Paul Cienfuegos’ December 30th, 2014 Commentary on KBOO Evening News
(His weekly commentaries are broadcast every Tuesday evening. You can view or listen to them all at PaulCienfuegos.com, CommunityRightsPDX.org, or subscribe via ITunes.)
Greetings! You are listening to the weekly commentary by yours truly, Paul Cienfuegos.
This is my last commentary in 2014, and so I thought it would be fitting to talk about how our mainstream media has covered the stories that matter the most this past year, and why that’s such a big deal. Media corporations now decide what controversies get attention, what news gets reported, and what analyses and solutions are acceptable.
At the end of every calendar year, a wonderful group called Project Censored reveals its annual list of the most censored stories of the year in the American mainstream media. Stories that all Americans really have to know for us to be fully informed about the state of our world if we are to make competent decisions as The People. Of course, we are not at all competent in making decisions about the future of our country, because in fact most of us are either very poorly informed or very misinformed about what’s actually going on in our world.
I would argue that this is the situation primarily because We the People have allowed large
corporations not only to control our media but to own our mainstream media institutions. Six massive corporations now own 90% of our news media – time warner*, disney*, Rupert Murdoch’s news corp*, bertelsmann* of Germany, viacom*, and general electric*.
Providing top-notch investigative reporting and analysis was once the goal of mainstream media institutions. No more. Today, it’s all about maximizing return for shareholders, who couldn’t care less whether their money was invested in the reporting of news or in the manufacturing of furniture. This is clearly not a recipe for a free and independent media, and we are all becoming dumbed down as a result.
But let’s get back to this year’s ten most censored news stories, as revealed by Project Censored. And as I read through this list, I want you to ask yourself how each story relates to corporate rule.
#1. The world’s oceans are acidifying at a rapid rate.
#2. The top ten countries around the world that received the most US aid last year all practice torture against their citizens.
#3. The Trans-Pacific Partnership global trade agreement is being negotiated in total secret.
#4. The internet may soon be redesigned as a two-tiered system, which will create financial barriers to free speech and encourage censorship.
#5. The nation’s bankers who were primarily responsible for the banking crisis have been transformed into modern mafiosos, and none of them have been found guilty for their illegal activities.
#6. Corporate leaders now pull the strings of our federal government, which they treat as their private puppet. In other words, we increasingly live in a plutocratic state.
#7. The FBI and NSA spied on the Occupy movement and shared information with jp morgan chase* corporation’s CEO and other corporate leaders.
#8. Mainstream media continues to mostly not report on the growing climate crisis.
#9. Mainstream media is actively misleading the public about the primary cause of the growing crisis in Ukraine.
And finally, #10. The World Health Organization is suppressing the enormous human health impact on the people of Iraq from depleted uranium weapons used by our military during the US invasion of Iraq.
These are the top ten most censored stories of 2014. But what surprises me more than anything else is that these really are not ten stories at all. In fact, they all could have been batched into one story with a title something like “Large corporations are taking over all aspects of our world, and threatening the future of all life on earth”. Because really, whether the story is about climate change or surveillance, or invasions of other countries, or global trade treaties, or a pay-to-play internet, or the banking crisis, they’re all about what happens to a society when large corporations are allowed to make pretty much all of the key societal decisions rather than those decisions being made by The People themselves. In other words, what we are experiencing is a crisis of governance! Who should decide the most important matters of our time – The People or corporations?
Would we actually be in the huge mess that we’re in, if we had not allowed media corporations to run the internet, or if we had not allowed energy corporations to decide how we would power our society or which countries our government would invade? I think not. We can do better than this! In fact, we have to do better than this if we want our nation to survive!
Each of these ten most censored stories really ought to have been just a footnote to that larger story about the corporate takeover of just about everything we do. And that is a story that every American needs to hear as quickly as possible, so that we can start dismantling the structures of law in this country that make corporate rule not just legal but inevitable.
Thank you so much for listening to this weekly radio commentary every Tuesday on the KBOO evening news, by yours truly, Paul Cienfuegos, which I began in August. I am excited about the stories of Community Rights that I plan to bring you next year – about communities across the country rising up and insisting on their inherent right to govern themselves, and to protect themselves from corporate harm. We’ll meet again in 2015!
You can subscribe to my weekly podcast via I-Tunes or at CommunityRightsPDX.org. You can follow me on twitter at CienfuegosPaul. You can sign up for my newsletter at PaulCienfuegos.com. THANKS FOR LISTENING! And remember: WE are the people we’ve been WAITING for!
* Corporations are merely mind-made business institutions. They aren’t alive like we are, so I’ve chosen to no longer capitalize their names, just as we don’t capitalize “house” or “toaster”.