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The Worst Thing About Year One of Trump: Fascistization of Cable News


#1

The Worst Thing About Year One of Trump: Fascistization of Cable News

Juan Cole
Despite the impression that Trump hates the press and forms a danger to it, the mass media actually has fallen for him, hard

#2

Reading this confirms one of my many reasons I din’t have cable and never have. The “news” is basically propaganda laced in between adds to influence one’s purchases. Whoever purchases the adds purchases the “news” also. The "news’ is what the sponsors want you to see, real news it’s not.


#3

I stopped watching cable news after the election but I assume what Cole says reflects what is going on. During the campaign I had to turn off CNN because of all the Trump surrogates. To me it was unwatchable so I just watched MSNBC. My view is cable news is not where you want to get your news. I stopped watching network nightly news because I can stand watching Trump but that news would be okay if we had a different president. My main source of news is the New York Times. My second main source is the Guardian. That avoids the fascistization that Cole talks about. But even print journalism has gone downhill because of social media. And this is a very serious problem. All stories are now tracked. What that does is make the reporters write stories to get the most views, rather than writing what the should be writing. Reporters need to have their stories picked up by Facebook to get a lot of views so they are writing for Facebook. In newsrooms there are now large screens showing the tracking of each article. The whole process has been corrupted by social media and particularly monopolistic Facebook. But also Twitter and Google. I don’t have a Facebook account but about half of American do. Millions also have Twitter accounts. I don’t use Google for searching, I use Duckduckgo, but almost all searches are done using Google, another monopoly. The state of the news in the US overall is bad. However, despite everything the New York Times is still pretty good so at least we have that, for now.


#4

Basically that is the truth of it.


#5

Juan Cole, who is always a great thinker and writer, rises to new heights of sane, thoughtful commentary in this article. Thank you, Professor Cole, for the penetrating laser of sanity in the fog of our national confusion!


#6

Yes the media is broken. Everything is broken as far as I can tell. Up is now down and right is now wrong. Corruption, greed, ignorance, hate, bigotry are now the ideal, and a good man is nothing but a victim in waiting. Never could I have imagined the cluster fuck this society has become. I reject all of it. All of it.


#7

Also always good is DemocracyNow!


#8

The talking heads on CNN and MSNBC have been more often than not siding with the Republican Party and Trump in this Shutdown drama.

Rather than shaming Republicans for not needing or involving any Democrats for the passage of any new legislation since they changed the 60 votes necessary by using the “nuclear” option, and now that they actually “need” some Democrats to fund the government, the Republicans still want to control everything and expect the Democrats to just comply.

The MSM is pure propaganda, served up to mind control the masses.

Revolution had better be right around the corner.

This shit cannot go on much longer.


#10

Three decades ago a large city newspaper ran an objective, very professional and well researched new car weekly review of the current models. Basically, when the manufacturer produced a very inferior model in a type/class ( SUV or sedan ) the reviews said DON’T buy this crappy car. Or, this manufacturer’s lousy products.
Well, if you owned an auto dealership(s) that had these inferior products AND spent $300K on advertising yearly in this newspaper, this was an urgent, BIG and expensive headache.
The solution, of course, was to organize the dealers who owned these inferior products and have them threaten to withhold advertising $$$, or start another newspaper ( really ) if this reviewer wasn’t shown the door immediately.
The newspaper did what you’d expect, and shitcanned the reviewer pronto. Replacing him with a slick, national advertorial weekly product promotion by auto industry insiders ( pr lackeys ).
That’s the newspaper and news business in the U. S. today. Enjoy the lemonade, it has that new car smell, for your added pleasure. No extra charge, of course.
Great article by Mr. Cole. But, he’s not going to get on the TEEVEE until he adjusts his pen a little. " The beatings willl continue until the journalists morale improves ". And, that’s criminal imo.


#12

Democracy Now is the only example i know of that basically follows Cole’s prescription for news reporting: “What you actually should be doing is having a reporter interview people about a story and then present reportage.” Goodman goes to the story, to the source, gets people on the air and asks them questions. And, DN adds background and history. Real reporting! Puts all the broadcast and cable networks to shame.


#13

The Fourth Estate, with few exceptions, support the corporate, Fourth Reich, because like Willie said when asked the question: “why do you rob banks”? " Because that is where the money is’!


#14

Excellent points in this must read piece linked below which includes an interesting take on Rupert Murdoch (though I thought son James is at the helm of Fox News now?).

This article hones in on many key factors that lead to the election of Trump---- including cable news complicity:

https://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-isnt-crazy-hes-just-terrible-person-leading-psychiatrist

. . . Trump’s support is it’s completely dependent on Rupert Murdoch. It’s amazing how much power Rupert Murdoch has now.

