A Return to What Was . . . Courtesy of What Is

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One of the most memorable lines in the original (1977) Star Wars is spoken by the old Jedi master, Ben Kenobi – to his onetime pupil, Darth Vader. “You can’t win,” Kenobi tells him. “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

The “media” – as it’s common to refer to it (singular, bear with) ought to have listened.

It is singular, in the first place, because it is all the same. There is the appearance of multiple news outlets but they are the equivalent of the badge-engineered vehicles sold by GM. A “Buick” is really a Chevy and they are both owned by GM. Just the same, the media brands are all owned by a small handful of interlocking corporate interests. To speak of the “media” – plural – is to use a term that may be technically correct but nonetheless highly misleading.

Speaking of that . . .

The “media” thought it could consolidate and thereby control what people thought by controlling what they were allowed to hear (and read). And for awhile, it worked – in part because most people had no idea that their local network (and paper) were part of the same much larger network, all controlled from afar by a kind of big ugly spider at the center of the web. And also because it didn’t seem to matter. After the old Soviet Union broke apart, after the end of the Cold War, it seemed to most people that all was well and we could just watch Seinfeld and Friends and all would continue to be well.

Well, it wasn’t.

Many of us just didn’t realize it at the time – because it takes time for the rot to become evident.

For the chickens to come home to roost.

Around the same time that the old Soviet Union faded away, the government gave away this country  – to China – by granting it Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status, so as to allow American corporations to dispense with American workers in favor of Chinese workers, who worked for much less. It was convenient that around the same time, the government, under the uniparty leadership of Bush the first and then Clinton, the first, relaxed the legal restraints that had prevented the consolidation of what had been the press into the “media,” singular – owned by the same corporations that were shipping America’s manufacturing base over to China. This prevented Americans from being informed about what was being done to them.

Fast-forward 30 years. America has no manufacturing base worth mentioning and the roads and other infrastructure are better in China than they are here.

The “media” is now openly a kind of PR arm for the drug cartels, upon whom they have become dependent for the advertising revenue that kept the propaganda on-air. They “stand” with whatever the government-corporate nexus says they must tell us to “stand” with.

Per Donna Summer, they work hard for the money . . . so hard for the money.

But they made a mistake.

The inevitable mistake made by individuals and entities – such as governments – that come to believe they have so dominated the field that their position is unassailable, at which point they become openly contemptuous of the people – the deplorables – whom they have always secretly despised.

It’s not a secret any longer.  And the “media” did not count on the wilting effect of being perceived as illegitimate.

Over the course of the past three years – during the fomented mass panic event that was marketed as a “pandemic” – it became evident to at least half the country that the “media” was not just biased but bought and paid-for.

Brought to you by Pfizer.

Literally.

The more the media pushed, the more it pushed people away – thus achieving the opposite of what had been hoped for. People began to listen to and read the work of journalists who weren’t part of the “media.” A strange and salutary thing.

A return to the way it used to be.

Before the “media” became a centralized, consolidated combine, it was common for every town large enough to warrant a post office to have its own local paper – and for most cities to have two or three daily papers. Each not owned by the same corporation and so not beholden to the same interests. And so, what people read and heard was not all the same. The result of that was that people’s opinions weren’t all the same.

If one paper peddled lies, another would expose them. That is precisely what’s happening  – to the “media.”

The decentralization of information is now unstoppable. Even if – in a final, flailing act of desperation – the powers-that-be (and had hoped to be, forever) attempt to lock-down independent journalism, as perhaps by criminalizing “unauthorized” journalism. Journalists will then go underground, as they did in the old Soviet Union.

The more authoritarianism bares its yellowed fangs, the stronger we become.

Der Tag kommt. 

And soon, I think.

. . .

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33 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldn’t be so hopeful about decentralized media. The internet is being rapidly consolidated by Big Tech, who then act as gatekeepers to block or reduce the visibility of independent voices.

  2. Eric,

    It’s funny you mentioned this, but the main, local paper in Central New Jersey, the Asbury Park Press, long ago became part of Gannett, the same outfit that owns USA Today. Back when I was younger, it was truly a locally owned paper, but it became part of the Gannett empire decades ago.

