01 July 2016
by Christian Marx
Mainstream media: Now just a propaganda mill for Big Business?
Mainstream media is hopelessly conflicted these days with an ideology to sell. Bought and paid for by their corporate puppet masters.
A democracy is only as robust as its citizen`s knowledge of social policy, political theory and a completely neutral reportage on local and world events. In order for the populace to be able to make informed and educated decisions, a transparent and objective media is paramount. This is currently a pipe dream.
Commercial media is owned and run for the benefit of big business and its profit driven interests. It does not want an alternative system that would be a barrier to its profit at all costs ideology. For this reason alone, it cannot be trusted to have the communities best interests at heart. It has vested interests that are diametrically in opposition to the wellbeing of the majority.
Capitalism by its very nature is a system designed and built on exploitation and winners and losers. It does not possess a moral compass, rather the prime directive is profit. If people or society suffers as a result of this profit, then according to capitalism, this is just collateral damage.
The machine cannot stop and is a remorseless juggernaut of human misery, mass exploitation and enriching the very few at the expense of the many.
Examples of the corruption and dishonesty of the media are legion. Here are a few examples. Let us examine foreign affairs. Australian media has shown a ridiculous bias towards our Western capitalist allies. The United States in particular. We have witnessed how the mainstream media continuously propagated for war in the Middle East. Mainstream media reported the atrocities of the “evil middle eastern governments”, yet permitted American foreign policy and the real nature of the war to go unreported. This suited the corporate narrative, not just in Australia but around the world.
Another blatant example is the extreme bias reported against socialist countries such as Venezuela. If one were to read the Herald Sun, one would have come to the conclusion that the severe food shortages were the direct result of socialism. NOT SO. The direct cause of the food shortages is the refusal of the capitalists to sell their food to their own citizens. Rather than selling food at government subsidized prices, they decided to starve their own people and sell all the foodstuffs on the black market to foreign countries at inflated profits. The current crisis has nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with corporate greed.
Unfortunately the Venezuelan government never had full control of the economy, nor was able to regulate against a very, very powerful private sector. Indeed 70 per cent of the Venezuelan economy is still privately owned. See this month’s report in Green Left Weekly.
Not only do we see blatant one-sided bias and propaganda on foreign affairs, but we are inundated with half truths, lies and omissions via our media about the state of our own country. Murdoch media in particular continues to push the narrative that the ALP are poor economic managers in comparison to the LNP. This is a blatant lie. LNP have been found to be the far more reckless and wasteful spenders. Not only this, but they sell vital public infrastructure and services, and yet still have nothing to show for it! See Sydney Morning Herald’s 2013 report ‘Australia’s most wasteful spending came in Howard era, finds IMF study’.
Endless one sided “current affairs” programs are also polluting the airwaves with their constant attack on “welfare bludgers”. The tragic irony is that the biggest welfare scroungers come from big business, with mining receiving a whopping 1.8 billion per annum in coal subsidies alone — as reported in RenewEconomy last September.
There is a reason why mainstream media does not show you the scrounging from the top end of town. Their bosses own all the major television networks! It is in their vested interest to continue to demonize the most unfortunate in a bid to turn the unsuspecting public against the least fortunate and distract from the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is big business greed. This is the reason nearly all television interviewers are extremely hostile to politicians on the left, while giving right wing politicians a free kick. Conservative governments are very generous with tax payer’s money when it comes to corporate subsidies!
Far right governments need the media to manufacture consent within the voting public. Generate hate, fear and loathing toward the minorities. Many in the public are very uneducated when it comes to politics, sociology, history and the way the media operates. Conservative governments rely on this and in fact require this, in order to get working class people to vote against their best interests.
If the truth was to really come out, conservative governments would unlikely be ever elected in Australian government again. Who could forget the blatant lies on the eve of the last election! No cuts to health, no cuts to the ABC, no cuts to education etc. Unfortunately, even the ABC has become infected with bias.
Those watching the latest interviews with Leigh Sales have been horrified at the blatant differences in interviewing techniques between Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull. The former was grilled mercilessly and was the recipient of a very hostile, Sales, while the latter had a far easier ride and pertinent questions were not asked.
In summary, a corporate owned media cannot be trusted as they have an ideology that is directly wedded to the capitalist philosophy and in particular far right neoliberalism. An egalitarian and fair society requires large companies to be taxed effectively and government services to remain in public hands. Whenever a public service is privatized, quality of service drops, prices skyrocket and maintenance becomes nonexistent. Privatization is theft plain and simple. But do not expect to get a balanced viewpoint from the talking heads on the television and in the news papers. They have an ideology to sell, bought and paid for by their puppet masters.
If the people want to have some transparency in government and the hard questions tackled, then mainstream media must be bypassed and alternative media embraced. Corporations and their talking heads are not interested in the wellbeing of the majority, only enhancing the wealth of the extreme minority. Boycott and divest from the MSM!