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Corporate Media Bias

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    The way that journalism in the USA portrays Neo-Liberalism leads me to believe a majority of Americans might be hoodwinked into believing that’s the way life is supposed to be. Liberalism and Political Economic Liberalism or Neo-Liberalism, are only related by the word liberal and only the word. Liberalism is a way in which people are involved in a society where free speech, equal opportunities, and human rights and dignity are common place.

    The USA was built on these kinds of principles and President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal used Libertarian concepts to help the country come back from the Depression that crippled the USA. In the news today, being called a liberal in some instances can be a derogatory term, especially on the Fox News Channel which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Neo-liberalism, which can be categorized as a form of economic liberalism, is the distinction of free market principles based on entrepreneurial endeavors to maximize capital for enhanced profit.

    It is a privatization of trade with the might of the military as a buffer zone to let the wheels roll without damaging product and stifling labor reforms (CorpWatch: What is Neo-Liberalism). On paper, the theory of Neo-Liberalism sounds promising and worthwhile; it is survival of the fittest. On the other end of the spectrum, the exploiting part of the equation, you have humans as commodities working with low paying wages and inhumane working conditions brought about by the Neo-Liberals looking for profit over the welfare of the common citizen.

    Another way of looking at this is through a website called “Global Issues- A Primer on Neoliberalism”. It states the following: “Liberalism” can refer to political, economic, or even religious ideas. In the U. S. political liberalism has been a strategy to prevent social conflict. It is presented to poor and working people as progressive compared to conservative or Right wing. Economic liberalism is different. Conservative politicians who say they hate “liberals” — meaning the political type — have no real problem with economic liberalism, including neoliberalism (Global Issues).

    One of the problems of Neo-Liberalism is that it doesn’t take into consideration that poverty is born through the use and implementation of capitalistic Neo-Liberalism. Another glaring issue present today and decades before, is the function of class and race in the day to day of everyday society about which mainstream journalism misinforms or skirts matters to the public. Removing public works in lieu of liberalization of trade, and the lack of regulation of businesses, privatization of government run programs and other Neo-Liberal changes releases the corporate identities to run rampant over the labor force.

    They view human capital as numbers on a spread sheet rather than real people with real lives, just trying to make ends meet and having more difficulty doing it as time moves on. The real issue raised here is the way the mainstream news media glosses over the way poverty exists, and has no proper, concrete ways to address the problem in a social and meaningful method which is needed to eradicate or at least lessen poverty. The disparity of rich to poor is widening at an alarming rate that reminds me of the Old Robber Barons of the industrial age using the backs of the people to enrich themselves.

    The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization says something about this: The gap between rich and poor countries has widened, as has the divide between rich and poor within some nations. In sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, for example, more people lived in poverty at the end of the 1990s than at the beginning of that decade. Despite the creation of fantastic wealth, half of the world’s workers and their families, or about 3 billion people, live below the $2-a-day poverty line (World Commission, 2004).

    All the talk on the news about how Wall Street is struggling while CEOs make millions per year leads me to believe that we, as a country, need to seriously look at how we, as a people, a collective whole run things. The news pundits tell us the government is working on spreading the wealth through Neo-Liberalism without actually saying it. One instance in today’s society concerns Fox News running a story of the GOP (Grand Old Party) Republicans admonishing President Obama about his proposal to issue an order to disclose government contractors’ political contributions for transparency to the American public domain.

    Last year a similar bill ended up being squashed by a Supreme Court ruling of 5-4, claiming it was constitutionally protected by the first amendment as free speech. This article in the mainstream news media detracts from the real reason and glosses over the real facts, thus making the viewer wanting to make a critical decision impossible. Back room politics and funneling monetary contributions to government officials without factual representation seems a bit dishonest to anyone looking at this from a critical viewpoint.

    In this is one article, which the true power is Neo-Liberal demands, it wants the government to back off from business and uses government officials, like Representative Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell, to express their Neo-Liberal preferences to Fox News in the name of constitutional rights. Fox News disseminating these concerns as true American rights is simply a caricature of news misleading the public viewer. If the viewer seen both sides of the argument, they might be able to use their own critical thinking and come to a sensible and logical conclusion.

    The mainstream news tends to look away from American poverty, and a number of people are joining the poverty level while the affluent minority is massively increasing their wealth in a most inauspicious way. Other non-American news agencies’ such as Al Jazeera are leading me to believe that certain aspects of the mainstream American news agencies are tipping the scale to the Neo-Liberal side of the argument, I mean, who wants to see a bunch of poor people crying for a living means when the government officials and the military are waging a war to help American interests abroad.

