"Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent at the same time that it enhances the power of the state and the privileged interests that the state protects... Sadly, in many respects, the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth."
No greater proof of the Potemkin village media information cage we are forced to occupy now exists then the absence of any real discussion of the 9-11 neo-con coup d'etat and the seminal issue of private central bank debt-money -- i.e., a privatized money monopoly crisis now reaching the point of insuring our bankruptcy and rape of our national assets by the banksters as we now see happening around the world.
How do these editors and journalist "presstitutes" sleep? In effect, on these all important issues, they are traitors to their profession. They are people who are either monumentally stupid and misinformed or, far more likely, simply fearful quislings under orders to deceive their readers, to corrupt the flow of information, and to lie repeatedly in the interests of their corporate masters.
How do they sleep? Where is the revolution in the press room? Why aren't these "journalists" getting together to protest and reveal the truth of their sordid employments to the people they claim to serve? Mr. Journalist, Tear Down This Truman World Wall of Deceit and Treachery!
About twenty year ago I offered up the idea of an EditorFreedom Act (see EditorFreedom.com) in which subscribers/readers would elect their editors -- not exactly a novel idea as it had been proposed a century earlier by Edward Bellamy in his classic, Looking Backward .
The Editorial Freedom Act - On Separating Editorship From Ownership and Undoing Oligarchy In A Corporate Media -- is aimed at destroying the media oligarchy that not only distorts the truth but hides it from the people.
The preamble to this proposed legislation explains the intent: "In the interests of fair, honest, accurate, and complete news gathering and reporting, and to assure access for the broadest spectrum of opinion and expression, and to protect editors from professional retribution, the Editorial Freedom Act prohibits major media owners, licensees, and their agents from bribing, threatening, subjecting to undue intimidation, or discrimination in hiring, for the purpose of influencing editorial content, any employee in an editorial capacity - i.e., those whose function is critical to the fair and accurate collection, reporting, and dissemination of news and information.
Said crime of editorial influence, intimidation, discrimination and/or professional retribution, shall be punishable by a jail term of up to ten years, and may include the forfeiture, divestiture of license, franchise, and/or equity interests, as well as fines deemed appropriate by oversight commissions or courts of law.
The protection of the public forum in major print and broadcast media, from editorial manipulation of news and information, hiring discrimination, and dis-information and omission is herein deemed of paramount importance to democratic practices and values. Therefore, the crime of editorial influence, corruption, retribution, and content dictation or omission shall be vigorously prosecuted and punished. In addition, for major media corporations, an independent review panel shall be established to review and approve hirings and dismissals in key news editorial personnel.
In view of the public's award of a limited number of media franchises, increasing media concentration of ownership, near or virtual monopoly conditions in media markets, policies of editorial sameness working to exclude alternative viewpoints, and editorial intimidation all conspire to create an intolerable condition in media forums both public and private. Exactly these modern media market conditions, and the potential for influence by a privileged few, calls for the highest degree of editorial fairness, integrity, and necessary legislative protections in the public interest.
For these reasons, it is the intent of this legislation to prevent establishment of any ideological or commercial precondition, or necessity to adhere to any political, economic, or religious belief or affiliation as requirement for editorial employment in major media organizations-- i.e., those with a substantial impact, reach, and position in the marketplace.
The intent of this legislation is to prevent deliberate or de-facto editorial omission and bias, discrimination in hiring and firing, and the establishment of a narrow, doctrinal, one-factor, media environment. Regardless of whether such condition arises via market monopolization, oligopoly, advertiser coercion, one factor's (Capital or Labor) position of influence, or retribution against dissident editors, it is for the purpose of protecting the integrity of the editorial function, within such major media sources, and ensuring the very integrity of our democracy that this Editorial Freedom Act is enacted."
In a post Citizens v. United world of unremitting corporate fascism and blatant propaganda worthy of Pravda, admittedly this is a long shot -- but a shot deserved to be fired. Editors and media producers, particularly in the large media conglomerates, are quasi-public servants who should be free to publish the truth and not simply the dictates of their corporate owners and employers.
In effect, they are s special class that needs protection and freedom from the dictates of either capital or labor, or any ruling elite. Today, capital alone controls our public mind and societal structure. Meanwhile, labor's interests -- meaning the interests of ninety percent of the population and economy - are trampled, disappeared and distorted.
Imagine if Labor owned the media? Do you think for a New York minute that the fascist WTO trade schemes and bank bailouts would have been approved, or all the corporate welfare permitted and taxes on the rich remaining half that of the middle class. Imagine the difference if an effective democracy really existed here - wherein media was not the exclusive province and privilege of capital.
What we have here is a severe "factor imbalance" in our economy and media -- meaning capital alone controls our minds and economic structure.
Clearly, as history has amply proved, there is nothing more destructive than factor imbalances (see TheCenterForBalance.org) leading to either a totalitarian capitalism or debilitating socialism.
Today, the corporate media has become a sick totalitarian capitalist, neo-con, enterprise -- one which guarantees our race to the bottom and then, as a consequence, to societal revolution. Free the Press! This is the first step toward real reform, something which cannot happen so long as capital remains in complete control of "our" media and campaign finance system resulting in a sick and twisted societal deformation.