My friend and colleague Robert M. Traxler, author for more than a decade of the Townbroadcast “Army Bob” column, this week has inspired me to once again reveal my favorite oxymoron.
For those who don’t remember, an oxymoron is the string together of two words that seem to be contradictory. Good examples are:
- Deafening silence
- Alone together
- Open secret
- Pretty ugly
- Silent scream
- Terribly good
- Sweet sorrow
- Cruel kindness
- Wise fool
- Jumbo shrimp
My favorite for the last 40-plus years has been “liberal media.” Part of the reason I single this one out is that I have been a proud member of the media for more than 50 years, and yes, I am generally regarded as liberal.
However, I take umbrage to the blanket insistence that the media is liberal. And who gets to decide just what is liberal, what is conservative, what is radical left wing and radical right wing. They have become convenient labels that serve no purpose except to promote contempt for someone with whom you disagree.
In a column I wrote for this on-line rag some time ago, I suggested that you have to believe that corporations and their fat cat CEOs are liberals. I might grant that for George Soros, but that’s just about all.
Consider the most watched (or followed) broadcast news sources.
- NBC is a network owned by Westinghouse/General Electric.
- ABC is a network owned by Disney, one of the richest corporations on the planet.
- CBS is owned by Viacom, which admitted in 2016 that Donald Trump was good for their business.
- Fox News — Rupert Murdoch, ‘nuff said.
- CNN is owned by the Time-Warner Corporation.
None of these media giants can be considered liberal because they pay the most attention to the bottom line — money. And when they do, they tend to send packing the likes of Phil Donahue, Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann because they didn’t toe the corporate line or said something offensive about their sponsors.
Their tentacles are being felt closer to home in recent years with the understanding that Sinclair Broadcasting has taken over WWMT-TV Channel 3 and Nextstar Media now is at the controls of WOOD-TV and WOTV. I don’t believe any liberal broadcasters can get away with saying much not to the liking of sponsors or the corporate owners.
We don’t need to discuss newspapers too much because their influence and presence is quietly slipping away.
And don’t even get started about “right-thinking radio,” dominated for the past three decades by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Joe Rogan.
So where is this liberal media? It has been banished to the outskirts, to the Siberia of the airwaves. You can find it at The Young Turks, perhaps Democracy Now or Thom Hartmann, and only just a little bit with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. There are a few Internet sites such as Daily Kos or the Majority Report. But you really have to work at finding them.
As I said about a decade ago, I find it grossly misleading to suggest the media is liberal. I rarely, if ever, see or hear Bernie Sanders on MSNBC. I hear tell Prof. Noam Chomsky has been banned for life from NPR.
Skillful use of propaganda and public relations, coupled with marketing and advertising savvy, drive the media landscape in these United States. And now we find it difficult to get at what is true and what is just manufactured misinformation.
I have come to believe that the more you do the research, do the critical thinking, study and analyze carefully what’s going down, the more you come to the conclusion that you’ve been lied to all your life.
“Pay attention, connect the dots… follow the money.”