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It gives me the creeps!  The control the corporate-owned media has over the vast majorities of Americans almost falls into the domain of science fiction.  I'm not going to venture into speculating about how this science of mass mind domination has been perfected to such an extent, but suffice it to so, in reality, the objectives and the effects are not that much different than that of ancient civilizations, where ruling elites always found ways of influencing and controlling the populace through propaganda, misinformation and superstition.  It is basically the same today...

Tonight millions of liberals will get yet another dose of formulaic, sensational, and alarming-sounding news from media outfits like MSNBC, from shows like The Ed Show, The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnel.  Wherein they "reveal" all kinds of mischief and outright bullshit committed by the Republicans and the assortment of crazies, lunatics, religious fundamentalists, and right wing nutjobs that makeup most of their membership.

Having our emotions riled up and our sense of decency (not to mention, intelligence) offended, many (us liberals) will run straight to our keyboards and write the latest diary here at Daily Kos condemning the latest outrage by the Republican party lunatics.

Yes, some will rile against Obama or Pelosi for "putting social security 'on the table,'" but again, much of what drives those reactions is the manipulative effects of the corporate-owned media.

We are being played with.  Most of it is kabuki theater.

This incessant obsession with every single move the right wing and the Republican miscreants make only has marginal effect on the country's agenda, polling data notwithstanding.

I know, I know, the level of lunacy, lock-step-fascistic tendencies, and ignorance exhibited by the American right wing nutjobs is so extraordinary, that it is hard not to "look."  But it's like being obsessed with the behavior of a deranged person in a mental asylum.  He may plaster feces all over the wall (if he's having an "episode"), but what good does it do for you to stay fixed on every single stroke of his hand, from left, to right, on the wall?  That's basically what we're getting from MSNBC!

Or, if I have to put it in a more delicate manner: "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
Sorry... I guess I just did the same thing I'm trying to condemn in my diary, so let me address the second part, which I think its more important.

What is killing democracy in this country is not the lunacy of the Republicans per se, but the fact that our entire political system has been taken over by a tiny group of corporatist, oligarchs, and that includes most of the Democratic party establishment.

While the media they pay for keeps us (the populace) in some sort of trance, obfuscating, and panting, and furious, focusing on total bullshit, we become divided and distracted, and unfocused on what really matters, while they go about fucking us over, dismantling democracy, cementing their power.  That's a pretty nifty deal for them... But for some reason it works every time.  [I'm currently reading a book on ancient Rome, and I'm fascinated with the similarities of how ancient rulers controlled the collective minds of their subjects, to how the current ruling elite does the same].

Folks, much of the mainstream media, including MSNBC, not to mention the outright fascist network, FoxNews, is being used as a tool to control your mind, to manipulate you, to confuse you, and ultimately, to exploit you.

We need to break free of these mental shackles! For years I've been wishing I'd see some sort of movement to free real journalists from being used as tools by their corporate owners.  I've been wishing I'd see a movement towards not-for-profit journalism, performed with integrity and commitment.  And finally, I'm glad to say that I'm starting to see that happening more and more.

Many readers are familiar with not-for-profit news organizations like PBS, and NPR.  They do a pretty good job, but are still overly influenced by government oversight.

And then, there are more independent organizations like ProPublica, Center for Investigative Reporting, and The Bay Citizen, among others.

I encourage every reader to try to break free from the corporate-owned media and instead patronize and support these non-profit news organizations.

I'm especially happy to see the latest project, launched on December 17th, Freedom of The Press Foundation (established to crowd-fund transparency journalism).  Please take a moment and visit their website for more information about them.

Other great resources include the Sunlight Foundation, Violence Policy Center (great resource for research on gun violence).  I also really like Political Party Time, which I think hits the nail on the head when it comes to finding the nexus between politicians on the take and their corporate owners and much of the disgusting influence peddling that's destroying our democracy.

Another wish of mine would be to see groups of citizens from all over this great country, educating themselves about the true nature of the appalling corruption (using the aforementioned resources), and getting together on a regular basis to discuss ways of thwarting the control by the corporatocracy on our government system.  Wouldn't it be great to revive the Occupy Wall Street movement under this model?

