It’s Time to Defund the Mainstream Television News Media

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It’s time to defund the mainstream television news media.
By this I mean ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, MSNBC.

When mainstream news media are liars, fakers, disingenuous, partisan mouthpieces, manipulators, under corporate influence, and under governmental influence, people should view the situation as an attack on their rights as citizens. They should demand immediate action across airwaves.

Sadly, even knowing this, it seems that most people continue to choose to get their news from the television (and secondarily from online sources most likely controlled by the same controlling companies.)

Part of this problem is the FCC’s fault. They have been given the right to manage the public airwaves and yet they are mostly hands off. When they get involved their actions are perceived to support only corporate interests rather than user interests.

While the FCC apparently cares about banning certain words and content, generally thought to be obscene, indecent, and profane, there rules do not apply to cable because cable is a subscribe-to service (evidently the FCC continues to run off an old rabbit antenna and tin foil model of free tv reception).

And, the FCC does not seem to give a flying cluck about news organizations that create and/or disseminate lies designed to misinform the public.

Mainstream news is always talking about defunding higher education for example. Of course they don’t want education. Education means that people can think outside of what they are told
So let’s turn their own dialogue back against themselves. It’s time we defund the news.

Here is some of what the news does with its earnings, at least as far as their main teleprompter readers go. And let’s be clear, news organizations do this by taking advantage of public airways, given to them for free according to Ralph Nader (RalphNader.org), and allowing them to generate billions of dollars.

David Muir, ABC news, is reported to make $5 million a year. (celebritynetworth.com)
Norah O’Donnel, CBS news, is reported to make $11 million a year. (pagesix.com)
Anderson Cooper, CNN, reported to make about $12 million a year. (celebritylifecycle.com)
Lester Holt, NBC news, is reported to make $4 million a year. (celebritynetworth.com)
Sean Hannity, FOX news, is reported to make $40 million a year. (thestreet.com)
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, is reported to make $7 million a year. (thestreet.com)

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It’s time to defund and hold accountable the mainstream television news media.

Here are some possibilities. These may be flawed but they are a start and I’m sure some are on the right track.

  1. Defund the news by intervening in direct profits.
  2. Classify news as a public interest, and therefore requiring oversight.
  3. Create an oversight board focused on journalistic ethics and standards of such content. (spj.org)
  4. Cap journalistic figureheads’ salaries in line with what an average professor makes.
  5. Profits are collected, regulated, and distributed to the news organizations by the oversight body.
  6. Funding is contingent upon the news organization meeting journalistic ethics and standards.
  7. News organizations will have to re-design their use of opinion monger guests and off the cuff opinions of their figureheads to meet such standards.
  8. Breaches of ethics and standards result in fines, reduced funding, or temporary removal from the airwaves.
  9. Advertising and a portion of cable subscription profits are given back into communities.

Of course we know the FCC and elites of government and business will never agree to any changes such as these. They want free reign to lie and manipulate at will, to skew stories for their own benefit.

And just to remind everyone from the Web FX infographic:

ABC is owned by Disney
CBS is owned by National Amusements
CNN is owned by TimeWarner
Fox News is owned by Fox Corp
NBC is owned by Comcast
MSNBC is owned by Comcast

So of course defunding won’t happen. Even if mainstream television news media were cut off from all cable advertising earnings the companies and people who own them are so rich they would simply spring for their continuation. The news pipeline to viewpoint manipulation is that important to them.

For defunding the mainstream television to actually work, there would need to be a severing of the chain between corporate, elite, government, and technocratic interests and news media. A better chance, although equally remote, be to form a non-partisan, non congress, committee to work parallel to the FCC whose sole job it would be to examine journalistic ethics and standards, and to enforce penalties for breaches of these ethics and standards.

Novelist, poet, a post-studio visual artist, and the founder of The Invisible Art Collective International. Recent novels include “Sundre” and “Garbage Head.”

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