You can't have a functioning democracy without a free press.**The USA isn't supposed to be a democracy, but that's another topic, and let's assume it's supposed to be one for the purposes of this discussion.
My assertion is that the mass media is far, far from a free press. They do not inform the public. They do not provide unbiased news. They do not perform their due diligence and provide all sides of a story, nor all the facts.
Only Six Corporations Dominate Major Media Outlets
You may say, "that doesn't mean it's not free". Well, if we assume for the moment that the nation is not a free capitalistic society, but instead is a corporate collectivist society, then the corporations, who call the shots (i.e. influence government to pass laws for their benefit), shouldn't be running the mass media. Note the commonly used term, corporate media.
Let's look at the assertion that the country is corporate collectivist.
..it’s important to accept one fact about contemporary America: This is not a democracy, and certainly not a constitutional republic. America is actually a carefully concealed oligarchy. A few thousand people, mostly in government, finance, and the military-industrial complex, run this country for their own purposes. By manipulating the two-party system, influencing the mainstream media, and controlling the flow of campaign finance money, this oligarchy works to secure the nomination of its preferred candidates (Democratic and Republican alike), thus giving voters a "choice" between Puppet A and Marionette B.Everybody knows that lobbyists have undue influence on government; in the Pharmaceutical industry alone, lobbyists outnumber congressmen 2 to 1:
The term "corporatocracy" was used by John Perkins in his 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Wikipedia has an entry for Corporatocracy:
..when the major media outlets are controlled by large corporations, access to information tends to become limited to what serves corporate interests, and corporate interests in turn are able to define the national political agenda.
I have personally seen the Mass Media, or Mainstream Media ("MSM"), spew what I certainly know are egregious lies. Not just that; I have seen them discuss a news item at one time, then, at another time, discuss a related item, contradictory to the first item, as if the first item had never been broached.
It reminds me of George Orwell's 1984:
Wikipedia entry, 1984. In the novel, there was the government news, propaganda, and information ministry: The Ministry of Truth. Its purpose was to rewrite history and change the facts to fit party doctrine, for propaganda effect. The Ministry of Truth published a daily newspaper, wherein a story would be run that could totally contradict a story from the day before. The people would completely forget the previous day's story, not noticing the contradiction at all, like the previous day's story never happened.
I have seen this happen in real life. This is why I say the media are DoublePlusUnTruth. (Newspeak for "big lie")
Here are examples.
In the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq, there was much ado over the weapons of mass destruction. In the months after Saddam's famous statue fell, it was almost forgotten by the public that the whole reason for the invasion were those weapons that couldn't be found. It was a collective shrug and a "well we're in there already, so we just keep fighting". There was no indignation at all, that the whole reason for going in there was bogus to begin with. Like the WMD reasoning never happened.
In the conclusion of the Valerie Plame affair, the MSM discussed Scooter Libby's pardon: Example Mass Media article on the Libby Pardon
The whole focus of the media in this case has been on "who leaked information about Plame to the media". Completely forgotten was the reason why Libby lied to a grand jury in the first place, which was to protect a certain lie by the Bush administration from being uncovered.
That lie was in Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, when he famously frightened a nation by declaring, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The so-called evidence, was an entire fabrication. Details on the cover up
No mainstream American media organization has pursued this story.. Most Americans, consequently, don't even know what a grand lie Bush and the White House perpetrated upon them and the Congress in order to win approval for an attack on Iraq.
And then there's the Democrats who were voted into Congress, with a lot of fanfare, to reign Bush in and end the Iraq war. A year later, the Dems even give Bush more spying powers than he asked for. Pelosi's promises were completely forgotten, both by the media, and some actual people I've talked to who are mainstream believers, Hillary supporters: http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070827&s=cockburn
I will show examples of outright lies by the mass media, that I have witnessed, in another blog post.