What Is Media? Really, Do You Know?

International Politics

Do you really know what media is, or how it works? Do you know media’s politics?

Here is my two cents. I have actually studied media ethics, and even got some acclaim, when I studied journalism at the well-known Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. I’d like to share my observations with you.

Media — like New York Times, CNN, Fox, BBC, Times of India, etc. — do not work for us the ordinary people. They work for, and owned by, the 1%. Murdoch, Ambani, or Disney. Or, by special interests. And they are almost always dictated by the policies of the corporations that advertise in them. Media can never go against the will of their owners, or advertisers. Outside of the small world of alternative, not-for-profit media, there is no such thing as free press.

American media, Indian media, or British media — are not free.

How do big media treat us, or rather, use us? We the 99% are their market to sell their news, and make maximum profit, and political power. News is not neutral, objective, or balanced. In fact, news is not even news. It’s an item to sell on this market, just like a car, potato chips, pizza, or say, guns or grenades. Or, private prisons. You add your list of items to buy, sell, and make profit from.

Media houses and corporations have no reason to work for us, even though there are many dedicated, honest, often risk-taking journalists working for them. But these journalists do not decide what news is, or how it is printed, aired, or broadcast. It’s the owners and their fat-cat editors who decide it. They decide what is news, and what is not. They decide how to twist and manipulate news. They decide what is first-page news, or to be aired first. They decide who is an expert, and who is not. They decide which issue to prioritize, and which issue to exclude or undermine. And we follow them, often blindly, even though privately many of us talk about how dishonest media channels are, or joke about a newspaper’s self-professed honesty.

Big media make Trump, Obama, Clinton, Blair, Queen Elizabeth, the British princes, or India’s Modi. Basically, big media always give coverage to the big parties, and their big-named leaders, who are often corrupt and extremely rich, in varying degrees. Personally corrupt, or politically corrupt. Or, as in case of Trump, both.

Leaders like Bernie Sanders are always undermined by big media: we the people do not get to hear their POV. Big media make Iraq war, Kashmir war, North Korean war…or many other wars American powers have always been involved with — for ages. Big media demonize Cuba, Palestine, Vietnam, or using a most recent example, undocumented immigrants. Big media create friends and enemies, angels or villains. Media make us forget, with their propaganda, that before Saddam Hussain was demonized, the U.S. government loved him, and gave him national honors when he visited this country.

No Lies Radio

How do media do it? They do it by journalism of inclusion (i.e., what gets in), and they do it by what I call “Journalism of Exclusion.” That is, what gets out. That is, not covering, de-prioritizing, or lying or gravely distorting about news that matter to us. Like, a union strike: why do workers strike? What are the circumstances, when workers brave the harsh winter, lack of pay, lack of health care, lack of family life, and lack of a normal life? How much does the company’s CEO make, and how much do the workers make? Why would the rich CEO and his people cut benefits and wages for the workers? Think of the ongoing Charter-Spectrum strike here in New York. The workers are striking for nine months already! Where is the media coverage?

Big media let big banks and Wall Street CEO’s off the hook, and legitimize government bailouts of the extreme rich. Our pension cut is not important news for them, and police killings of the poor is trivial news. They don’t report clearly how much the cricket players, baseball or golf players make, or film stars make, and do not report their tax evasions. They do not tell us how toxic junk foods or many prescription drugs are. Most people have no idea what they eating, drinking, or using as medications.

Big media, corporate media perpetuate an impression that this is a functioning democracy, that this is the best working system in the world, and that there are no other alternatives. It’s a political game, and it’s also a game of monopoly.

Most people do not understand their politics, or their game of profit.

I hope you use your real-life experience and intelligence to observe and analyze media.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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Acknowledgement:

Cartoon from International Politics, and No Lies Radio. Used for one-time, not-for-profit purpose.

