What liberal media?

ABSTRACT: The conventional wisdom is that the mainstream media has a liberal slant. The best refutation of the liberal media myth is the information that we do NOT receive. There’s been little mainstream media coverage of corporation-friendly “trade” agreements, outsourcing and downgrading of jobs, growing inequality of income and wealth, the power of corporations in our supposedly democratic process, the out-of-control financial industry, and the undermining of the middle class. My blog is designed to fill that gap for those of you who don’t have the time to peruse other sources of information.

FULL POST: The conventional wisdom is that the mainstream media has a liberal slant, despite the fact that it is owned by large corporations. The best refutation of the liberal media myth is the information that we do NOT receive. I don’t believe we get the information we need to be informed citizens and voters in the mainstream media. My blog is designed to fill that gap for those of you who don’t have the time to peruse other sources of information.

My favorite examples of information NOT provided by the mainstream media are the Trans-Pacific Partnership “trade” agreement and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement along with the President’s effort to have them considered under a Fast Track process in Congress. These “trade” agreements, which are more about economic, regulatory, and legal issues than trade, will benefit multi-national corporations at the expense of US workers, consumers, and citizens. These agreements will hurt local businesses, the middle class, our health, and our national sovereignty. Nonetheless, there has been very little coverage of them in the mainstream media. You can read about this in my blog. See, for example: https://lippittpolicyandpolitics.org/2014/01/20/history-and-leaks-make-case-against-trade-treaties/.

There was a nice listing of other issues that the supposedly “liberal” media have barely covered in a recent article on Daily Kos (www.dailykos.com) entitled “15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media.” [1]

Here’s a partial summary:

  • Jobs, especially good, middle class jobs, have been outsourced or converted to temporary or part-time jobs. The result is high unemployment (despite an economic recovery) and stagnant wages. Since 2000, US multinational corporations have cut 2.9 million jobs in the US while increasing overseas employment by 2.4 million. And the number of temporary and contract workers is growing rapidly. They now represent 12% of the workforce. They typically have no job security, receive no benefits (such as health insurance or retirement), and often receive low pay. There’s been little coverage of this in the mainstream media but my blog has covered it: https://lippittpolicyandpolitics.org/2013/09/02/labor-day-and-the-middle-class/.
  • Inequality of income and wealth has grown dramatically in the last 30 years. The wealthiest 1% of Americans own over a third of all the wealth in the US. These 3 million individuals have almost 3 times as much combined wealth as all of the 240 million individuals who make up the least wealthy 80% of Americans. See my blog for more detail. For example: https://lippittpolicyandpolitics.org/2013/11/06/us-capitalism-is-out-of-control/.
  • The tax cuts and loopholes instituted in the last 30 years have provided huge benefits to the wealthy, increasing inequality. Cuts in income tax rates, special low rates on investment income, reductions in the estate tax, loopholes for off-shore investments, and other tax laws disproportionately benefit the well-off and shift the tax burden to the middle class. They also reduce government revenue, which leads to cuts in services and programs that help the middle and working class. See my blog post on how income tax rates have changed over the last 35 years: https://lippittpolicyandpolitics.org/2011/11/27/income-tax-rates-an-historical-perspective/.
  • Large corporations through lobbying, campaign spending, and organizations like The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have bent our governments, including tax policy and regulation, in their favor. ALEC is a corporate sponsored-organization that drafts laws for consideration by state legislatures. It then finds friendly legislators in multiple states whom it works with to promote these corporate-friendly proposals such as public education privatization, anti-worker laws, laws to promote gun sales, laws to block regulation of corporation behavior and products, including environmental, health, safety, intellectual property, finance, and other regulations. For more information, see Bill Moyers’ website at: http://billmoyers.com/spotlight/eye-on-alec/.
  • At the federal level, for 66 years the Glass-Steagall law kept risky financial investing by Wall St. corporations separated from government-insured deposits. Based on a multi-year, concerted campaign by Wall St., that law was relaxed and eventually repealed. As a result, a series of financial crises occurred, capped by the great crash of 2008. We haven’t heard much from the mainstream media about this pattern of deregulation and financial crises, or Wall Street’s continuing fight to avoid regulation. My blog has covered this multiple times. See, for example: https://lippittpolicyandpolitics.org/2012/03/25/the-2008-financial-collapse-context-and-follow-up/. I’ve also blogged on the minimal penalties on the financial corporations and their executives for their illegal and unethical behavior. See, for example: https://lippittpolicyandpolitics.org/2014/02/06/weak-penalties-for-financial-corporations-misbehavior/. In general, see my blog category “The banks & the financial system.”

More examples of what you do NOT learn about from the mainstream media will be in my next post.

[1]       Akadjian, 8/7/13, “15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media,” Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/07/1229087/-15-things-everyone-would-know-if-there-were-a-liberal-media?detail=email

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