IN A NAME?
In comments to my
introductory post about this website at The Left Coaster, three
commenters - Tampa Student, Mary, and Avedon
Carol - suggest that a more appropriate term for the American
mainstream media may be "corporatist." I guess that's a
reasonable suggestion. It also turns out that there is an insidious
nature to the media where the corporatist/conservative bent is often
hidden nicely from public view. So, "Illiberal Conservative
Media" may quite appropriately be referred to as "Insidious
Corporatist Media" as well. ICM.
Just for the record, I am
reproducing some of the comments from that post, here (doesn't mean
that I agree with everything stated):
Rather than the ICM, I suggest that the opposite of a liberal
media is not a conservative media, it's a closed media. It's one
that is controlled by corporate and state interest and essentially
closed to the needs of the public, just the Republican Party is
closed and disinterested in the needs of the people.
It's not conservative to create a media full of government and
corporate propaganda. That's fascism.
I've been thinking about this issue for a long time and the
problem I have is that if you try to mirror them by talking about
"the conservative media" it's presumed you're talking
about the more overtly conservative media of Rush, Fox, The
Washington Times, etc.
If you talk about "the illiberal media", they are
wont to agree, and sometimes use the same term, to refer to the
Big Media outlets, they NYT, CNN, ABC/CBS/NBC, Newsweek, Time,
and the local papers - but still maintaining that they are
"illiberal" because they are biased to the left.
(Words have rather confusing meanings to them anyway. They know
"illiberal" is a negative word, so it still applies to
us rather than them.)
So I've been kind of at a loss to find a term that is as easily
understood to mean that the mainstream media is conservative, in
the same way that they've succeeded at labelling Big Media as
"liberal". The only thing I'm sure of that whenever we
hear "liberal media" we have to make clear that they can
only be talking about The Nation and AAR, since there's not
much else out there that can accurately be called
The Corporatist Media.
Its not spin, its a description of the ideology that drives
their Corporate decision making. Corporatism does not equal
Neoconservatism. Corporatism does not equal Social Conservatism.
Corporatism does not equal fascism.
But Corporatism allows for the festering of all three, due to
many societal and cultural factors affecting both the media market
as well as the Corporate editors themselves. Libertarians would
say something like "Americans want to live in a free
capitalist society." What they really want is to have the
unchecked ability to run wanton over the unlucky, the poor, and
the uneducated. Unchecked Social-Economic Darwinism - the heart
and soul of Corporatism.
Government's efforts to manipulate and encourage consolidation
acting concurrently with basic Corporatist goals (short term
capitalization) results in Propaganda which can lead to Fascism if
left unchecked. There is simply too much common ground shared
between the Neoconservatives of K-Street and the Corporatist
interest from all sides. The difference being that the
Neoconservatives running our government act with intent, the
Corporatists are an apathetic bunch abusing their power to
influence society in the pursuit of greed and ego.
What we have is a re-birth of the age of unchecked monopoly in
critical sectors of private enterprise (media, defense, energy,
transportation, telecommunications, etc). With present day
technology, growth, and global markets, the opportunity for gross
abuse and hoarding of wealth is going to be quite a bit more
terrifying than it was before the Sherman Act put a stop to it a
The enemy of Corporatism is competition. Monopoly is each
Corporation's ultimate goal. Thus, either we find a legion of
George Soros types to wage war in the market, or we dust off Teddy
Roosevelt's big stick and do some trust busting.
Thanks, Tampa Student. I don't know why I didn't think of that,
since I refer to them as "corporatists" all the time