Chapter 3

Manipulation Of The Media

Teaming Up With the Media

Freedom of the press has always passed itself off as one of America's most sacred cows. In reality, it has faithfully served and is still serving as another of the elite's Trojan Horses.

Those who consider America's media to be the freest in the world are perhaps overlooking one important consideration. Virtually all the means of communication from orbiting satellites, to the television networks, to the individual TV stations, to the newspaper chains and the major book publishing houses are owned by the economic elite!

Consolidating Ownership of the Media

The important thing to realize is not just that the elite own virtually all the Western media, but that it is now owned by a very small handful of media moguls. The shocking truth is that the ownership of newspapers and TV stations has already been consolidated to such a staggering degree that unmanipulated news coverage has practically ceased to exist.

Only one man and his media holdings need be mentioned to provide some tip of the iceberg proof to substantiate that perspective. His name is Rupert Murdoch, and he is an American billionaire. His media holdings are registered as The News Corporation Ltd. in Australia "for accounting advantages", but his holdings span four continents.

The areas over which he has the ability to exercise a simultaneous coordinated control include the editorial content and direction of newspapers such as the Boston Herald American, the Chicago Sun Times, and the Sun and the Times of London, to name but a few, and he holds interests in many others including The Financial Times, the Economist, and Reuters, {B140} the European Wire service. He owns 5 magazines in Britain, approximately 20 magazines in the U.S., and more than 100 newspapers in Australia. {B141}

His American based Metromedia TV station network alone cost about 2 billion dollars, and he has a 4 channel satellite television network called Sky Television in Britain.{B142}

Some of his other media holdings include the 20th Century Fox Film Studio (remember that Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford have been its past directors), the Harper & Row publishing house, the Star, New York magazine, the San Antonio Express, New Woman, Elle, In Fashion, Automobile, European travel & Life, Premiere, etc. etc. Recently Rupert Murdoch agreed to pay 3 billion dollars for 4 publications: TV Guide, Good Food, the Daily Racing Form, and Seventeen.

With wealth of this magnitude involved, it is not difficult to establish first of all that the bottom 90 percent of society are virtually excluded from media ownership. He himself has referred to newspapers as a series of "capital intensive" "local monopolies". {B143}

The Newhouse family of New York, the 5th richest family on the planet, owns Advance Publications and Newhouse Broadcasting outright. Besides being the ninth largest cable TV operator in the U.S., they own 22 daily newspapers, Random House publishing company, and a host of magazines such as the New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, and Parade.{B144}

Billionaire Randolph Hearst and family, own 14 daily newspapers, 6 TV stations, 7 radio stations, and some book publishing companies. {B145} Should we look for a better reason to explain why his daughter Patty was released into his custody, without punishment, after she had been photographed holding a gun in a bank stick-up, to earn money for a group of anti-government activists. The American media chorus justified her release by claiming that she had been kidnapped and brainwashed, and since brainwashing is their forte, opposition to the argument was conspicuous by its absence.

Kenneth Irving and family of Canada, the world's 8th richest billionaire has virtually monopolized ownership of all English speaking newspapers in his province. {B146} The Thompson family of Toronto, Canada (the 10th richest billionaire family) now owns even more newspapers than anyone in the States. In Britain, Robert Maxwell, another billionaire is busy consolidating the media there.{B147}

The owner of the largest media conglomerate in the world is Reinhard Mohn, yet another of the world's billionaires. {B148}

Each of these media magnates probably echoes the wishes of Rupert Murdoch who has been quoted as saying that his objective is a "global communications company". Each newspaper, magazine, and TV station reaches a specific section of the population; collectively they form a woven grid of influence that few active members of society can elude.

It would perhaps be worth pointing out that for all intents and purposes, media ownership within each of Western society's Feudal empires, Britain, Australia, Canada, America, Germany, etc., has already been consolidated into the control of a small handful of media moguls. Will it be necessary to have these moguls unite under one corporation name before the term "Big Brother" gets seriously discussed? Media owners can, and do, install TV network directors and newspaper and magazine editors whom they are assured will broadcast and print exactly what the elite want the American public to see, hear, and read. Whether they are openly united under one corporate "Big Brother" logo or not, is irrelevant. Covertly they are part of the elite team. Their coordination and control is best exemplified by considering how well they all work together to elect the team's political functionaries into public office.

Using the Media to Rig Elections

The media's role in undermining the function of true democracy, and especially at election time, cannot be overstated. The elite are not satisfied with infiltrating the nation's highest political offices, nor are they satisfied with negating the effects of democracy with special interest lobbying. No, that's not quite enough.

Before the bottom 90% of society are even allowed to approach the polling booth, the elite take the opportunity to subject the entire population to no less than six full months of intense political conditioning in which individuals and policies that pose a threat to their wealth and power, are systematically discredited. By praising their sympathizers and discrediting and smearing their opponents, the elite have consistently and successfully used the media, to elect enough political candidates to the White House and Congress to ensure success with their future lobbying.

Needless to say, most of the politicians running for election or reelection are doing so with funds contributed by the elite in one way or another, and of course election support translates into either payoffs for past favors, or for favors due and as yet unpaid.

The Hollywood Connection

The use of the media as a political propaganda tool is old hat, in fact, use of the Hollywood motion picture industry began as far back as 1934 during the campaign to elect a new governor of California. Upton Sinclair, a sincere and dedicated socialist, was running as a Democrat, and had won the Democratic primary with a landslide. By proposing a special tax on the California movie industry, Sinclair put into motion events which transformed elections thereafter into propaganda media events.

To scuttle the movie tax, and therefore to make Upton Sinclair lose the election, studio heads like MGM's Louis Mayer, Irving Thalberg, and Harry Cohn of Columbia conducted the first major motion picture oriented smear campaign. In the process, they set a precedent which would thereafter significantly reduce the fairness and integrity of the democratic process.

To scuttle Upton Sinclair, they first of all threatened to move at least four studios to Florida. Next Mayer distributed blank checks to his employees. All the cheques were made out to himself. Employees were effectively being intimidated to donate money to a slush fund to defeat Sinclair. Columbia's Harry Cohn used other tactics but also threatened his staff using their job security. Warner Brothers studio simply assessed each staff member a $3 contribution. The half million dollars generated that way was increased to nearly 10 million, an unprecedented amount with which to launch a political campaign for Governor. The money was used to pay for newspaper ads, radio ads, billboard advertising, phony anti-Sinclair smear groups, and a massive leaflet campaign.

All this direct participation by Hollywood was nothing when compared to their most devastating piece of underhanded trickery and deceit that ended up setting the standards for all future election campaigns, ...national or otherwise.

MGM studio, under Irving Thalberg's direction produced a contrived campaign propaganda film that was edited down to 6 minutes and added to Randolph Hearst's Newsreels which normally ran twice per week in all theaters. Louis B. Mayer went so far as to threaten to withhold the feature films if the political trailers were not shown as well. {B149}

{B140} "Even Rupert has his limits" BusinessWeek (Oct 2 1989): p35
{B141} "Murdoch's empire" Newsweek (Aug 22 1989): p43
{B142} "Even Rupert has his limits" BusinessWeek (Oct 2 1989): p34
{B143} "Murdoch's empire" Newsweek (Aug 22 1988): p45
{B144} The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p71
{B145} "The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p84
{B146} "The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p71
{B147} "The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p92
{B148} "The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p84
{B149} "How Hollywood fixed an election" American Film Magazine (Nov 88):