Thursday, October 21, 2010

Corporations buying pro-GOP coverage?

Over the past week or two, I've been starting to get a strange feeling about the media being not quite on the level, and I think commenters on other blogs are starting to get this feeling too.

The Citizens United ruling enables corporations to spend as much as they want on political campaigns - and not disclose it. True to form, corporate expenditures in this campaign have increased markedly since the last cycle. And few would disagree that corporations strongly favor Republicans.

But I haven't seen any more actual campaign advertising than I usually do. In other years, the mailboxes and airwaves are already saturated with political ads well before late October, so campaigns don't really have many more places to advertise now than they did last time.

Yet at the same time, the media's actual coverage is - by far - more supportive of Republicans than I've ever seen it. This at a time when I haven't actually seen any more support for the GOP among actual people. (I see less public support for the Republicans now than at any other time since I've been old enough to notice.)

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

I now truly believe that corporations are paying off news organizations to give favorable coverage to the Republicans. Think about it for a minute. This is technically a form of advertising, but it no longer has to be labeled as advertising, and the donors no longer have to be disclosed.

Simply put, it's advertising masquerading as news coverage.

I still avidly read "mainstream" newspapers (as difficult as that's become), and in no previous election season did I see so much coverage that seems so obviously orchestrated to write a narrative about what the election results will be. As I've said before, however, Republicans winning back Congress is not supported by polls that avoid the flawed likely voter screen - or by public opinion. Still, the media just keeps sticking to its GOP-friendly narrative, as if it's trying to create a bandwagon effect.

I'm not talking about just the media's usual right-wing bias. I've known since I was 15 that the media runs with stories that are fed to them by Republican campaigns. I'm talking about something more.

After seeing the widening disconnect between the media's narrative and actual public opinion, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Big Business is now paying the media generously for Republican-friendly articles. No doubt whatsoever. I think it's as much a part of their advertising budget as regular ads are.

I would BET THE FARM on it. You don't see coverage that's so friendly to a discredited party while the party continues to lose public trust, unless there's something propping up this coverage.


  1. Tim, keep writing nutty stuff like this! The People love it and the crazier the better! The Pail hasn't been as much fun since Bush left office. The People like Tim leading the opposition, we don't like as much the 2009-2010 Tims who have blindly supported the powers that be.

    What it comes down to, though, is you want the media to ignore growing opposition to the current rulers. That happens under regimes you adore like Castro's Cuba and Hugo Chavez's brutal dictatorship, but we have a free press in this country.

  2. What the hell is this supposed to mean in English?

    There's less opposition to Obama than there was to Bush. Obama has a higher approval rating than any other recent President did at this point.

  3. That's incorrect. At this point in G.W. Bush's first term, he had an approval rating above 65%. Obama's is at about 45%. The good news is Tim Brown's approval rating is still very high.

  4. Wrong. Bush didn't have an approval rating above 65% (except maybe in the board rooms of the global greed merchants).

  5. You have an extremely difficult time coming to grips with reality. Remember, Tim, you hating the guy does NOT bring down public opinion 50%.

    Here's Bush's approval rating throughout his presidency:

  6. Beverly Hills does not run North Bellevue, scheffbd. Rich suburbs don't get to decide whether or not we like somebody.

  7. I guess that bodes well for Democrats running for Bellevue city council. Now, the People want you to run for mayor.

  8. The greens are kooky, you should start your own party.

  9. If anything is kooky, it's Rand Paul saying we should legalize theft because it's "nonviolent."

  10. I don't know Tim. Rand Paul probably didn't really say that, but if he did, 2008 Green prez candidate Cynthia McKinney still has him beat by a wide margin in the kookiness department. Remember when she tried to take on the Israeli navy in a fishing boat? And then there was the time she demanded Congress investigate rapper Tupac's murder.