16 thoughts on “Corporate media and fake news, interview

  1. Pingback: Corporate media and fake news, interview — Dear Kitty. Some blog | Indiĝenaj Inteligenteco

  2. Tuesday 20th December 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    FAKE NEWS, we’re told by the corporate media, is a serious problem and you should only trust “reputable” sources like them.

    This assertion is made more laughable by their total regurgitation of a claim that “the lights could go out” next Christmas, a classic piece of “fake news.”

    It comes from a report by the “British Infrastructure Group of MPs” (BIG) — not a real parliamentary group despite its name — carrying the name of Tory MP Grant Shapps.

    It’s all nonsense, and you would think anything with Shapps’s name on it would raise suspicions. The former Conservative Party chairman has been caught masquerading as a marketing guru called “Michael Green,” lying about — sorry, “over-firmly denying” — having a second job while an MP and allegedly editing his own Wikipedia page.

    But the report’s claims have appeared verbatim across the media — even the one that “MPs [plural] have warned” is false, when it is only Shapps.

    The report is ridiculous. Its top point after “the lights could go out next Christmas” is that the National Grid’s electricity “safety buffer” this winter is 0.1 per cent — in fact it’s 6.6 per cent, higher than last year.

    It’s true to form for the BIG, which in a previous report titled We’re Jammin’ (really) suggested that traffic lights be dug up to reduce traffic congestion. This is an old favourite of Thatcher’s favourite think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs and is total tripe.

    The idea comes out of some weird right-wing libertarian fantasy world. It’s quite possible that Shapps inhabits that alternative universe, with his claim that Britain’s supposed energy problems are to be blamed on “a decade of target-led, interventionist energy policy.”

    This paper must have missed that decade given that we’ve still got our rip-off, backward privatised electricity market.

    This is the point where the report’s real aim begins to seep out. It praises the smashing of the publicly owned electricity utilities and paints a picture of a wonderful life under privatisation. Then it introduces the villain: action to clean up electricity generation and reduce its contribution to planet-wrecking climate change.

    This is an old right-wing fairy tale, its moral being that government should let “the market” handle things and everything will be fine. But the market only provides what is profitable for private participants, at however high a price they can get away with, while dumping the ill effects of their actions onto wider society.

    The lights are not in danger of going out, but we must reshape electricity provision in this country. The government has cut the ground out from under renewables — recently making solar panels much more expensive — at a time when we need a gigantic programme of investment and installation.

    The cost of renewables is dropping fast and cheap government borrowing could take advantage of that to transform electricity generation. At the same time, advances in storage and small local generation offer the chance to build a more resilient grid that is decentralised and democratised. Robin Hood Energy, owned by Nottingham City Council, is a good first step down this path.

    But ideologues such as Shapps and the Tory government as a whole are obsessed with privatisation and the unaccountable concentration of power. We know where that leads: a high cost to households and to the planet.

    A radical renewable future is within our grasp and the only hope we have of getting out of this hole the capitalist class has dug for us.



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  8. After President Obama won in 2008, FOX News did not hire dozens of progressive, female, Black and Brown, young TV personalities in order to speak to the Obama coalition.

    So why on earth is MSNBC pushing out Black and Brown voices and filling its network with hard-line extreme conservatives?1

    NBC had troubling ties to Trump during the presidential campaign and gave the racist sexual predator a national platform.2 Now MSNBC, too, is tilting to the right. We need to let NBC executives know that there will be a sharp backlash if MSNBC becomes another platform for right-wing hate.

    Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC. Click here to sign the petition.

    The man in charge of MSNBC has made it clear that he wants to make the network whiter and more conservative – even though the ratings of progressive shows are skyrocketing. He is, in the words of reporter Ryan Grim, “resisting the resistance.”3

    Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, aims to make them more “centrist,” by which he means bringing in conservative voices. Just look at the recent hires:4,5,6

    Nicole Wallace, a former spokesperson for President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, will get her own show.
    George Will, the conservative columnist, climate denier and campus rape apologist, signed a lucrative contributor contract.
    Hugh Hewitt, the right-wing talk radio host who recently defended Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, will get his own show.
    Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, both conservative former FOX News hosts, have been given daytime TV shows.

    In the process, Lack has pushed out Black and Brown talent including Melissa Harris Perry, Alex Wagner, Touré Neblett, Dorian Warren, Michael Eric Dyson, Adam Howard, Jamil Smith, Jose Diaz-Balart and Tamron Hall. In fact, Lack has a history of replacing Black on-air personalities wherever he goes.7 America needs voices like these now more than ever, and we need to make it clear to Lack that we are paying attention and there will be consequences.

    Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC. Click here to sign the petition.

    The utterly absurd part of all of this is that the ratings of progressive shows are skyrocketing. With Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell in the lead, MSNBC is beating FOX News in the ratings for the first time. And it has nothing to do with Lack – his hand-picked shows are tanking while progressives soar, a fact that, according to reports, “makes him furious.”8

    It has not yet changed his strategy – he kicked Joy Reid and Al Sharpton to weekends and replaced them with beltway hacks, and Nicole Wallace is replacing Maddow protege Steve Kornacki.9 But the clear evidence of powerhouse ratings for progressives combined with sharp public pressure could make Lack reconsider his conservative approach, so we must speak out.

    Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC. Click below to sign the petition:


    Thank you for speaking out,

    Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►


    Ryan Grim, “With Trump In The White House, MSNBC Is Resisting The Resistance,” HuffPost, May 1, 2017.
    Katie Sullivan, “NBC News Is Struggling To Report On Its Own Trump Problem,” Media Matters, Dec. 12, 2016.
    Grim, “With Trump In The White House, MSNBC Is Resisting The Resistance.”
    Media Matters for America, “George F. Will,” retrieved May 25, 2017.
    Media Matters for America, “Hugh Hewitt,” retrieved May 25, 2017.
    Grim, “With Trump In The White House, MSNBC Is Resisting The Resistance.”


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