    • Every one of the over 200 Gannett newspapers is force-fitted into the same crappy, brain-dead internet template, with exactly three (3) stories under each heading (La Voz, Local, Sports, Travel, Business, Politics, etc).

      Check northjersey.com or lohud.com — you can’t tell the difference from mycentraljersey.com. It’s the same bland, corporatized reeking dogshit.

      Compare Gannett’s stultifying template to the L. A. Times or the New York Times. Despite having the same leftist content, these big-city papers completely blow away Gannett in terms of making their content accessible.

      I will never forgive Gannett for buying the Arizona Republic and then endorsing the cackling Clinton crone in 2016, inverting this once-venerable conservative voice into a sickly leftist parody, the Arizona HillaRepublic.

      For this gross offense against common decency, Gannett should hang. Code of the West, bitchez.

      • Don’t forget the Gannett TV stations under the TENGA banner.

        We had one of those in town when we lived in Tampa, WTSP Ch. 10, CBS.

        In Austin, KVUE Ch. 36, ABC.

        Nexstar is also bad and indistinguishable from Gannett/TENGA editorially.

        • In my neck of the woods, there are 4 local tv stations, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. Three of them are owned by the same company. So, for the evening or morning news, you can choose which pretty young bimbo you want to listen to, but they are all reporting the exact same stories.

  3. Even today — with Eric’s searing indictment unleashed — the Lügenpresse is brazenly issuing fresh lies:

    ‘This is so bad.

    ‘@nytimes doctored what Hunter said today, leaving out the key word. Wow.

    ‘NYT: “Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not involved in my business.”

    ‘Hunter: “Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not *financially* involved in my business.”’

    https://twitter.com/HansMahncke/status/1735003655697244308

    Who you gonna believe — the New York Slimes, or your lying eyes?

  4. Somebody had to do something.

    The Media is dangerous to democracy. Can’t let them brainwash people, you’re a fool to let them misinform you, it is your job to stop them because they don’t quit with their constant caterwauling.

    The Israeli Defense Forces have suffered 3700 combat deaths. Douglas Macgregor has the lowdown on what is going on. 65 days later, 50 Israeli forces’ deaths per day.

    Might be a good time to give it some thought about what they are doing, take some time off.

    It’s a war, so there are going to be attacks, Hamas and Hezbollah aren’t taking it lying down.

    Some judge needs to issue a cease and desist order to stop this war bidness.

    A cease and desist order on the Media too.

  5. The establishment media is the Ministry of Propaganda, plain and simple.

    When I was a kid we were told only “dictatorships” like Nazi Germany and the USSR (both of which regarded themselves as “democratic,” BTW) had propaganda and we had a “free press.” Well, the U.S. isn’t as different from those regimes as we were led to believe.

  6. Besides this site, websites, TV shows, podcasts, or media outlets that I’ve come to rely on for REAL NEWS the past few years regarding various issues include (in no particular order) technocracy.news, The Epoch Times, thehighwire.com, Full Measure, straightlinelogic.com, and Ron Paul’s Liberty Report.

  7. Anyone here catch Al Gore’s claim recently that people having access to information from sources other than establishment media is “Bad for democracy”? Here we have someone who’s made all sorts of predictions about climate change for years that have NEVER come true. It’s a wonder people STILL listen to this clown and others like him. It’s almost like people who listen to Bill Gates regarding health.

