Here’s a good story for you my subscribers. The other day this woman called trying to sell me a subscription to the Toronto Star. They call about every three months trying to get sale. Obviously I’m not going to actually pay money for corporate propaganda, that’s just not going to happen. So I said to her that I don’t want it. She asked me why and I said I won’t spend money on corporate media.
In true telemarketing fashion she can up with a rebuttal for my objection. I was actually quite surprised because no one has been able to come back from that objection. She than asked where I got my news from and I said the internet. She made the case that I needed to see a “well-rounded” view of media coverage, making the “see it from all sides” argument. I replied that I do in fact do this by viewing news from multiple websites.
I then made the point that I know that the Toronto Star is corporate propaganda, all the news papers are. She said that the Toronto Star was answerable to some kind of body that holds journalistic standards or something like that. I said that didn’t mean much considering they propagate the same lies the mainstream media does. She then said, “okay thank you for your time,” and hung up. Obviously she wasn’t going to make a sale from me because I don’t want to pay money to be lied to.
Now that’s something a lot of people have a hard time understanding. They don’t seem able to understand why media would lie to them. They don’t see, (or unwilling to see), a reason why so therefore it doesn’t happen. What many of these people already know but don’t take into consideration is the fact that newspapers don’t make money off its subscribers. It makes money off the advertisers. Major newspapers are major corporate interest, just as small local papers are local business interest. They are not going to print events or ideas that undermine business or the profit motive, or markets or anything else related to capitalism.
For example, how of you saw the media coverage of the G20 protest. Did you see a single article or comment from the non-ruling class, business side of the entire event out of the mainstream media? No, you didn’t hear or see it at all. Sure, they’ll give you a four second sound bite that has no context or explanation. But they won’t actually let the other side be heard.
I saw an article in a local newspaper and the title was something like “stop throwing bricks and get jobs”. This so-called article was nothing but an attack on people legitimately defending their democratic right to protest. The article was filled with things like “you’re on welfare”, “punks who just want to do damage”, losers, “high school drop outs” and “get jobs”. This article wasn’t journalism; it was little more than an attack ad. Actually, you know it was kind of like a YouTube video in print.
I won’t bother going into how stupid it is to criticize unemployed people for protesting a lack of jobs.
Now, there can be pieces in the media that actually present both sides of an issue, like local environmental issues. Business interests are all for destroying the environment because it is profitable, avoiding the cost of proper disposal and what not. There are also business interests on the other side of the issue like maintaining parks and natural landscapes for tourism. The tourism industry in these areas are wholly dependent on the maintenance of this environment. So when you have businesses on both sides of the issue, the media will present both sides of the issue.
If a journalist in a newspaper wrote things that undermined both sides of the issue, then that journalist wouldn’t be around very long. Some newspapers might keep someone like that around; having a local radical can be laugh for them and give them some kind of credibility for printing “the other side”. But really, we only get one side.