Since the recent AP scandal, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of the press to be able to keep our government in check. Sure, the talk has been coming from the press themselves who don’t like the fact that the Obama administration got a hold of the AP’s phone records even if it was presumably for national security reasons. They are crying foul, saying that inhibits the freedom of the press to be the public’s watchdog.
The problem is that the press have become big money making entities owned by or financed by advertising money from large corporations. Many of these corporations are far more powerful than our government and so we need an objective watchdog from them. But sadly, no dog (watch or not) will bite the hand that feeds them. Take for example the recent “March Against Monsanto.” Over 200 million people in over 400 countries marched against the agricultural giant who has monopolized our food supply and convinced our government to exempt them from litigation should anyone be harmed from the genetically modified food products. Haven’t heard about it? Most people haven’t because the press ignored it almost completely with nary a news broadcast about it to be found. Then there’s “Citizen Koch“, a documentary about money in politics which was initially supposed to air as part of the PBS “Independent Lens” series. The film focuses on secret political spending by high-profile billionaires, like the Koch brothers, and how they are able to influence the political system through their concentrated wealth. However, the funding for “Citizen Koch” was removed in fear of offending billionaire David Koch, who has given $23 million to public television.
The censored or lack of coverage about important information is about as bad as all the disinformation you get in it’s place from the ideologically driven press acting as a propaganda tool of the two political parties. So it’s Press For Sale, be it to a large corporation or political party, you are getting information sanctioned by the highest bidder. Our only defense is to stay objective and always consider who’s paying the source.