    • Indeed! Over 50 years of climate predictions: • 1967 SLC Tribune: Dire Famine Forecast by 1975, Already Too Late • 1969 NYT: “Unless we are extremely lucky, everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years. • 1970 Boston Globe: Scientist Predicts New Ice Age by 21st Century • 1971 Washington Post: Disastrous New Ice Age Coming • 1974 The Guardian: Space Satellites Show Ice Age Coming Fast • 1974 Time Magazine: Another Ice Age “Telling signs everywhere. • 1974 “Ozone Depletion • 1988 Agence France Press: Maldives will be Completely Under Water in 30 Years. • 1989 Associated Press: Rising Seas to ‘Obliterate Nations’ by 2000. • 1989 Salon: NYC West Side Highway underwater by 2019 • 2000 The Independent: “Snowfalls are a thing of the past. • 2004 The Guardian: The Pentagon Tells Bush Climate Change Will Destroy Us. “Britain will be Siberian in less than 20 years. • 2008 Associate Press: NASA Scientist says “We’re Toast. In 5-10 years the Arctic will be Ice Free” • 2008 Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013. • 2009 The Independent: Prince Charles says Just 96 Months to Save the World. • 2009 The Independent: Gordon Brown says “We have fewer than 50 days to save our planet from catastrophe.” • 2013 The Guardian: US Navy Predicts Ice Free Arctic by 2016. • 2014 John Kerry: “We have 500 days to Avoid Climate Chaos” • 2018 Greta Thunberg posted a tweet in 2018 predicting the world would end on June 21, 2023 • 2019: Ocasio-Cortez Says World Will End in 12 Years • 2023: U.N. Secretary-General says the world has entered an era of “global boiling”

  8. This is the great failure of the Chicago school of economic thought. “Light” regulation is like believing a prom date when he said “just the tip.” Of course he wasn’t going to stop, nor did she want him to. Then when the inevitable happens, blame everything but the conditions that created the situation in the first place.

    Media consolidation was A-OK in the Chicago school because that’s just markets being efficient. As long as they don’t abuse their power everything will be fine. “Oh, we won’t!” cry the new mangers. Why would they? After all, they just want to make a buck like everyone else. And if nothing “bad” happened, well, then if a little consolation is good, a lot will be better. And besides, is isn’t right to define markets narrowly. Newspapers compete with television, radio, online, guys handing out pamphlets on street corners, and a walk in the park for reader attention. And nature is just giving away all that visual stimulus for nothing! You have to let all the newspapers in the country consolidate, for the good of the nation!

    Then someone like President George II comes along and revokes access to the White House for people who don’t print what he wants. The now corporate owned media outlets send a memo down from upstairs to tone down the rhetoric, it’s bad for business to question the Patriot Act. Those who object are sent home to spend time with their family.

    This is how the first amendment dies, along with democracy and free markets. At least with Keynes, you knew the game was rigged and a heavy handed regulator would shut down anything that didn’t pass the sniff test. The Chicago boys’ light touch approach was so easily gamed I’m surprised it took this long for the wheels to fall off.

  9. Prior to the current meltdown at the House of Mouse, 80% of Disney was held by “institutional shareholders”, 20% by the “big three” Vanguard, State Street, and Blackrock.

    Those three entities also hold ~ 20% of Comcast/NBC/Universal, Nexstar (TV stations, some previously owned by The Geico Gecko), and … drumroll please … Pfizer.

    Do the math. All of this was paid for by your 401(k) contributions.

    If you say to me, “Blackrock and Vangard are vaguely familiar, but I’ve never heard of State Street,” then you haven’t read your retirement plan’s mailings carefully enough.

    There is definitely power in holding financial control of “the media”. Capo Gecko favors newspapers … but not the Tampa daily, which he sold to the “independent” competitor.

    Once again, I give you Capo Gecko’s TV station, from the height of the Pandemic …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MinVw6HvLg

    Remember, the medical “expert” intimidating/shaming the viewers into masks is an Obstetrician.

    See the power?

    • ‘If you say to me, “Blackrock and Vangard are vaguely familiar, but I’ve never heard of State Street” …’ — Roscoe

      To amplify your point, State Street introduced the first exchange traded fund (ETF) in 1993 — an S&P 500 fund with ticker SPY.

      https://www.ssga.com/us/en/individual/etfs/funds/spdr-sp-500-etf-trust-spy

      Now over 8,000 ETFs exist worldwide. But SPY remains the largest.

      Needless to say, being first to market with a tremendously successful product (unlike mutual funds, ETFs trade all day long) made State Street seriously frickin’ rich.

