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Media’s fatal gambit

By Christian Marx

With the announcement that Channel 10 had gone into administration, many in the media were in deep shock. This author was not shocked at all. In fact, I was surprised this hadn’t happened much sooner.

There are many and varied reasons why mainstream media is collapsing: The internet, online streaming, endless repeats of 30 year old programs, terrible reality shows, and a declining revenue base from advertisers. However, arguably the biggest factor is the fact that the media largely omit massive amounts of information in their news coverage.

This happens for a number of reasons. The first and primary reason is that all mainstream media is corporate owned and ultimately serves the personal and business interests of their owners. It seeks to push a far-right discourse, particularly on economic matters. For example, how many programs are there a week on the unemployed and the so-called “dole bludgers”? These “exposes” are a dime a dozen. We never get a hard-hitting investigation on the top ten tax dodgers in the country!

The power brokers work hand in glove with big business interests. Not surprisingly, as they are part of the same club. Far-right economic policies (such as austerity), attacks on the vulnerable, neo-liberal economics are the order of the day, and the gospel according to television programmers.

Fortunately, their propaganda machine is beginning to show some very large cracks.

This was glaringly apparent during the election campaign and final outcome in the United Kingdom. Jeremy Corbyn was mercilessly savaged and smeared relentlessly. Phrases such as ‘being dirty’, ‘scruffy’, a ‘dangerous Marxist’, and even an ‘IRA terrorist sympathizer’ were used.. Rich words coming from the press when Theresa May is now in bed with a little known terrorist group from Ireland. Of course, media won`t talk about this though! That narrative is not for public ears!

Mainstream media has made a fatal error: They no longer control the information flow yet behave as though they do. For those under 50 (and increasingly even older cohort groups) television and newspapers are superfluous … rags that are good to clean the windows with. The lies and spin are now so bad, even those who are more trusting now need to verify their information via the internet. This is why, during the election in the UK, the public began doing their own research, not satisfied with the media lies and spin.

The UK has been almost destroyed by Tory economics over the past 35 years. The wreckage is easy to see. The National Health System is at breaking point, millions are now getting food from the food banks, and the final insult was the proposed dementia tax on the elderly. Not content with smashing the poor via a bedroom tax (those who were living in a house with multiple bedrooms were slugged with a tax if no one was using the bedroom!).

The empty slogans are ridiculous. “Strong and stable”!(?) … My god, tens of millions are below the poverty line while the elite continue to steal the rug out from under the poor and the middle-class. Theresa May should get out of her ivory tower and just walk the streets of London … full of homeless and malnourished children. Their media spin of attacking the most vulnerable backfired.

Did the poor remove funding from the National Health System? No, it was the parasitic 1%, lobbying both “New Labour and the Tories” to put a razor to all social services.

Australia too is constantly bombarded with attacks on the poor, immigrants, almost everyone except the real criminals. Those who run and control the system are the real parasites. The definition of a parasite is one that cannot be detected … one that burrows itself into the organism and leeches off the host. Yes, the real parasites are those who own and control the media and the large corporations and work in tandem with both major political parties. Difficult questions are never asked.

Journalists are no better. If they do not tow the neo-liberal and US centric foreign affairs propaganda, they are usually sacked or marginalized and ridiculed. Real hard-hitting journalism is left up to grass roots organizations such as Democracy Now. Even The Guardian was shameful in its reporting of Jeremy Corbyn; certainly not what one would expect from an “independent” media outlet.

Unfortunately’ the order of the day is sock-puppets such as Andrew Bolt and Rita Panahi. These people are not journalists, merely corporate mouthpieces that spruik the will and views of the rich and powerful. Facebook news and information pages such as DLATP (Don`t Look At This Page) expose these charlatans. Fortunately there are hundreds of thousands of pages such as DLATP, and people are networking among themselves across the globe via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. They see the lies and spin and will no longer tolerate the misinformation.

Ultimately mainstream media has hastened its demise. They have a credibility problem that won`t go away. The future of news and investigative journalism will be grassroots, low-cost digital media. Mainstream media made a fatal error and now they will sow the seeds of their own irrelevancy and destruction. Ultimately, truth is the mightiest hammer!

Christian Marx is a political and social activist interested in making the world a fairer place. He has a Bachelor of Social Science and has a keen interest in sociology, politics and history. He was one of the organizers of the March in March rallies in Melbourne and is the founder of the progressive news and information page, “Don`t Look At This Page”, and is also a co-founder of “The Global Revolution” website.

