Media Concentration and Supressed News

Our colleague at the weblog The Western Confucian, replying to a "Peak Oil" article at the weblog Antes De La Caida, wonders why the "mainstream media" hasn't picked up on how this theory is a hoax. Part of the reason why is that this same "mainstream media" is part of the larger problem afflicting America and the world.

A core principle of Distributist Thought is decentralization of the means of production and distribution. That includes media outlets, which produce and distribute the information and entertainment we often rely on. Over the decades, in spite of massive growth in Internet news and research, America's "mainstream media" has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. And with such concentration comes open and hidden influence over what can and cannot be told.

The non-partisan group Free Press has been tracking this for many years. With information from the Columbia Journalist Review, Free Press exposes that only eight companies - I repeat - eight companies own and control the majority of American media outlets. They are General Electric, Walt Disney, TimeWarner, Vivendi Universal, News Corp., Bertelsmann, Viacom and CBS.

Free Press notes four major flaws in America's media:

1) Profit over public interest
2) Media consolidation
3) Media ignores it's own
4) Citizens have no part in the debate

With the "mainstream media" in such a state, supression of controversial stories is - too often - par for the course. Both left-wing and right-wing media monitors have covered such acts of distortion and censorship over the years. The killing of these stories continue today.

Stories like the elimination of America's southern borders and the building of the "Trans Texas Corridor". Stories like the state of the poor in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Stories like the growing movement to demand President Bush's impeachment. Stories like the "Top 25 Censored Stories" series the left-wing Project Censored organization covers every year.

So in a similar fashion, stories about the "Peak Oil" hoax are also hidden away. Like memos obtained from Mobil, Chevron and Texaco on reducing refining capacity in order to reap higher profits. Or that back in 2004, the Saudi government admitted their oil reserves were triple what they were in the past.

And both Alex Jones at Prison Planet and Jerry Mazza at Online Journal have reported on this over the years without the "mainstream media" picking up on these stories.

The media conglomerates are part of the problem, whether on the truth on "Peak Oil" or other issues. Whether by "conspiracy", shared consensus or a mixture of the two, any story that won't help their bottom line or promote their worldview won't get covered at all.

Which is why independent media outlets need to be supported. Also these conglomerates must be broken up for good, no matter how long it takes. So blogs like the Review, The Western Confucian, The New Crusade and others must be read and promoted.

For further in-depth reading on the monopoly press, get Hilaire Belloc's The Free Press from IHS Press. Such news story supression was common in his day as well.

The Distributist Review and The Western Confucian will - most likely - never agree on "Peak Oil". But we do agree on promoting energy conservation and alternative energy use. We do agree on buying locally so as to use less fuel. We do agree on doing more with less as much as possible. Promoting these three can only help our energy situation, our environment and our prospects for a Distributist future.

And that is always a good thing.

Many thanks to Joshua Andreas and Tracy Fennel for their patience with me, as well as helping to inspire this article. Thank you both so much.


Patrick Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 8:20:00 AM CST  

Yes, Internet press must be
supported, but we should not forget
that off-line news is a critical
link in the Distributist Cause.
Print media, such as the New
American, need our backing, as well.

Iosue Andreas Sartorius Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 6:42:00 PM CST  

Western Confucian here. Great post. I agree with it entirely.

I think my post may have come across as unclear. I meant that the Main Stream Media (MSM) has not picked up on "Peak Oil" not the "Lie of Peak Oil."

The MSM promotes a globalist agenda, as it has done with Global Warming, so it would seem that it would promote Peak Oil to futher that agenda. But Peak Oil does not serve the globalist cause.

I think the MSM is ignoring or burying Peak Oil because the solution to Peak Oil is relocalization, not globalization.

Sorry for my ambigouos blogging.

Iosue Andreas Sartorius Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 6:59:00 PM CST  

...and my poor spelling.

We may disagree about Peak Oil, but we agree about most everything else.

Keep up the great work and God bless.

Tracy Fennell Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 1:04:00 AM CST  

I agree that we mostly agree...I think the idea of Peak Oil serves as a harbinger of radical opportunity for those of the distributist bent, myself included.

I don't see how else our consumerist/materialist society would change...

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