Friday, November 19, 2004

Jeff Cohen: a Real Person Embedded in the Right-wing Media

Both the right-wing media, starting with MSNBC

At one meeting, a producer suggested booking Michael Moore and was told that she would need to book 3 right-wingers for balance. I considered suggesting Noam Chomsky as a guest, but our studio couldn't accommodate the 86 right-wingers we would have needed for balance.

I was at MSNBC when Tom Ridge was holding a news conference at Homeland Security in late 2002 about alleged new terror threats from Al Qaeda -- and MSNBC ran a lower third: "Showdown with Saddam."

and the far-right media, starting with Fox

To help Bush mislead Americans, Fox News Channel required that the banner "War on Terror" run when Iraq was discussed.

This is quite an interesting speech, given by FAIR's Jeff Cohen to the International Labor Communicators Association

We can thank Clinton's Telecommunications "Reform" Act of 1996 for the right-wing Clear Channel's dominance of radio and for the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group becoming the biggest TV chain in the country. Clear Channel owned 40 radio stations before the Telecom bill and 1200 soon after. Sinclair had 11 stations before the bill, and now has 62 TV stations.
ABC is owned by Disney. You'll remember that CEO Michael Eisner said that Disney wouldn't distribute "Fahrenheit 911" because Disney "didn't want to be in the middle of a politically-oriented film during an election year." Eisner's comment was allowed to pass only because so few people realize that Disney is one of the biggest purveyors of political opinion this election year and every recent election year -- almost all of it right-wing political opinion. Each day in major radio markets nationwide, Disney radio stations serve up hour after hour of Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Matt Drudge, etc. etc.
When I lecture about media in culturally conservative places, as I did this week in West Virginia, what comes as a shock to people, including the so-called "values voter," is that what they see as sleaze on TV and radio is not brought to them by the "liberal media" but by Republican-endorsing media moguls like Murdoch and Redstone.


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