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When Commercialism Trumps Democracy


#1

When Commercialism Trumps Democracy

Victor Pickard

It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” — Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, when discussing Trump’s candidacy


#2

No need to discuss "fact checking" as none will be needed if we end up with a Clinton/Trump race, both of them are so experienced at not letting facts get in the way of their stories.


#3

It may not be good for America, but "Every nation gets the government it deserves" - Joseph de Maistre

Hopefully "we" will get what the promise of America should represent - what we are taught America represents but our history very often has not - that our nation will "get" Bernie Sanders at this point in our time and history - to actually build a truly great egalitarian, just, nation, dedicated to the Common Good - not common greed............


#4

If Trump is such a renegade "man of the people" as some here seem to no-so-subtly suggest, why does the capitalist corporate media love him so? It goes beyond just the money making potential of his entertainment value in the commercial media as the author of this article focuses on. There have been plenty of entertaining and provocative characters on the left the media could have made stars of, but instead they were memory-holed. Trump is a good capitalist and part of Big Business - that is why the media loves him.


#5

Screw English, it's time to speak 'Murkin:

Trump needs to be voted off of the island and Hillary needs to be stripped of her immunity idol.


#6

Sounds like a lot of folks have simply been upstaged and bested at their own game due to people being sick of their failed war-mongering-fear-instilling and financialshake-down policies.

There is a huge vacuum of honesty and candor....and Trump is filling it.


#7

The thrill was the chill.
And Trump fit the bill
As an opponent for Hill
And Bernie's rise to kill

The only problem the news media has with elections, which are extremely important after all, is that they are boring. Like manna from heaven, this one started out with built in excitement and plenty of angles for reporters to cover.
Sure it was going to come down to the battle between inherited thrones...Jeb or Hillary at the end but until then look at all the add ons. Another Bush, another Clinton, big money contributions, so many republican candidates that they had an adults table and a kiddie table separate debates and look there is even our first billionaire with the hair Trump...and even ...oh my gosh...Bernie Sanders the socialist! Not a bad start for a reporter to dig into.

Right from the get go it was fun as Bernie was obviously serious even if he was ...the socialist. So we heard about him getting quick surges of popularity and how so curious and unexpected that was. And then we heard about him getting larger and larger crowds... Yikes...he even said the word oligarchy and didn't instantly go up in a puff of smoke! Nobody was chasing him with torches and pitchforks calling him a red and a rad and what not either! How come? Oh damn, we forgot that he is a socialist but he is one who keeps getting elected senator, the press seemed to say. It isn't Sanders the socialist ...its Sanders the senator! He had actual credibility.

Bernie rocketed upwards in popularity and the oligarchy took notice. So the press magically stopped noticing Bernie then but he kept drawing bigger and bigger crowds. The rigged game got into gear, if this keeps up everyone will notice that not that many people really like or trust Hillary... And what the hell has happened to Jeb? Didn't anyone give him a copy of the script?

No problems said the press, we will talk about Trump's getting crowds which won't last long and is a safe bet because he will put his foot in his mouth and then shoot himself in the foot at the same time. He will be the fun candidate. The disposable candidate that nobody takes all that seriously because for some reason the expected disposable candidate - the you know what that can never be named but is spelled s-o-c-i-a-l-i-s-t...was really catching up fast!

So the press switched to Trump. The sacrifice play, they thought instead of constantly reporting that Bernie was really gaining huge leaps in support. So it became talk about that Trump was getting crowds too and pretty soon it would be here today and blabbermouth entertainment tomorrow and then Jeb and Hillary can get down to a meat and potatoes dogfight! Delicious!

Bernie disappeared from the news media. Trump appeared constantly in the news media as if the surprise was how long would he last before the crash? Yet people liked Bernie anyway. Trump got the news coverage and that got him crowds but Bernie got very little coverage and kept drawing bigger and bigger crowds anyway? What was going on? Even snide references to the Soc word didn't change anything.

And then the wtf moment happened and Trump trashed Jeb. Holy Jeez WTF happened? The whole script went out the window! The clown car crashed. The survivors got nasty and pretty soon it was obvious that if they kept that up not even republicans would want to vote for republicans. There went that time gravitas down the drain. This was a cat fight! And hey... did you notice that people still like Bernie more than they like Hillary?

Republicans stared open mouthed at Trump on stage and said 'we really weren't serious you know! He's not supposed to be up there. We paid for Jeb!'

Democrats were having their own troubles because what happened to Jeb was happening to Hillary but the Dems would be damned if they'd let another chance for Bill to be in the White House! Huh? Wha? Oh right, We mean Hill ...Hill not Bill...in the White House. Wink wink. Nod! Nevertheless she is a woman and she wants war so let's all get on board or else! Just don't mention her record and keep talking about Bill's like it was hers.

The two status quo elites are only just now noticing that they are not nearly as popular as they are rich. The money and power kind of disguises that sometimes. I mean if you are the only ones that can get elected, it tricks you into thinking that people really like you even if you do pick their pockets so much. Everyone wants to be liked!

