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2012: Another Year in Mainstream Media Malpractice

Corporate news whitewashAs we ring in 2013, it’s time to recognize how the major media buries the issues most important to Americans. With newsrooms focusing so much right now on the fiscal cliff and gun rights, it’s instructive to see nobody looking at the heart of either issue.

But even bigger issues face us, now in the fifth year of prolonged recession and the second decade of a debt-fueled war on terror. It’s more evident each year how “professional” journalists are unable or unwilling to report on reality-based news, making them ever more feeble.

The major media is not useless to you just because of billionaire ownership, it’s also the non-disclosure clauses in contracts that prevent anchors or reporters from telling the story behind the story. Final editorial control over what goes out over the air causes major behind-the-scenes conflict. Even when marquee names try to blow the whistle, the contractual gags always hold in the end.

The Fiscal Cliff
This could be settled quickly if the news simply said “House GOP favors needless tax cuts for rich in continuing class warfare”. Friday night we even saw President Obama dance around this millionaire money grab in his presser, blaming Congress only in vague terms for the manufactured crisis – but the media is worse, long avoiding the stark reality that the Bush tax cuts for the rich have poor stimulative effect, fail to create jobs, produce inadequate revenue and add debt.

When Republicans crow about some economic benefit, they are simply lying, helped along by Fox News and right wing talk radio, but the rest of the media also won’t debunk the slick talk in simple language, leaving voters unable to sort the mumbo jumbo. Obama flirted with the facts last week, adding to his talking points for the first time that middle class tax cuts are for “97% of small businesses” as well as 98% of income earners. But most media refuses to call out Republicans voting to continue the wealth extraction from our economy.

Gun Control
The gun issue is also a lark, a perennial wedge issue exploited in elections to divide voters over tribal lines using fear, chest-puffing, passion plays and subliminal racism. If the news reported plainly that the rise in gun availability is statistically linked to tragic outcomes, most would see that buying a firearm increases the chances someone in their household will end up shot over the long term. Instead, media tells us to arm for an eventual government siege – or the boogeyman next door.

Obama’s Non-Prosecution of Fraud
2012 marked the failures of media again, refusing to call out Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for selling justice as five-year statutes of limitations expire. Obama’s immunity deal with the biggest mortgage banks took away vast accountability for the 2008 economic collapse, for pennies on the dollar. All but a handful of state Attorneys General signed on to the deal along with the SEC and HUD. By contrast, 1,000 indictments resulted from the Savings and Loan fraud scandal of the late 1980s.

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