Well, the toothless FCC is looking into the faux news produced by the Bush Administration and corporations to dupe the public:
Ms Farsetta said the public relations companies commissioned to produce these segments by corporations had become increasingly sophisticated in their techniques in order to get the VNRs broadcast. “They have got very good at mimicking what a real, independently produced television report would look like,” she said.
Wait. . . . What *does* “a real, independently produced television report” look like, anyway? This is an especially tough article to know how to read, especially for one who is currently reading Noam Chomsky: Radical Priorities. He is absolutely convinced that the media is basically an organalle of the same ruling class, and therefore not at all independent in the first place.
Of course, a story such as this sort of presupposes a certain level of independence in the media, because there would be no other reason to go around them in this way. At the same time, I think most of us who pay attention have seen a dramatic shift in the priorities of the media and the tone of thier delivery, so there does seem to be a certain prevailing influence of power on the media, whatever thier declarations to the contrary. Perhaps in this as in all things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle: the media is under pressure to book members of the Administration guests, and therefore cannot rock the boat too much.
But back to these so-called VNR’s (Video News Releases). That the Administration and Corporate America seem to be engaged in exactly the same types of deception ~ and by all accounts, primarily through the collusion of Fox media outlets ~ is the kind of thing that should give even those cynical of media independence reason to pause. This is about as obvious a Fascist crony system as you could ask to have in our society. Perhaps there is indeed a collusion between the media and the government, but when it is this eggregious, it needs to be broken up.
Perhaps reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine would help in other areas, perhaps not, but a society that holds the pretense of the democratic principle cannot allow this type of thing to continue nor can it ignore the problem without criminal prosecution. We shall see how true to our principles our society is prepared to be. . . .
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