A Clarion Call to Brothers and Sisters

“If My Thought Dreams Could be Seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine” — Bob Dylan, “It’s All Right Ma”, 1965.

Bernie Ocasio Fox
Look at the picture here. This is Fox news. What does it say, and how does it say it?

The way fascist Republicans and Clinton-Lieberman-DNC Democrats have targeted new, young, elected leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is unbelievable! And even though CNN aired the interview with her (click on the link above), in general, corporate media is blasting the Bernie Sanders line of humanism, and without any objective analysis, making Democratic Socialism synonymous with communism.

And U.S. people are falling for that, because to them, anything remotely connected to socialism is “Godless communism.” For decades, since the Era of McCarthyism, American powers and media have successfully made the concept of equality, peace and justice an evil. They have cut off the global knowledge base, and made Americans blind and deaf about what’s going on across the civilized world.

So, what are leaders like Sanders and Alexandria talking about that’s so loathsome and repulsive to some working-class Americans?

(1) That unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, USA has an out-of-control wealth and income disparity, and we need to narrow the gap, to make the middle class stronger.

(2) Unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, American people pay an obnoxious, outrageous amount of money for health care and education, and we must make them affordable, because health care and education are rights and not privileges.

(3) Unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, American corporations have caused havoc to the environment, and we must clamp down on them — fossil fuel corporations in particular — to save the earth from destruction.

(4) Unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, USA’s three topmost industries are arms (and gun) industry, drug industry, and sex industry, along with the prison industry, and we must move away from these industries, to bring peace and sanity to ourselves and our children.

Democratic Socialism is not communism. And Fox and other such media are purposefully scaring the American people. Reject their fear mongering and lies.

I have worked for many years, intensely, first with the right wing and then with the left wing. After almost fifty years of activism in the two biggest democratic countries in the world, I am convinced that unless we work together — making a serious effort to bring the 99% together — on a common platform of equality, peace, social justice, environmental justice, and affordable education and health care for all, we can’t save the world from the clutches of neoliberal corporate pushers and Trump-Modi-type fascists.

Americans with intelligence and political acumen must wake up now, and seize the new opportunity, recognizing the groundswell. Stop fascists and neoliberal corporate politicians from destroying this nonviolent revolution that’s sweeping across America.

Intelligent and progressive people in India can follow this new, surging young America, if they want. It’s your call.
_________________

Partha Banerjee
Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partha_Banerjee
Long Island, New York
August 11, 2018.

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

###

Acknowledgement:

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