Finally, why couldn't something similar be applied to business?  Imagine people getting together forming business collectives to buy off companies?  I keep thinking... What if somehow someone was able to organize thousands of Hostess employees, create a fund and buy the company to turn it into employee-owned?

Could labor unions get together and form a crowd-sourced "virtual union" and recruit Target, and Walmart employees; find ways to anonymously report misdeed and exploitation; force the corporate-neutered government agencies to do their job when it comes to proper regulation and oversight?

This is what democracy is about!  We, an informed citizenry, need to take the reins and create a decent society.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I killed my TV. (6+ / 0-)

    It helped.  A lot.

    Internet only, and DVD's for shows I really want to see.

    I find I don't watch a lot of new stuff...  

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:32:34 PM PST

  •  damn dumb people... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, BigAlinWashSt

    with their tv and their minds being manipulated.

    There will always be someone gauging you with a tolerance meter. Deeming you acceptable or evil. They're the best to offend.

    by jbou on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:32:52 PM PST

  •  So, I have a thought for ya, Ray. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Simplify, Sandino, splashy

    Like a lot of people I had this policy of not engaging in political arguments on my social media and with people I know. Who needs the hassle, right? But it occurred to me that there is one group which is absolutely not shy about using this space: wingnuts and their followers. And we cede it to them. Why?

    I have declared Zero Tolerance For Right Wing Bullshit. If you say it to me, if you post it on my social media, I will argue with it. I will be respectful, and I will use rational argument, but I will not pretend that I in any way agree with the message.

    Thus far, the results have been... surprisingly good. People chime in in support when they sense they are not alone. We need to contest, and win, these little arguments in the public consciousness.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:33:39 PM PST

  •  The TeeVee is the key to the whole damned thing. (4+ / 0-)

    It's how they've been getting away with it all these years. A lot of people still trust the God-Damned TeeVee.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:35:24 PM PST

    •  P.S. (7+ / 0-)

      PBS and NPR are no better. They don't have advertisers to please, but they don't dare piss off their corporate underwriters. Ever seen a Climate Change series on Nova ? It's funded by one of the Koch brothers. Look at who sponsors the News Hour.

      The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

      by Azazello on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:39:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We used to call it the "Boob Tube". (5+ / 0-)

      Hell, that was before it really got crazy and controlled.  I simply do not watch any political shows or TV news.  The newspapers and mainstream internet are no better.  I have sources I trust, to an extent, and stick with those while recognizing I have to develop my own opinions and not rely on the media to do it for me.
      Someone once said, "the TV tells everyone what to think".

      "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:53:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even just entertainment TV is so dumb, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, cynndara, Azazello

        and rote, and not challenging of accepted narratives...

        And then there are the ads. Full-contact automated psychological warfare, using your own brain and senses against you.

        Turned on TV for an hour earlier tonight after not having seen any for ages, and I got a reminder of the onslaught.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:21:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When you don't watch it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Azazello, Ray Pensador, BigAlinWashSt

        more than once or twice a year,  it's interesting.  When I go home on the holidays, I'm amazed at the way Control Normals keep that thing on every waking hour.  And I get a quick feed on what they're being told, that is sufficient to keep me up to date for the next year.

        But it worries me.  My Little Brother always was a TV-head and never realized how bad it was.  Now he's raised two daughters to near-puberty using the TV-as-babysitter.  And then he wonders why they're intellectually lazy and lack the discipline to analyze information.  And doesn't understand the connection when I suggest disapproval of rooms decorated with pictures of Justin Bieber.

        •  The Box is horrible for kids, (0+ / 0-)

          it rewires their brains. They send their kids to school with millisecond attention spans and blame the schools when they have trouble learning.

          The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

          by Azazello on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:35:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Check out RealNews (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Simplify

    at realnews.com and subscribe on youtube.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:43:28 PM PST

  •  I've been beating this drum for some time... (4+ / 0-)

    Rarely get much traction.

