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The Censorious Vortex of the “Flash News” Barons


The Censorious Vortex of the “Flash News” Barons

Ralph Nader

For decades, the factors that decided what noteworthy stories would not find their way into print or on the air came down to the media’s ignorance, laziness or from advertising restraints. How else can one explain the many years that passed before the tobacco, auto and junk food industries became the subject of regular consumer reporting? For too long, the explosive material for good journalism in these and other areas had remained hidden in plain sight.


Thank-you Ralph. The commercial media and mentally stultifying social media are drawing us into a dystopian future as bad, even if different than, any envisioned by novelists and filmmakers.

And there seem to be no way the stop it…


Turn it off.


Sorry, I was trying to post a comment to agree with your post! It is the first time I have tried to do that and I think I may have flagged you by accident, my sincerest apologies!!!


I voted for Nader when he ran for President, the only candidate with common sense solutions to benefit Americans. The big parties reek and could not care less about the American peoples concerns. The entire scam is bought and paid for by entrenched uniparty jokes, it will be the same next election. Obviously voters are easily controlled. I can’t see a way out of the continuing treason. That’s how powerful the psyop is. A nonstop 24-7-365 onslaught of lies.


Most politicians, and especially Trump, are simply a series of soundbites on two legs.


Reek is a good adjective for ajo.
60 years ago a wise old man told me not to listen to politicians but watch what they do. Saved me a lot of time listening and wathing campaigns. I also voted for and participated in Nader’s campaigns. Clear thinking in politics is so unusual that is must be supported. That old man also taught me how to read the paper to pick out any truth, if there was any. It is usually in the last two paragraphs. Lately the entire $6 Sunday NYT has no truths.
I have not voted for a Dim or a Repug for president ever. In "64 my radical friends in Berkeley advicated for LBJ because Barry was going to nuke and pave over Nam. I heeded the old man and saw that LBJ was doing what Barry said he was going to do. History shows that voting outside the system is effective. Debs socialist platform looked more like what FDR did than his platform in 32. FDR said his greatest achievment was saving capitalism. It took socialist programs to do it.


Breaking news is now probably the most overused phrase in the English language. What TV news is about is trying to get people’s attention and keep it. It is not a good medium for in-depth reporting. It also depends on dramatic video footage. The most extreme statement’s such a Donald Trump’s crowd out thoughtful statements from people who actually have something to say worth listening to. With all the cable stations and now streaming web stuff it is harder than ever for TV stations to attract a large audience. There are too many options available. So often it comes a race to the bottom to attract viewers with the sensational news stories and many really important stories never get aired.


Can we, the people, learn from the dark side in how we use social media to create online social movements and disrupt the new cycle of fake news? Share/sign up: #MakeAmericaTruthfulAgain to #DefeatNeoTerrorists.


thank-You so very, extremely very, very much, Ralph!


Nevermind the many documentaries aired over time, TV is an excellent medium for in-depth reporting–a picture is worth a thousand words. The coverage of the Vietnam War as I grew up shaped my political views, watching Watergate unfold, the Pentagon Papers and Ellsberg’s testimony… I watched these things because the networks would break into regular programming to educate me about what was happening with my government.

There was a time when the networks did a pretty good job of reporting news, but the entire model has changed from informing the electorate to outright manipulating it for the sake of quarterly profits and easy access to powerbrokers. I’m not saying that bias didn’t exist, or that network news stations didn’t need improvement; I just really pine for Walter Cronkite. I know that news can be done well, with accuracy on TV; it’s just that the so-called job creators in the media industry don’t want to hire any reporters because workers really cut into the profits.

Nader pretty much nailed this one.


Flash news is only the latest phenomena in a long history of media that manipulates standing alongside media that informs. Some can tell the difference, others can’t, many don’t care–they just blindly consume it.

Am I worried about the consolidation of corporate ownership of media, the domination of mindless sound-bite infotainment, and the disinformative propaganda passing itself off as news?

Of course, but no more than, well, forever.


Of course, Ralph is on the money with his criticism of the media.
But Ralph is just as guilty.

His Breaking through Power conference and his Radio Hour have been the “same subjects and same invited guests” that he complains about from other media.

As instructed by Ralph in articles he wrote I have been contacting him since 2015 about the One Demand campaign financing approach that can be used by all citizens to influence all parties and candidates and requires no legislation so it can be implemented immediately and be effective in 2018. As instructed in his articles I have contacted him through the email he provided at CSRL, the contact forms at his blog and Radio Hour, snail mail and even tried using his Citizens Summons. As instructed
I have continued to contact him even though there has been NO response.

Of course, Ralph may have never even seen the information I sent if it did not get past the screeners.

That is why I took the advice he provided in a recent article for citizens to start a petition to President Obama to get Obama to speak out against Trump and address other issues they feel Obama should address by starting a petition to get Ralph Nader to address the One Demand campaign financing approach. Hopefully if enough people sign this petition it will get past the screeners if that is why Ralph has not responded.

So if you commented here that you agree with Ralph that all ideas should see the light of day and be part of the discussion or read his article with out commenting and agree then you should consider signing the petition. And clicking the sign this petition box here may even get Common Dreams to write about or publish an article by me about One Demand (Common Dreams has not responded or published any of the articles I have submitted).


Ralph, I took my two little boys to see you speak about the problems with processed meats some thirty years ago. I haven’t had a hotdog since.
Public speaking is not dead… yet.


Yes, lots of people are turning it off, and replacing it with urban myth and tin-foil hat nonsense - hardly an improvement.


Times have changed.
I’ve been watching a really informative documentary series, In Search of Putin’s Russia, on al Jazeera - English. But just recently, what with hurricanes and an earthquake and the Rohingya refugees, although it is scheduled, each time it is elbowed off the network because of ‘breaking news’.
Just one example.
Still, could be worse. Al Jazeera is one reason Egypt - and Israel - backed the UAE and the Saudis in their attack on Qatar. Some years ago, closing Al Jaz was a demand made by Egypt - and as a result the network can no longer broadcast live news in Egypt.
It has however broadcast some interesting, well-researched documentaries on Palestine and Israel issues and is a relatively impartial / objective international news source.
In my view getting rid of al Jaz is seen by Trump and his Israeli connections and influencers as a major reason for supporting the Saudi-led attack on Qatar.
Egypt too has shown its continuing hostility to al Jaz: it has held in jail, without charge, an al Jaz reporter who went there on holiday to visit his family. He has been held now for over 9 months, and there are concerns about his health.
But such matters do not get reported on CNN, or by the British BBC, Channel 4 etc, or by France 24…
The mass media do need to get up off their butts and do something to protect journalists worldwide from the illiberal actions of ruthless authoritarian rulers and despots! So many journalists and reporters have been murdered or jailed in recent years, so many independent media - press or TV - have been put under state control or closed down.
In place of “the national conversation”, maybe we should be thinking of “the global conversation”? And how to prevent important and sometimes difficult issues being side-lined by trivia about scandals and celebs!