But be careful of what you wish for because you just might get Trump and be careful of what you don't wish for because you might get Bernie!

Will Trump say enough to trump his candidacy? It is possible but is it likely? If he goes the distance then what? The F word and not the four letter one?

Will Hillary turn being a woman into the only reason to vote for her? Will blacks decide a free college education for their kids isn't as important as Bill having played the saxophone? Will Hillary get her chance to play her part in the epic ... A woman goes to war?

Will people get the chance to vote for the person they want and keep this a real democracy and not a sham controlled by oligarchy power and money?

What ever happened to elections are boring?


#8

Once upon a time there was something called "the fairness doctrine". It was administered by the FCC and stated:
"The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials.
The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. The demise of this FCC rule has been considered as a contributing factor for the rising level of party polarization in the United States."
Wikipedia
When Ronnie the Ray-gun's FCC rescinded the fairness doctrine in 1987, it reduced the public airwaves (and more importantly news and public affairs coverage) to a bazaar where time on the public's airwaves could be and was sold to the highest bidder.
This is why "commercialism trumps democracy" and has done so for decades before "the Donald" got the idea that by being a very wealthy and obtuse moron he could mount an effective presidential bid--he's a "very effective closer" and if you don't believe so just ask him--he'll tell you straight out.
This is also why "the Hillary" can claim "experience" (which in her case amounts to having been first lady to Bill Clinton, prostituted herself to financial interests as Senator from New York, and played fast and loose with classified documents on her very own private email server in criminal violation of federal law covering the conduct of federal officials). And she is also probably the most powerful and prominent lesbian/bi-sexual in the country.
All of this is boffo entertainment and with plenty of money to spend, a blessing to the precious bottom line profits of the corporations anxious to prostitute what should be their regard for the public interest in favor of striking it rich.


#9

“We simply give people what they want” has been the industry’s go-to justification for cheap and shoddy programming since the dawn of commercial media."

Right.

And the Tobacco companies just gave people what they wanted. That is, if you pay no attention to the seductive advertising, selective use of cigarettes--as product placement--in powerful movies, and LIES told often about the alleged safety of smoking.

And the fossil fuel companies just give people what they want. That is, if you pay no attention to their use of experts to propel disinformation campaigns that decouple the usage of these inflammatory substances from global warming; and if your energy cartels use all their legal muscle (and insider political influence) to prevent OTHER cleaner energies from taking root.

And the two official parties give the voting public a real choice. That is, if you look past the rites of Big Money when it comes to vetting acceptable candidates, and the power of media to shape mass perception by emphasizing pieces of dialog and rendering others invisible.

There are SO many components of current U.S. society that have been as carefully shaped as Pavlov's experiments. The consistency of message, the pressure of peer approval, the use of respected figures to articulate The Necessary Positions... to manufacture consent, that I find it necessary to challenge the LIE told often that these engineered policies are those that the voting public somehow organically consents to.

Sure.

It's odd that Mr. Pickard didn't bother to mention the Telecommunications Act and purposeful deregulation of mass media that led to corporate ownership--and thus control of content; and that he also left out the role played by right-wing (Koch Brothers and friends) think tanks; and how these go on to shape The Public Narrative because the ideas espoused comport with advantages to the 1%.


#10

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#11

I can't remember when this has been so obvious. Sanders almost completely ignored, until his numbers just got too big (yeah!). Trump under any intelligent media coverage would never gain attention except he is so vulgar and outrageous that the media has gone beserk above the fold hoping it will sell product to those who don't really think about the implications. The US public will have to decide if they want to be zombie targets of marketing or active thinking participants in society.


#12

"Corporate news outlets are first and foremost businesses"
That may be the way it is now but in a free society we can't stay free without a reliable news service that gives us real news instead of corporate profits.
The fourth estate died with Reagan and probably will never be revived.
Cable news is the biggest sellout ever put on tv and the public still sucks up to it.
You can get better news about the U.S. by following foreign news services.


#13

Since when is Sanders the media darling? The media has done nothing but play up to Hillary and Trump to increase their bottom line profits.


#14

ROFL Trump is such an ass hat he campaigns against himself. Trump is all done at the brokered convention.
FEEL THE BERN!!


#16

??????

Where did I mention Sanders?


#17

Victor, I've enjoyed your discussions related to journalism in television. I've attempted to bring balance to my own shows while seeking out real data, fact-checking, and opposing viewpoints.
We have the commercialism of news coverage and we have the directed editorial of news and how stories should be covered. In a sports-related simile, commercialism would be the replay of the NASCAR crash and directed editorials would be giving an unsubstantiated reason for that crash. In the coverage of Trump, we see the commercialism being swayed over to editorial direction by Trump's inclusion by phone calls into "news" programs. He moved the editorial position simply by domination, no time left for anyone else. News organizations are happy because of the revenue generation and have little impetus to give equal time.


#18

You mentioned an answer to your own issue. Reliable news may be something done only by added research into the topic. "Better" news isn't necessarily from foreign sources, there are stronger slants overseas.