Saturday, November 20, 2010

Media biased against working people: federal official

This won't come as a surprise to any of us in the labor movement: the mainstream media is so biased against working people that it won't even report on a federal agency.

The Department of Labor says it can't get its message out because of media prejudice against workers, according to People's World.

People's World was reporting on a talk given by Carl Fillichio, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis's senior adviser for public affairs and communications, at a meeting of the International Labor Communications Association.

Fillichio said the media elitists failed to report that, since Solis took over, the Department of Labor has hired 720 bilingual grievance personnel, issued the largest OSHA fine in history, and, in a move unprecedented in U.S. history, completely shut down a mine because of worker fatalities.

A good explanation for the media bias against workers can be found in a recent issue of The Nation: the corporate-owned media is drowning in money from corporate-funded campaigns. Says The Nation... the 1990s the average commercial TV station received about 3 percent of its revenues from campaign ads, this year campaign money could account for as much as 20 percent ... thirty-second spots that went for $2,000 in 2008 were jacked up to $5,000 this year... Much of this money will go to stations owned by a handful of Fortune 500 firms...

On top of that, a 30-minute newscast at election time has more political advertising than campaign news.

The last election was the worst-ever because of the Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling, which, The Nation says,
...wiped away a century of campaign finance regulations designed to prevent corporations and business alliances from using their immense resources to buy the results that best serve their interests...
The corporate-owned media serves the corporate interests by restricting debate and participation, which, the Nation points out, makes it easier to buy the government. And yet broadcasters receive free monopoly licenses from the government -- under the condition that they serve the public interest. 

The last election cost at least $4 billion in campaign cash. Most of that money went to buy the media. And it's buying our democracy, lock, stock and barrel.