How New York Times Handed the Election Over to Trump — Part I

trump-hillary-poll(Photo Courtesy: TheWrap)
How New York Times Handed the Election Over to Trump
November 10, 2016
____________________
Part 1.
On November 6 and 7, days before the election, New York Times predicted that Hillary Clinton had an 88% chance to win, and Trump, 12%.
Now, the title of this article may seem so “radical,” if not “bizarre,” that many eyebrows might rise. People might snub, slight, or slander this observation, made by someone who is an unknown, first-generation immigrant with no mainstream pedigree. Especially those who always put the “other side” at fault, and reject any criticism against themselves, would be outraged.
In the case of American media’s election coverage, liberals’ favorite dog to whip was Fox, O’Reilley, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michele Bachman, or Breitbert. Of course, the right-wing did their pro-Trump, anti-union, anti-equality, pro-war, anti-black propaganda, often resorting to shameless obscenity and racial overtones.
But many liberals and progressives didn’t understand that media and establishment they considered their own were often working against them. With or without a purpose. New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC were three such examples. And truly, the Democratic Party establishment. Here, I will focus on the Times, because it has created and sustained an aura of “superior, objective journalism,” and not only the educated, liberal Americans, people all over the world take their reporting and analyses as the unquestionable ultimate. Often, reading something “in the paper” is synonymous with reading it in the Times.
For more than a year, since Trump became a serious contender, New York Times harnessed all its resources to make Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate. Their primary “target” during the primaries was Bernie Sanders who was rallying Americans — especially the younger generation — on the issues of the grotesque inequality, global warfare, rights and justice for the poor and marginal, education and health opportunities for all, sexual equality, and a green, sustainable climate. He talked about overturning Citizens United, law that made multinational corporations more powerful than ever before, and absolved them from their crimes. He was exposing big banks, Wal-Mart, oil corporations, private prison, and Wall Street.
Bernie Sanders became the mouthpiece of disenchanted Americans, especially the youth. He was taking the sails away from status-quo Democrats led by Obama, the Clintons, Chuck Schumer, Wasserman-Schultz, and the rabidly pro-1% lobby that would not want a let-up on the so-called “war on terror.”
War industries were furious that Sanders was preaching peace.
(To be continued.)
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India’s Selective Intolerance Cry

Babri 1
Babri Mosque demolition by Hindu fanatics. December 6, 1992.

YES…TRUE…BUT.

December 6 has become an iconic day of protest in India. This day in 1992, Hindu fascists demolished an ancient mosque in a sacred city called Ayodhya, and it resulted in a massive, bloody communal riot, killing thousands of poor people, mostly Muslims.

Liberals — especially Facebook-Whatsapp-type, well-to-do Indians (South Asians) — have always used this day to cry intolerance, and this cry has become louder these days with the fascists and bigots crushing down on free speech and personal freedom such as eating beef in India, or Pork in Pakistan or Bangladesh.

It is true that Hindu fanatics have killed free thinkers in India, and Islamic fanatics killed free thinkers in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Women have become targets of religious zealots in all three “Indian” countries.

Manorama
Indian army rape Manorama in an outcaste state Manipur. Massive, historic protests by women. I don’t believe they have Facebook or Whatsapp.

YET, these liberals do not cry foul when they see enormous violence committed by the army or police, or the richest one percent in India, who live on gold.

In a country where dowry demands kill poor women regularly, Monsanto kills farmers regularly, police and mafia kill dissent regularly, and extreme inequality and poverty kill millions out of hunger, diseases and pollution, this selective cry against intolerance that the affluent liberal cry is anything but honest.

Monsanto
Meanwhile, a few million farmers commit suicide. Here is only one of them. Every thirty minutes, a Monsanto farmer is killing himself in India.

If the ISIS terrorism is real (it IS real), Hindu fanatics’ anti-Muslim, anti-Christian threat is real (it IS real), so is the global one percent’s economic terrorism, and the sold-out politicians’ and media’s political-intellectual-cultural terrorism.

One is immediate and instantly visible; the other is continuous and dark and silent. The silent and dark economic and cultural terror is actually killing millions more than the former.

