A Billion Bucks For Your Thoughts"

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(Article changed on November 7, 2012 at 10:46)

Well, now that we've dodged the Romney bullet, what are we going to do about this:

Between the race for the White House and congressional races both parties and the interest groups supporting them and their candidates, will have spent upwards of $2 billion dollars on this campaign.

And who got most of that dough? The people rely on to tell us what's going on -- the media -- that's who.

Since the Supremes gave special interests a free pass on campaign contributions, we've worried ourselves senseless about "the corrupting influence of big money on the political system." 

But what about the folks on the receiving end of all that campaign cash? What about the media? Anyone who believes that cash corrupts politicians, but somehow has no effect on media, are nuts. 

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Compounding this danger is the fact we've noted before; the growing corporate ownership of media across the board -- broadcast, print, even social media.  

And, as we have all come to know, a corporations' first and foremost responsibility is to "maximize shareholder equity."   

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How better to that in the media business than to make damn sure  every election  is a "highly contest" election. The more contested it can be made, the more controversy -- real or imagined -- the more campaign dough will flow corporate-media bottom lines -- guaranteed.  

When controversy becomes a profit center for media outlets, just exactly what do you expect you're going to get from them? Less controversy? Silly you.  

Now I am relieved to see that all that unregulated spending by rightwing groups failed to win them the White House. And those conservatives on the Supreme Court will surely claim now that they were right in the Citizen's United Case.   

But, while I am happy to see that a slight majority of American voters were smart enough to see what was behind all that spending by the Koch Bros. et al, that misses the point -- and the real danger. The danger that the messenger is being corrupted, That what we are really seeing is the commoditization of controversy by media, across the political and social spectrum.  

You see, when the messenger suddenly gets a vested interest in the content of the message, we no longer can trust the messages they deliver. Remember that the next time you watch your cable news network of choice. Because they are all on the take.   

All that special interest cash is like chumming for sharks; throw some bloody meat in the water and they all show up for the feeding frenzy. But the key ingredient is blood. After that the frenzy is on, and the cash just keeps coming. Why would corporate media want anything less?

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"Let me just say, watching cable news because you want to become better informed is like going to Olive Garden because you want to live in Italy."

-Andy Borowitz


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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)
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