The recent Republican primary debate appeared to mirror aspects of the movie, The Wizard of OZ.
For the third consecutive presidential election the GOP proved it could divide and conquer itself without anyone else’s help. The Republican Party cannot define itself and has lost trust and support from most conservatives. Painfully obvious attacks by Establishment Republicans on conservatives only further implode a fragmented party unprepared to combat the Democratic war chest built by corporate donors backing Hillary Clinton.
What most observers have known for a while is that Fox News supports the already chosen Republican establishment candidate, Jeb Bush. Its executives have purposefully excluded Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz (who challenged its debate standards) from poll coverage.
The establishment’s choice explains why no moderator pressed Jeb Bush about his either deceitful or incompetent response about his connection to Planned Parenthood, his family’s generational connections to the organization he supported before he opposed, before or after he “misspoke” about women’s health issues.
Politics aside, the debate caused more Americans to realize (as Dorothy did that she wasn’t in Kansas anymore) that few in the media report news anymore.
This is primarily because only six corporations own 90 percent of the media in America (CBS Corporation, Comcast, Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, and Viacom). Of the roughly 1,500 newspapers, 1,000 magazines, 9,000 radio stations, 1,500 television stations, and 2,400 publishers left in the U.S., six corporations– led by less than 275 executives– control what is disseminated as “news.”
That’s less than 275 people controlling and censoring 90 percent of what Americans hear, read, or view. Comparably, that’s one media executive controlling what an entire audience the size of San Francisco hears, views, or reads as “news.”
And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has enabled these monopolies to consolidate power and profits. Under President Bill Clinton, the 1996 Telecommunications Act significantly lifted previous regulatory constraints. By 2010, those six companies’ revenues exceeded $275 billion—36 billion times more than the country of Finland’s 2010 GDP.
By 2011, the FCC had eliminated even more regulations including the Fairness Doctrine, which enabled broadcasters to provide even less “balanced” coverage of issues. It also enabled them to increase the number of commercial advertisements aired per hour, amassing even more wealth and consolidation of power.
As monopolies carved up their territories, real journalism began to evaporate. If reporters had investigated the Benghazi attack they would have uncovered and reported that:
- Benghazi was a “failed” CIA weapons smuggling operation designed to steal and transport weapons from Libya to Syria;
- The CIA reportedly used these weapons to arm and train the alleged “junior league,” “Syrian rebels” to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad;
- These rebels became ISIS, now using American money, ammunition, machinery, even brand new Toyota trucks, to commit widespread genocide of Christians;
- The U.S. became involved in a regional proxy war by using a loophole in a 1970 law to authorize the CIA’s operation;
- The “problem” is that Americans died, making national news, potentially exposing what the government wanted to remain hidden.
Instead, nearly all news organizations spewed out the same propaganda: violence in Libya was caused by a video, “The Innocence of Muslims.” Yet common sense should have demanded that basic questions be asked and answered:
- How could any Libyan understand a video in English that most did not even have access to view?
- Even if they had known some English it’s doubtful they could have understood who the characters were or the failed attempts at satire or comedy. (That was even lost on westerners because the acting was so bad.)
Had the media reported on this perhaps there would have been Congressional hearings like those of Watergate or Iran Contra. Many government officials might have gone to jail. Yet the person largely responsible for this, Hillary Clinton, received a “Liberty Medal” from Jeb Bush on the eve of the Benghazi anniversary—which no moderator addressed. Nor did they ask why he and Hillary Clinton receive millions of dollars from the same ultra-rich mega donors.
Nor did they ask the common sense question, most Americans are asking: why would the American government send billions of dollars to Iran, a country that has openly expressed its intent to destroy America? Isn’t aiding and abetting America’s enemy treason?
Treason used to be taken seriously. But then again, so did the media.
What became more obvious to more people after watching the debate is that “news coverage” differs vastly from reality. Americans could learn more the more they confront the establishment, like Dorothy and the man behind the curtain who was frantically pulling levers and pushing buttons beaming false information from “the wizard” on a screen while also telling her, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”