All [Murdoch] has to do is turn Fox News against Trump and Trump is toast.
Rupert Murdoch, in fact, controls the political fate of America. So we have one person of dubious good will who determines who’s going to be president of the United States. I think that it shouldn’t be like that. We the people have to take back our country. Democracy is a very fragile thing in the history of the world. Even the Athenian democracy lasted for just about 70 years. Democracy is not a given. Our democracy now is under threat.


#15

LOL. Now we have Juan Cole pushing the narrative about “Russian moles” on twitter who “promoted both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter online in order to polarize the American public over race and help elect Trump.” A not-so-fun fact: the U.S. has been polarized over race since before the Civil War. Which was actually a long time ago, even before the internet.

Speaking of the internet, check out all the youtube videos of white policemen shooting or beating black Americans. Or google for “War on Drugs,” which was started by the Nixon administration in order to target black people and antiwar protestors. http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/index.html . Google for statistics on the percentages of prisoners in the U.S. by race and by proportion of the population. Then google for articles about the for-profit prison industry, and the use of prisoners as slave labor for corporations. Then google for articles about the School to Prison Pipeline, and the New Jim Crow. (Spoiler alert: the Russians weren’t involved.)

Oddly, Cole forgets to mention that David Brock’s PAC “Correct the Record” spent a million dollars paying people to troll online for Hillary. https://www.thedailybeast.com/hillary-pac-spends-dollar1-million-to-correct-commenters-on-reddit-and-facebook?source=twitter&via=mobile . Guess who David Brock is working for now? The DNC. http://observer.com/2017/01/clinton-staffers-appointed-dnc-positions/

Dr. Cole, on the off-chance that you glance through comments to your article, please take a few minutes to watch this excellent interview of Guardian reporter Luke Harding, author of "“Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.” Aaron Mate, of The Real News Network, actually asks Harding to share his, um, proof of “collusion.” Since Harding wrote a whole book about this, you’d think that he would have some good answers. But he doesn’t. This is the (unintentionally) funniest interview I’ve ever seen. https://youtu.be/9Ikf1uZli4g


#16

Cole really needs to be willing to include MSNBC, WaPo, the NYT and so forth to get to the root of this one.

The business model for commercial news in push media (papers, mags, TV, radio) was pretty much broken and belly up shortly after 2000. To stay afloat, they do favors for sponsors, who have some interest in public relations. This does not just mean advertising in the traditional sense, but the sort of thing that had Debbie Wasserman-Schultz dictating copy to news outlets in (at least) the latter stages of Clinton’s nomination campaign.

Of course there are (somewhat) different factions, so the news is not completely homogenous, though being pro or contra to a wholly fictional proposition like the “Russian spying” nonsense does not make for very grand differences. Either way, if an outlet requires a lot of money to run, particularly a lot that does not go directly to reporters, then you can bet that someone in the background has a big voice in what does and does not get published.

This was always true to some degree: news outlets had to be careful of owners, advertisers, news sources, and audience; and they had their blinders in perspective (these are from Chomsky and Herman, '89). But there is a change because these outlets have become far more critically dependent on a select few sources that are interested newsmakers.

We know that the DNC had their news outlets that took verbatim copy from them during at least part of the nomination process in 2016. Presumably this was purchased in some way, likely with some of the diverted campaign contributions, contributions from Middle Eastern governments, and sale of access to a sitting president–things that we know went on extensively.

None of that makes Juan Cole the least bit incorrect here. But it does make his omissions spooky. Cole has done a lot of admirable work. Why not present this one more fully–present it for what it is?


#19

Was sad to see.
“Russian social media moles also promoted hatred of American Muslims as well as anti-Islamophobic groups” Bla Blah Bla. Because prior to the so-called ‘Russian interference’ there was no racism in Amerika.

This line on ‘reporting’ is nonsense!


#20

Oh this began a long time ago—in 1996, in fact, with the passage of the Telecom Act deregulating telecommunications. That took place with the enthusiastic signature of Democrat Bill Clinton, by the way.


#22

You know there is something wrong with the MSM when they can’t bring themselves to mention the words “Climate Change”.


#23

Interesting… It seems Common Dreams is engaging in censorship…

I had a post noting that according to a range of independent studies, more than 90% of the coverage on Trump was actually negative:

https://www.npr.org/2017/10/02/555092743/study-news-coverage-of-trump-more-negative-than-for-other-presidents

And my post, along with @mrsannhitts response were both removed…

As Arte Johnson used to say, “verrrrrrrrry interesting…”


#24

I lived in Willmette ( Gold Coast just N. ) and knew the mayor quite well. Spent a lot of time with him and his extended family, actually. My mother’s side are all South Siders ( Bridgeport ) and were steeped in Chicago politics, at one time. Guess high, here. :wink:
Family is family. Politics is something else. Maybe I offended a U of C grad. Just sayin.:grinning:


#25

True. Remember that ad on T.V. about drugs? It showed an egg frying and the caption read: " THIS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS."
I would like to see that advertisement put on cable news again with the caption: “THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON CABLE NEWS!”