    News agencies themselves are run by people of power and sometimes and the stipulation how you deliver the news to the American people in a coherent, truthful light rather than vaguely ambiguous way the public might end the journalist’s career. The American mainstream news agencies that I’m speaking about besides Fox News are CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC, and big time newspapers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others mainstream publications.

    There was a time in history where the stock market ticker wasn’t mentioned in mainstream news agencies’. To go even further, complete shows and complete stations are financially operated by Neo-Liberal businessmen such as CNBC and Bloomberg News, truly using Neo-Liberalism as a tool to interpolate into the viewer as good, hard facts. Other unconventional agencies, like Democracy Now, aren’t so one-sided and different forms of media show a broader view, not to mention a critical and thought provoking approach to the way journalism is supposed to be.

    Over the last thirty years, since the election of Ronald Reagan into the office of the President of the United States, mainstream news media, specifically prime time television, address the word of “Reaganomics” and the “trickle down effect” as a way to enrich the common people. He was very convincing to the American people, especially since after he got elected the hostages held in Iran for over a year got released on the same day of his inauguration, thus giving him high approval rating marks.

    This form of economic and political liberalism states that the government removes certain regulatory institutions to free up the market to attain more wealth, thereby using the funds to trickle down to the labor force otherwise known once again as Neo-Liberalism. The media showed him as the wrangling cowboy that loved jelly beans and would get the country back on its feet again. He was a hero in the media, a true American patriot with good moral fiber.

    The end result, in practice, didn’t work out as projected by Reagan, but seems to actually trickle up from the working class and the impoverished poor to the wealthy minority. In today’s world the wealthiest people are augmenting more wealth and the rest are suffering. Neo-liberalism and the rising of the poverty level are intertwined in a most ominous and shocking way. It became popular elsewhere as England’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher became enamored with this feeling of power through the market and started deeming it TINA- There Is No Alternative.

    This type of mentality from people of power in the USA and United Kingdom relating their views as the best way and the only way, changed the dynamics’ of the world and the mainstream journalist’s disseminating the information in a positive light to coerce the populace through a hegemonic recourse. The higher ups in the US and British government, plus the corporate magnates, fueled the fire to spread the possibility that loosening the trade restrictions might help boost the economy of countries and increase the wealth of nations.

    These top leaders used their power to stop the labor force with Reagan destroying the air traffic controllers union in 1980 and Thatcher’s defeat of the British miners in 1984, which helped the cause of Neo-liberal politics. The mainstream media followed the stories and helped the leaders through air time using the media as way to spread the message. There is a distinct correlation between Neo-Liberalism and issues of poverty, class and race in society. Many articles have been written debunking Neo-liberalism. David Harvey discusses these issues an article called “Neo-Liberalism as a

    Creative Destruction”. His discourse raises important questions on the validity of Neo-Liberalism as good for the world in a global sense: Neoliberalization has swept across the world like a vast tidal wave of institutional reform and discursive adjustment, entailing much destruction, not only of prior institutional frameworks and powers, but also of divisions of labor, social relations, welfare provisions, technological mixes, ways of life, attachments to the land, habits of the heart, ways of thought, and the like.

    To turn the neoliberal rhetoric against itself, we may reasonably ask: in whose particular interests is it that the states take a neoliberal stance and in what ways have these particular interests used neoliberalism to benefit themselves rather than, as is claimed, everyone, everywhere? Neoliberalism has spawned a swath of oppositional movements. The more clearly oppositional movements recognize that their central objective must be to confront the class power that has been so effectively restored under neoliberalization, the more they will likely themselves cohere. (Harvey, 145)

    He writes on the subject of Neo-Liberalism as destroying the world in bits and pieces in the name of trade agreements to strengthen nations through free markets and capitalistic production without limits by government entities except when these neo-liberalistic coercions are met with passive or violent resistance to these neo-liberalistic views. Labor unions, poverty stricken people, left-wing entities, crime and other forms are repressed by various methods even though neo-liberalism exacerbates it. He also speaks of how the media was bought by corporations to “effectively change the discursive climate” (150).

    He claims the Neo-Liberal thinking was based on loss of capital gains in the 1970’s and that the upper classes were frightened by losing their monetary power base. Independent “think tanks”(150) fueled by big business individuals and corporations came up with how to save the elite class from utter destruction by applying neo-liberalistic thoughts and spread by media outlets and republican government officials to change the public opinion, to the detriment of the working class, by believing that socialism and liberalism will hurt the populace. To further his claim the Republican’s used the leaders of the Christian Right. A large segment of a disaffected, insecure and largely white working class was persuaded to systematically vote against its own material interests on cultural (anti-liberal, black, feminist and gay), nationalist and religious grounds. (Harvey150) This looks like a calculated risk that brought welcome results to the wealthy elite. So far, in today’s society, the end result is a direct disservice to the whole of society except for the elitist class. This article was difficult to read due to the wholesale destruction of human dignity reduced to animal level.