    The Republicans have learned how to monopolize the band-width, be it broadcast news, cable news, internet not as much, newspapers and magazines...  There is only so much band-width among the news hungry populace... band-width being defined as headroom among observers/watchers, and amount of space available in the various media organs...  and it is dominated by right wing interests, not by merit or content, but by shouting and threatening...  bullying, by another name.

    HBO's "Newsroom" made this perfectly clear last year; THE NEWS is no longer reported, especially when it's unfavorable to corporate interests, unless the story is so huge it cannot be ignored (Newtown; BP oil spill).  MSNBC evening skews it a bit the other way toward politics only, and winds up merely REACTING to the Republican controlled "news" items of the day.  There are FOUR MSNBC people on every night -- yet all every one of them simply does is but a slightly altered take on whatever the hot story of the day is.  

    This in turn controls the national dialogue -- what Joe average on the street will say are the stories of the day.

    Do some other news!  Jeeez.  Corporate shanigans.  Latest antics of US Chamber of Commerce.  ALEC follow ups.  Idiocy of < 50% Republicans who believe 2012 election was stolen by ACORN.  Birthers!  Domination of US culture by banking industry.  Banks should be hammered every day, mercilessly.  They continue to break the law(s) without suffering consequences.  They have become untouchable.

    The right have no choice -- being a "party" without a platform or agenda other than obstructing everything Dems want to do, they must dominate the dialogue.  Dems are so far clueless how to turn this around.  Therefore, their message gets drowned out by ranting and raving.

    And so it goes...  

    I believe Dems COULD make headway if they embarked on a major ad campaign with somewhat of an outrageous message -- something like "Repuplicans care only about the rich"...  I mean massive -- everywhere -- billboards everywhere, full page news ads, TV campaign -- so massive it would force Repubs to play defense and try to offset the attention the Dem message was getting.  Then run a follow up campaign with a few examples -- again, massive.

    But Dems are too nice to do that.  They think if they are reasonable, Repubs will respond... and the public will pat them on the head.

    There should be another campaign depicting Lucie as Republican, Charlie Brown as Democrat, and the football as somehow representing public opinion.  Bullying should also be identified in a national anti-Republican campaign.

    Dems just won a major election quite handily.  Yet what most people are hearing is Republican-speak.

    As stated elsewhere, Dems keep bringing a knife to a gun fight.  Get a pair, Dems!

    Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by ceebee7 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:00:21 PM PST

  •  Now I only read Der Spiegel. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 04:41:57 AM PST

  •  Anonymous PLEASE hack the tv stations! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador
  •  Throw out the TV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Really.  Every time I see my friends and neighbors obsessing irrationally on a trivial matter, a few quick questions reveals that they "saw it on TV".  This, that, the other thing, it doesn't matter.  TV is deliberately DESIGNED to attract attention and focus emotion on the Message Du Jour.  It's like flashing a red blue light in the corner of your eye: first it attracts, then it entrances, and then it feeds whatever message the owners of the network have decreed to be the important highlight of the day.  It puts a nation of 3 million into lockstep and feeds them all the same brief slogans.

    There are downsides to being unconnected.  You find that you are missing more and more of the expected social cues.  You have ideas that people think are "novel", simply because you read them in a twenty-year-old book while they haven't seen something that wasn't part of the Current Stream in ten years.  You get easily bored, since everyone around you is saying basically the same short list of stupid things, and you can feel lonely because you don't share what they all seem to know intuitively.

    But.  You can make connections quickly and easily in some ways because your mind is full of so many MORE things, that it's easy to find something in one of those mental drawers that matches whatever a stranger is interested in, even on the side of a back road in Transylvania.  You find more to interest you in the small stimuli of existence, because everything you see connects to SOMETHING you read or saw in all those non-standard places you've wandered.  I think, although I can't prove because I haven't really experienced the other side, that mental/emotional life is richer and more deeply textured this way.  You don't live, think, or feel in bullet-points and short summaries.

    And you avoid the commercials.  All the god-damned COMMERCIALS.  You don't have to spend ten percent of your waking hours watching and listening to people trying to sell you something.  Really, you don't.

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