Who Owns Your Media?

Do you know who owns your media?

If you do not know who controls the television, radio, and print programming you consume every day, you are putting trust in unknown entities to provide you with honest information.  Further, you base your opinions, purchases, and votes upon what you’ve been told by these unknown entities, who are in the business of  manipulating you for a profit.

In the United States, the airwaves are legally supposed to be a part of “the commons”, that is, they are supposed to  belong to the people.  And once upon a time, there was a rule called the “fairness doctrine” which basically said that media had to at least offer equal time to a variety of viewpoints.  But Reagan eliminated that pesky law back in the 80s, and the  wealthiest among us began their march to control everything we see and hear.

And in the USA, once upon a time, monopolies were against the law, and hundreds of different people owned television stations, radio stations, newspapers and magazines.  By the 80s there were about 50 owners. Today, there are 5 or 6.  Sometimes it shifts, depending upon the mergers that are happening at the time, but you get the idea.  5 or 6 wealthy white guys and their wealthy boards of directors decide nearly everything you see and hear in America  And they’re all varying degrees of conservative, in full support of predatory capitalism as a lifestyle.

That’s why our “news” is a joke.  If you turn down the sound of your news person telling you the latest celebrity gossip, that other sound you hear is the world laughing at us.  And they’re crying, too, because we Americans can be made to ignore things we should know, and to pay attention to things that are completely irrelevant or simply false.  And this allows us to remain apathetic and ignorant as our military makes the world safe for our corporations, and the corporations strip  nations of their resources and poison their people with toxic waste.  Yes, media is powerful.  Very powerful.  And unfortunately, most of the time that power is not for good.

I’m not just talking about FOX “news”, which is the most blatantly corporatist channel in the US. as well as worldwide. *(see the list of News Corps vast global media holdings below.)  Certainly they stand alone in deceitfulness and manipulation, so much so that many observers regard them as a quasi-religious cult more than just a station.  They’re owned by the reich-wing corporatist Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the worldwide media giant (currently under investigation in the UK accused of a variety of corrupt practices such as  hacking, bribery, spying, blackmail…etc), the second largest media conglomerate in the world.  (The largest is Disney.)  But try telling that to a Fox watcher.  FOX has perfected the “perennial victim” stance and convinced their followers that they alone disseminate truth, while the whole big bad world is against them.  This gigantic global media empire has used the true idea  that “the media is biased” and turned it on its head to build a following for their own sleazy biased programming.  Yet their followers believe they’re part of a brave, small network fighting against a bias of the mythical “liberal” media.  There’s the joke.

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”. Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Propagandist)

What’s the power of the media?  Watch the US elections.  Here’s one example:  After the recent Wisconsin recall “election”, in which a few wealthy out- of-state corporatists flooded the GOP governor Walker with untold billions of attack-ad dollars, the governor’s side was able to outspend the Democrats in advertising by nearly 8 to 1.  A handful of  uber-wealthy men (such as the notorious polluters and anti-union Koch brothers) bought themselves an election.  Sadly, we can expect more of the same in the upcoming Presidential election.  Voters are manipulated by advertising into voting against their own best interest.

And here’s what it comes down to:If you get to  go on television and tell everyone that you’re great and the other guy sucks 8 times, and he only gets to say that he’s a nice guy 1 time, who will people believe?  (Even if they’re not paying attention, as Goebbels said, repetition psychologically imprints upon the human mind.)  So,who will win, and why?  Not because the first guy is truly good, but because the repetition purchased by the wealthy elite was imprinted upon the voters minds.  It’s sad, but true.

If people are voting based upon false information, and when psychological specialists are paid big bucks to figure out just the right techniques to manipulate your emotions and direct your thoughtsis this democracy or just manipulation?

How well does advertising work?  Let’s consider another question: why do you buy your particular  laundry detergent brand?  Your toothpaste?  Why do we eat junk food that’s poisoning us and making us sick and fat?  Are these really YOUR choices, or are they habits based upon programming?  Most of us were brought up on corporate television and have been absorbing brand name jingles and slogans for a lifetime.  Do we really “like” what we think we like?  And do we really know what we’d buy if we hadn’t been programmed?

So, what can we do?  This post explores are a few ideas.

Below is a list of the media giants who are competing to sell you on products, ideas, philosophies, and lifestyle.  They exist solely to make money from advertisers, and they must please these advertisers.  (You’ll never see, for example, a true expose of the oil corporations while they buy billions dollars worth of media advertising.)

This is only a partial list of what each giant corporation owns.  Freepress.net is a great site where you can dive deeper into who owns what, and also take action. 

(Article continues below the list.)

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Besides corporate music, Clear Channel talk radio broadcasts multiple reich-wing propagandists – millionaire media right wing  “talk show” stars who are the voice of corporate America. Their job is to turn working class citizens against each other, and get them to vote against their own best interest.  They offer programs like “Rush Limbaugh” often for FREE, just to increase the influence of the right-wing agenda.  In many areas of the country, people have never heard opinions other than reich-wing.

 (just a partial list, as this list was too long

*News Corporation (FOX)

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
Fox News Channel
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

*News Corp owns such a large global media empire that I couldn’t post it all here. Take a look at how many venues this arch-conservative corporatist organization has at its disposal to manipulate and direct thought all over the world, and ask yourself if one entity should really have this much control over so many minds.   See the current list.

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