Monday, May 21, 2012

When The Chickens Come Home...

When you got up this morning, if the most important "news" item you saw or heard was the death of Bee Gees co-founder Robin Gibb, we're sadly not surprised. Massive protests at the NATO meetings were something the "news" folks didn't seem to want to talk about much today. There were still a few individuals in the media talking about the SuperPAC buyout of last week's Nebraska Republican primary race - but we're not too surprised that the story of the SuperPACs and the 'Ricketts Plan' somehow slipped from the headlines already.

If newspapers were still owned by newsmen, and radio stations by radio people, and local TV stations by those who actually understand local TV news, the fact that the wealthiest men and women in America - and indeed from around the world - are buying our elections at all levels, would be the top story today, and every day for weeks on end.

That it is not shows how corrupt, bastardized, and weak our mainstream media has become. Take Wisconsin, for example.

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel announced their endorsement of embattled Republican Governor Scott Walker, against the Democratic Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett. This seemed to surprise some in the national media - but it shouldn't.

In a recent story, initially published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Walker was caught - on video - making it clear that his top priority, from the day he got elected, was to "divide and concquer" unions and working class Wisconsinites, in favor of his corporate buddies. Not surprisingly, in the video, Walker was talking with two incredibly wealthy Wisconsin businesswomen - women who control or influence companies that do measurable business with Journal Communications, the Journal-Sentinal's parent company.

That shouldn't shock anyone. For far too long now, the so-called objectivity of much of the media hasn't originated from the journalists in the newsrooms, as it should, but instead from the pinheads in the boardroom, who cringe at the slightest threat of an advertiser deciding to pull up stakes.

The position of the overly Wall-Street friendly folks controlling the Republican Party is similarly disconnected from reality. As current Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Preibus said this weekend, all these baseless attacks by SuperPACs would just go away if Democrats - including the President - would just give up and let Republicans win.

Priebus' comment is not only ridiculous, it's completely at odds with reality. His comment mirrors almost identically the kind of reaction regularly heard from bullies, after they receive a taste of their own medicine.

That kind of blowback is exactly what happened to Joe Ricketts and his family last week, when his chickens came home to roost. The amazingly rapid backpedaling and denials surrounding the Ricketts Plan were the effect of real news men and women shining journalistic sunlight on the disease of SuperPACs in American democracy.

We wish we could say that metaphorical bird is cooked, that you could stick a fork in the idea that SuperPACs are now going to keep the sleeze to a minimum, after the plan with Joe Ricketts' name on it, blew up in his face - but we'd be as crazy as GOP Chariman Preibus if we believed that.

Fact is, because of the Citizens United ruling, a single average, multi-billion dollar Romney SuperPAC donor is now equal to 181,000 average Obama campaign donors. That gives an overwhelming and unequal advantage in our elections to those in our society who have far more money than sense.

The advantage small dollar donors have, however, is that the media can't and doesn't need to shine its spotlight on them individually, like it can the big dollar donors who are trying to turn this nation into the Corporate-Owned States of America.

No matter what, this year's elections are going to be hard-fought battles, at every level. We just hope that our fellow media members keep the heat on those who are attempting to buy the elections outright.

No comments:

Post a Comment