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24 comments

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  1. Freethinker

    Thank you for the article.
    In the last 12 month the poor, the old, the sick and the working class are under attack not only here in Australian and UK but in USA, Hungary, Brazil and Argentina just to mention few countries with neoliberalist and right ideology.
    In all those countries the media is run by the right.
    I do not believe that this a just a coincidence.

  2. kerri

    I had heard it was more a plan to have Ruoert steam in and rescue 10 when the puppets in the parliament pass media ownership laws in favour of Rupert owning the whole shebang???
    If you have Foxtel, if you buy The Australian, if you support any comoany with links to Murdoch?
    Do the right thing for the future of the nation and stop giving your hard earned money to this nasty old control freak! Please?

  3. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    Any entity controlled, influenced or party controlled or influenced by either or both of Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch are not fit and proper entities to be awarded or control a broadcasting licence anywhere in the world

  4. john ocallaghan

    Exellent piece of writing,and yes i also think the tide is turning!

  5. jamesss

    More than a tide John, the manifestation of a HUGE wave of public reaction.

  6. darrel nay

    talk about MSM corruption:

    just watched a great interview with Cassie Jaye where she laid out her documentary ‘The Red Pill’. I saw the bullying channel seven host Andrew O’keefe mistreat her as he arrogantly pushed his corporatist view of her movie, even though he eventually admitted he hadn’t even watched the movie.

    Cheers

    p.s. good to see her movie is the top-seller on youtube in Australia. People aren’t being conned by the globalist corporatist media.

    p.p.s. also awesome to see another wildly successful independent female film-producer.

  7. darrel nay

    this article claims austerity is a right-wing policy – why then did the socialist EU impose austerity measures on Greece?

    cheers

  8. Terry2

    On the UK situation, I tend to agree with John Major who maintains that if the Conservative Party cannot achieve a majority in its own name it should not seek to enter into a Faustian Pact with the DUP just to stay in office.

    The solution has to be to bite the bullet, announce a new election for September and rule as a minority government in the interim.

  9. Johno

    Good to see the msm getting some just deserts.

  10. michael lacey

    They are also the purveyors of ‘Fake news’
    Barbara Kingsolver in her great novel “The Lacuna” (lacuna meaning hiatus, blank, missing part, gap, cavity, or empty space) has Russian Communist revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky (Lev) and his assistant Van having the following discussion about media (2009):
    “”But newspapers have a duty to truth”, Van said. Lev [Trotsky] clicked his tongue. “They tell the truth only as the exception. Zola [French novelist of “J’accuse” fame] wrote that the mendacity of the press could be could be divided into two groups: the yellow press lies every day without hesitating. But others, like the Times , speak the truth on all inconsequential occasions, so they can deceive the public with the requisite authority when it becomes necessary.” Van got up from his chair to gather the cast-off newspapers. Lev took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ” I don’t mean to offend the journalists; they aren’t any different from other people. They’re merely the megaphones of other people” … [Trotsky observes to his assistant Shepherd] “Soli, let me tell you. The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don’t know”.
    Murdoch is an example of yellow press!

  11. wam

    Great read!
    The spin and slogans didn’t work in pommie land, although she did win government and will rule with a dangerous paisley graduate.
    Slogans and front page nasty attacks didn’t realise the polls and might have had an opposite effect?
    Are we too septic nowadays to follow the poms in ignoring rupert???
    Certainly my facebook boys are still in his thrall. Although quite a few of the intelligent mummy/daddy menzians have dumped social media or, those from SA, retreated to slimey X to avoid any thoughts of support for the labor godless commos. The hansonites remain strong and loyal to her and trump.(looks like trump is regretting being a winner and under such scrutiny what will be found under the rocks of his life??? Presidents usually leave no stone unturned but he is terrified what is under them!)

    Glad to have another Sunrise watcher, darryl. O’keefe is great for restoring faith in the concept of the rabbott and trump as knowall say all twits but a glance at his grin and two words is sufficient for a switch to another right wing morning show on 2.
    .

  12. Sam

    darrel, thanks for the pointer to the Cassie Jaye interviews with Aus media.
    Looks like shooting oneself in foot is on trend and a mandatory tactic for TV hosts.
    It’s the way of the ignoramus to make a comment on a film without seeing it, but there you go.
    Besides 4 Corners and Landline, are there any programs worth trusting on MSM these days?
    Great read by the way Christian.

  13. Roswell

    Terry2, the Tories will be savaged if May calls another election. As it is, people generally don’t like to vote again too close to the last election, but the double jeopardy for the Tories is the backlash they are receiving following the tragic fire in London. (They are ‘lucky’ that the election isn’t being held today).