I keep telling you the real stories that big media — either in India or in the U.S. — won’t tell you. It’s up to you to decide who is telling the truth, and who is not.

I leave that challenge up to you.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

Bollywood
One of them owns $600 million. American dollars. The three biggest Indian film stars are btw all Muslim. They cry intolerance?

Cheated? Lost All Your Money? Killed Yourself? Well, Why Should I Sympathize?

They were cheated, and lost all their money.
They were cheated, and lost all their money.

I hope you read it with some patience. Let me know what you think. Please read the first paragraph, and then please read the background of the story. Thank you.

Yesterday, a well known film actress and political leader in Calcutta, and I actually like her guts too, even though I do not support her political party, said, “jara agency niyechhilo,, jara taka logni koechhilo tara sobai soman oporadhi,,, tahole tara atyohotya korle sympathy paabe keno?” — Which means, her question is, people who took agency of the scam fund, and those who committed suicide because they invested [and lost everything] — they are all equally guilty, and why should they get any sympathy at all?

I was very surprised and puzzled to read this statement from her. I didn’t understand the logic she made.

Background:

If I steal money, and then return it because the theft is now exposed and I have no place to hide and I need to save my rear end from going to jail, is that going to absolve me from my crime?

Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty returned one crore rupees to Enforcement Directorate, years after the Saradha scam was exposed.
Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty returned one crore rupees to Enforcement Directorate, years after the Saradha scam was exposed.

Mithun Chakraborty, a Bollywood star, now returned millions of dollars he took from a hugely scandalous small-investment scam called Saradha Chit Fund.

Here in the U.S., North American Bengali Conference (NABC) people took crores from Saradha (the Las Vegas conference was primarily sponsored by it), but they never disclosed the amount. I wrote articles about it, and they were very unhappy.

Now, if and in case they return the money, would that going to absolve them from the wrongdoing? Whether it’s Mithun Chakraborty the Bollywood star or NABC or other criminals some of whom are in jail now, crimes must have legal repercussions. And these crimes robbed millions of poor people, and some of them killed themselves too.

Bigger Picture:

Big media personalities, celebrities, and their lies. — Judith Miller forged fake WMD stories for New York Times, validating an Iraq genocide. She is now working for Fox.

Brian Williams of NBC (owned by GE) thought he flew on a combat helicopter, and reported fake news. Today, he is given a new, different appointment with NBC and MSNBC.

George Stephanopoulos forgot that he gave $75,000 to Clinton Foundation, and reported pro-Clinton stories on ABC (owned by Disney), and blasted anti-Clinton politicians.

Kathie Lee Gifford thought she didn’t know her brand-name clothes were manufactured in Wal-Mart sweatshops around the world.

In India, we have known cases involving big media personalities and their breach of ethics and law.

But they are all working, all making millions, and continuing to do their “shows” on national and international networks.

A Bollywood film star Mithun got millions from a small-investment scam that ripped off countless poor people, driving some of them to commit suicide. He is now returning the money (he said he didn’t know), and already supporters are manufacturing public sentiments in his favor.

Amitabh Bachchan long advertised for MSG-laced noodles, and got millions. He said he didn’t know what was in the product.

Amir Khan of Bollywood is a national spokesperson for Coke in India.

Then, we have John Stossel-type journalists who openly twist news in favor of pro-Monsanto, anti-environment corporations, and blast any dissent as “radical” and “communist” propaganda.

Yet, most people do not know much about them, or their criminal activities. People are made to believe either they are above the law, or their crimes are not really crimes; they are only minor professional errors.

And the rich and powerful and their celebrities and their class are actively downplaying their wrongful acts.

It is very, very difficult to deal with ignorance of the havenots. But it is even more difficult to deal with active compliance of the educated and wealthy — compliance with crimes.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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She validated the Iraq genocide with her WMD stories in New York Times.
She validated the Iraq genocide with her WMD stories in New York Times.