Media Degeneration and the Corporate Police State

Magicians use misdirection to pull off most of their tricks. While you’re watching the hand they’re waving, the other hand is hiding the goodies. American news media used to pride itself on seeing through the distractions to the truth underneath, but that was in the days before Richard Viguerie, Roger Ailes, and the rest of the AEI-inspired right wing noise machine showed everybody how much ordinary people hate anybody who fucks with their precious illusions, and how much more money news media outlets could make if they tossed Truth down the disposal and concentrated instead on feeding into the fantasy.

Now, after 30 years of corporate media whose idea of professionalism is healthy quarterly increases to the bottom line by refusing to challenge the illusions of their “audience” or make them uncomfortable in any way, we have a news media so degenerate that when a conscience-stricken NSA nerd blows the whistle on the largest govt spying operation since the fall of the Wall turned the Stasi into traffic cops, the single element they choose to key on is…the whistleblower.

A few years ago, Food Lion got caught – on camera by an undercover tv investigation –  deliberately selling tainted meat. That it was corporate policy to sell spoiled, potentially poisoned meat to its customers rather than take a relatively minor hit to its profits by throwing it away was made painfully clear. Then, in an arrogant, vicious PR attack that should never have worked, they evaded responsibility for endangering their customers by whining about how the undercover investigation “wasn’t fair”. IOW, they bitched loudly about not being given the chance to hide their malfeasance, thus defining “fairness” in a wholly new way. Suddenly the story wasn’t about the poison meat but about the behavior of the tv crew. And the news media bought this argument, effectively tarring and feathering itself for doing what used to be considered its job.

Ever since then we have lived in a mediascape where whistleblowers are – according to the media’s new corporate rulers – traitors (Snowden), perverts (Assange), and anti-American vermin attempting to destroy our way of life by disagreeing with the New Rule that corporations are always right in everything they do. The myth that corporations do things better than govt has grown to the point not just of absurdity but of extreme danger to the democracy.

At The Most Revolutionary Act, guest poster Steve Miller (no, not that Steve Miller) reminds us that among the many things our new news media can’t be bothered to tell us is that our Democrat govt is turning over its police powers – quietly, very quietly – to corporations.

This can of worms [the NSA spying scandal – MA] includes a wide number of issues about the relations of police and the citizens in this country. The central and most outrageous issue is that 70% of $72 billion dollar intelligence budget goes to private contractors. These are private corporations. They are being put in charge of far more than the militarized government intelligence. Coordinated through the Department of Homeland Security contracts, police and military services at all levels have been privatized, from private prisons to intelligence to corporate police squads.

Corporations have now accrued to themselves actual police power to use force over the people in society. These bodies meet in secret (“proprietary secrets”, “trade secrets”) and make policy about how to exercise their police authority. These discussions are now hidden from the public. Furthermore US law is clear: each and every corporation with police powers must guarantee maximum profits. This includes those with newly usurped police powers.

By exercising the will of corporations, these bodies are implementing a new, direct form of corporate rule. Laws, after all, are just words. When you come up against it, people are legally bound to obey the authority of whatever organization is empowered to exercise that authority, even if it’s violent. This is political power. On the street, with “the Rule of Law”, it’s the ruling that matters, not the “law”.

I’m afraid so. Go read the rest.

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