    So I say, “bring on the September election”.

  14. babyjewels10

    “However, arguably the biggest factor is the fact that the media largely omit massive amounts of information in their news coverage.” That is the reason I watch almost no tv these days. This is a deliberate failure of their job.

  15. 245179

    7..9..10, their morning shows, their news segments…….pure cringe material.

  16. Mick Byron

    Christian Marx This may be a little off topic but I felt I needed to seize the opportunity to speak to on involved in March in March or March Australia as all other efforts have failed to draw a response, but in hindsight I think it may fit this topic as it is about contrrol and ownership and putting the control into the hands of the few.
    I have since my student days been an willing participant in rallies marches demonstations sit ins etc for a variety of causes as I have a strong belief in the rights of the individual to take direct action
    I read in your bio above
    “He was one of the organizers of the March in March rallies” so take it as an opportunity to ask why you feel it necessary to try to control the name March and incorporate March Australia.?
    Do you have further aims to be the Murdoch of the protest movement and try to incorporate the words “Rally” or ‘”Demonstration” or “sit in” or similar?
    I did observe previously the “March in March site for sale
    Why do you feel it necessary to take away from the the rights to use certain common words in your” incorporation”
    Just how much control over the protest movement, if there is such a beast would you like to sieze?
    I note your sites say
    “The March Australia logo is the registered trademark of the March Australia people’s movement.

    By using this trademark you agree that you will not, in any way whatsoever, register, attempt to register, or challenge the trademark.
    It shall not be used for any commercial purpose.
    This trademark will not be used in connection with, or to endorse, websites which are deemed by MAAI, at its discretion, to be illegal or objectionable by nature, or which includes obscene, violent, intolerant, denigrating or sexually-oriented content or materials.
    This trademark shall not be used for making false representations of any kind, or for raising funds under false pretences.
    This trademark remains the exclusive property of March Australia.”
    This all being directed by
    March Australia Activist Interchange (MAAI) Inc

    Just some questions on your attempts at privitisation
    How much more terminology of the variants of protest do you intend to “lock up” through Incorporation

    Do you think this attempted take over of the protests lead to such dismal numbers and indeed cancellations if the last March Australia Efforts.
    With the 7 ir so centres you have tied up if I were to feel totally disgusted by a government action and decided to organise a March in Nowra would I need to seek your permission, as I used the word March or would you initiate legal action?
    What makes you think a small group have the moral right to trademark key words?
    Finally how does these actions differ much from Murdoch take overs or Woolies or Coles atttempts at market domination

  17. paulwalter

    Geez Nay says some stupid things. Has any one read the comment, 7.23 am?

  18. darrel nay

    maybe I’m not in paul walters’ impressive IQ band, but it was a fair question?

    Cheers

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    I have this funny feeling that we are witnessing globally the breakdown of civil society after decades of neoliberal governments in many countries.

    Austerity budgets during that time have wrecked society, putting democracy at risk.

    All that undermines democracy is being trashed by likes of our government. Rule of law, habeas corpus, separation of power. Judiciary system & public services politicised.

    Reaction to the tower fire in the UK, the anger, hints at, people are waking up. Trump, the likes of Abbott could, in the long run, be a good thing.

    Time to lance the boil

  20. Florence nee Fedup

    Not working in Greece either.

  21. Freethinker

    Florence, IMHO the austerity policies soon or later are going to backfired because austerity bring a down slow down of consumption and this will affect small business first and by a chain of reaction the big ones will follow.
    Yes, people are waking up, but now it is not like used to be years ago, now people have not “financial freedom” and have to get to an stage when they have nothing to lose to show their unity and power.

  22. stephengb2014

    Interesting that there is a concentrated effort by the neoliberals to use seciroty to put a tab on social media.

  23. Florence nee Fedup

    That burning tower of flats highlighted all. Austerity budgets. Privatisation of management. Cutting of red tape, leaving no regulations. It is the ordinary low income earners that suffer every time.

    Warnings put aside because of the claim off no money. Truth, plenty of money but ideology won’t allow it to be spent.

    To top it off, the PM can’t be bothered putting in place help for the victims. PM not game to visit the people. As a after thought allots some money.

    The only representative that has been out everyday, among the victim is the Muslim London Lord Mayor. Labor showed up, got accused politically the issue by government.

    More victims here than any terrorist attacks. At least three more buildings in same area that have been also renovated.

    That fire should not happened.

  24. Florence nee Fedup

    In UK elections we seen biggest turnout for 30 years. Mostly made up of the young. Is the same happening here. Suspect it is, when you see so many young among audiences of such shows as QandA.

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