    • Actually it was leveraging your 401(k), not the contribution itself. The big hedge funds own most of the S&P stocks, not mutual funds.

      • Vanguard, State Street, and Blackrock seem to target specific companies and industries which tend to be at the forefront of “woke”. Those three entities have an agenda.

  10. ‘The “media” thought it could control what people thought by controlling what they were allowed to hear (and read).’ — eric

    And if that doesn’t work, the desired leftist outcome can be achieved by redesigning voting districts:

    ‘On Tuesday, New York’s highest court ordered the state to redraw its congressional map.

    ‘The 4-to-3 ruling by the State Court of Appeals effectively wiped out the highly competitive districts that helped Republicans flip four seats and seize the House last year. That map had been drawn by a special master after the courts threw out an earlier Democratic map because it ran afoul of state gerrymandering laws.

    ‘Rep Elise Stefanik, the top New York Republican in the House, and Edward F. Cox, the party’s state chairman, said the ruling left the court’s reputation “in tatters.”

    ‘Janet DiFiore, a moderate jurist, retired as chief judge last summer, not long after writing the majority decision chastising the Democratic Legislature. Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson, her more liberal replacement, dissented in that case and has taken a far more expansive view of the role of the State Legislature in redistricting.’ — NYT

    https://archive.ph/Yc9Tc#selection-733.0-741.149

    Is it stereotyping on my part to suppose that chief judge Wilson, who is African-American, shares with Letitia James and Fani Willis the leftist imperative to achieve partisan victory by any means necessary, though the law be reduced to shambles? And that he obtained his position via DEI, rather than merit? (A shocking claim, I know.)

    You won’t be surprised to learn that Wilson is a graduate of … wait for it … Hahhhhhvid Law.

  11. As for the MSM; I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer listen to big media and only the odd TV show. YouTube car shows and the like along with independent news sites leave me better informed than most (I hope).

    Eric: Fast-forward 30 years. America has no manufacturing base worth mentioning and the roads and other infrastructure are better in China than they are here.

    I’ve been pointing this out for years that if we don’t make it at home we are at the beck and call of the government of the country that the foreign factory is located in. I tell people to watch Russian dash cam videos and ask themselves why are the roads generally in better shape than ours?

    Zerohedge has a an article out about shipping “America Only Has 178 Flagged Cargo Carriers Vs. China’s 7,362”, does any one else think that might be a problem the way they are pushing for a multi front war?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/oil-and-water-america-only-has-178-flagged-cargo-carriers-vs-chinas-7362

    • If they actually fix the roads then why would you continue to vote for them? After all, every elected official ran on a “we need to fix the infrastructure” plank. And then they plan, they call for studies, they keep fingers crossed that they’ll be a bridge collapse or an “independent” study gets traction so that they can make it an election issue again.

      And because highway design was locked in sometime in the 1960s, there’s no way to improve roads. I recently drove I-70 through Indiana. The highway was in terrible condition. One reason is because Indianapolis International Airport is a superhub for both UPS and FedEx. So there’s a ton of warehouse space, and a massive amount of truck traffic. Is the highway built to handle millions of loaded trucks? Probably not, at least from what I could see. Did anyone bring up the fact that trucks chew up the road surface faster than a mix of cars and trucks?

      And don’t get me started on Vail Pass out here in Colorado. Every summer they repave it, every winter the constant chain law requirements chew it up. The little skim coat of asphalt they apply falls off in early December but instead of coming up with a better solution they just do the same thing every year. Job security I guess.

  12. ‘What people read and heard was not all the same. The result of that was that people’s opinions weren’t all the same.’ — eric

    There’s a word for that — diversity. Real diversity, not the top-down diktats of DEI which artificially impose a rigid, leftist conformity which is the exact opposite of diversity.

    This is an epic essay by Eric — Post of the Year, for sure — which deserves to be widely published, not only at Lew Rockwell’s site, but also at dozens of independent media outlets.

    To the schlockmeisters of the Lügenpresse: we are coming for you. Expect us.

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