Conan O’Brien and his staff does a pretty good job of pointing out the obvious and rather scary current state of affairs when it comes to real news and the general nature of information being told to the public.
Sadly corporate control of mass media (TV, Radio & Print) insures that Freedom of the Press and independent news is only a whisper amongst the cacophony of coordinated views and narrow interpretation of the facts for a perhaps a great many topics and subject matters. That might even be looking at the situation under the best of light, on the darker side one might see misinformation and propaganda?
The fact that Conan’s comedy can get by censors suggests that they feel too big and powerful to be threatened or perhaps worse must think the masses are just too dumb to care or notice. Not only are the news presenters sounding like parrots, since the information displayed on their teleprompters is obviously sourced from the same material, but there is now little or no difference between various cities or even countries for that matter– the information, news and the script remains the same!
It’s hard to believe that the US government which clearly states in their First Amendment of their Constitution the importance of the Freedom of the Press has allowed the same half dozen media companies to own & control a huge percentage of all the news and entertainment one has the opportunity to see, hear or read via television, radio and print on a daily basis. Many of those same companies now also have very large footprints all over the internet as well.
The primary function of those companies as stated in their state charters is to make money and little else of substance. To maximize profits they act in their own interests and thus promote their agenda via the news and entertainment.
It should be remembered that those companies are given permission to use the public airways for free and that the people ultimately have the power to revoke their broadcast and/or publishing rights. However that would require that their government leaders be responsible to the people and not those corporate entities they are suppose to regulate.
Watch Conan O’Brien’s funny video about Corporate Mainstream Media
For those that are more than a little concerned here are some interesting mass media company facts:
Bain Capital & Thomas H Lee (Clear Channel) 6.2 billion in 2011:
Controls 866 radio stations and Premiere Radio Networks. They also syndicated about 90 radio programs, that then is heard on 5,800 radio station affiliates, which adds up to over 213 million weekly listeners. Programs include the Rush Limbaugh Show, Glenn Beck and the Sean Hannity Show); Fox Sports Radio; Fox News Radio; Australian Radio Network
CBS Corp (Revenue $14.2 billion 2011):
TV: Twenty-nine television stations and CBS Television Studios; CBS Entertainment; CBS News; CBS Sports; CBS television stations; CBS Television Studios; CBS Studios International; CBS Television Distribution; the CW; Showtime; CBS College Sports Network; CBS Television Network; Smithsonian Networks. CBS also owns 130 radio stations.
Comcast (Revenue: $55.8 billion 2011):
Is the USA’s largest cable company AND residential Internet service provider AND one of the world’s biggest producers of TV shows & motion pictures. Comcast’s media holdings now reach almost every home in America.
Gannett Co (Revenue 5.2 billion 2011) International media company focusing on broadcast TV, print and Web content Twenty-three television stations & 600+ magazines
News Corporation’s (Revenue: $33.4 billion 2011) media holdings include the FOX Broadcasting, Twenty-seven television stations and 146 newspapers just in Australia!
Time Warner, Inc. (29 billion revenue in 2011) is the world’s second-largest entertainment conglomerate with with holdings in film, television and print.
Tribune Company (3.2 Billion in 2010)Twenty-three television stations, but only a single radia station, but also Twelve daily newspapers (including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant); Chicago Magazine.
Viacom (14.9 billion in 2011) fourth-largest media conglomerate, with over 160 cable television channels/networks, programming production and distribution. Examples: MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike TV, Tr3s, BET and CENTRIC
Disney (2011 Revenue: $40.1 billion) Eight television stations and the ABC television network; ESPN; Disney Channels Worldwide; ABC Family etc plus 277 radio stations and multiple film-production companies (Touchstone, Miramax, Walt Disney Pictures; and Pixar Animation Studios etc.
Washington Post Co: (4.2 billion in 2011) Six television stations, The Washington Post; the Herald; the Washington Post News Service; Post-Newsweek Media etc.
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website