    This Neo-Liberal system doesn’t back up the claims that it “stimulates worldwide growth” (World Commission, 2004). The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seemed to go hand in hand with these governments, making the globalization of Neo-Liberalism popular and causing the world to run this way today. In 1995 a new organization was formed called the World Trade Organization (WTO), truly a globalization of neo-liberal theory used to activate a system by which the governments of the world are underneath the power of the WTO, WB, and the IMF. These elitist people think that trade is game where human life is disposable.

    The voting rights of these organizations are regulated towards financiers’ and big business moguls deciding the trade agreements. The result of the 2008 financial crash was felt by everyone, rich and poor alike. While the middle class and lower class are suffering today, the upper class has picked up and re-righted itself to do the same thing again. The news agencies have lost many viewers due to misleading information, and the internet is giving young people a different, more concrete version of real journalism than the mainstream’s short news clips and the hubbub type of infotainment.

    Active resistances are popping up to try and change the hegemonistic Neo-Liberalist globalization in the world today to better the lives of the working class. One instance is the Wisconsin protests and the protesters that stayed in the capitol building for weeks showing their displeasure at the way their law making officials were using union busting tactics to hurt the working class. It’s an uphill battle and the only way to stop the spread of more neo-liberal ways is through the solidarity of people to squash the elitist minority group, otherwise they suffer agony and disillusion.

    Some of the media outlets are real news but fake news brought on by Comedy Central entitled The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are there to parody the supposed real news. Some of the antics of Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert have real meaning in the big picture albeit they are humorous. This doesn’t change the fact that things are not getting better, but as least we have something to laugh about. In conclusion, my research has shown that the Neo-Liberal tendencies of the globalization of free trade in the name of the moral right detract from the real big picture.

    The mainstream media doesn’t do the American people good justice with fair and impartial reporting. It’s a dog eat dog world in the news industry, with entertainment holding sway over real, concrete matters of state and the welfare of the American people. The Fox news portrays Liberal Democratic government officials as corrupt, back-biting swine that shouldn’t be watching everything a citizen does and stealing the tax payers’ money to feed the welfare state. The Neo-Liberals want the country to be divided and in constant upheaval. It’s good for business and affects the Gross Domestic Product which in turn puts more money into the rich elite.

    The discrepancies between rich and poor will continue until the populace will revolt in one form or another and the cyclical circle will remain. The colonial system, the capital system, the feudal system, the Neo-Liberalism system, it’s all the same with a different name. The upper classes are holding the lower classes in check to keep the power they need to prolong the simple facts of living on the world. When will we ever learn?

    Works Cited

    “Al Jazeera English: Live Stream – Watch Now – Al Jazeera English. ” AJE – Al Jazeera English. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://english. aljazeera. net/watch_now/>. America’s Middle Class Crisis: The Sobering Facts – Yahoo! Finance. ” Yahoo! Finance – Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://finance. yahoo. com/blogs/daily-ticker/america-middle-class-crisis-sobering-facts-141947274. html>. Bloomberg – Business & Financial News, Breaking News Headlines. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://www. bloomberg. com/>. CNBC Mobile Home. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://www. cnbc. com/>. Colbert Nation | The Colbert Report | Comedy Central. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://www. colbertnation. com/home>. “CorpWatch : What Is Neoliberalism? ” CorpWatch : Index. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://www. orpwatch. org/article. php? id=376>.

    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Official Website | Current Events & Pop Culture, Comedy & Fake News. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://www. thedailyshow. com/>. “”GOP Warns Obama Not to Issue Executive Order for Government Contractors “” Explore the Latest Popular Stories from the Top Social News Sites. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://dailykix. com/9fd7db0e-938f-43c8-af8b-0deb59c1588d/story/gop-warns-obama-not-to-issue-executive-order-for-government-contractors>. “Harvey, David. “Neo-Liberalism as Creative Destruction. ” Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography 88. 2 (2006): 145-58. Abstract. Print. Web. “Naomi Klein on Global Neoliberalism | Naomi Klein | Big Think. ” Big Think | Blogs, Articles and Videos from the World’s Top Thinkers and Leaders. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://bigthink. com/ideas/3197>. “A Primer on Neoliberalism — Global Issues. ” Global Issues : Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All — Global Issues. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://www. globalissues. org/article/39/a-primer-on-neoliberalism>. “Wisconsin Protests : Pictures, Videos, Breaking News. ” Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Web. 09 May 2011. <http://www. huffingtonpost. com/news/wisconsin-protests>.

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