Chris Hedges, author, columnist and former Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New York Times spoke with RT about how FCC deregulation during the Clinton administration allowed a handful of corporations to dominate US media.
RT: I want to start off by reading a quote from one of your articles on this very topic, you say: “The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television, who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script. They spin the same court gossip. They ignore what the corporate state wants ignored. They champion what the corporate state wants championed. They do not challenge or acknowledge the structures of corporate power.” So Chris, what do you think is the problem with media today?
Chris Hedges: Well, that sort of sums it up. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate state. You have a half-dozen corporations — Viacom, General Electric, Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp, Disney, Clear Channel — that control almost everything most Americans watch or listen to. And, you know, as I wrote in that column, the lie of omission is still a lie. They hold up political puppets as part of this charade to deflect attention from where power actually resides, and that’s in the hands of corporations. It’s impossible within the American political system to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, and so we don’t hear anything about climate change, the poor – the rural and urban poor are rendered invisible in this country. And they’re really suffering at this point, I just finished a book on it, spent two years on it – Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, with the cartoonist Joe Sacco out on the poorest pockets of the country.
We don’t hear anything about the assault on civil liberties, whether that’s the Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, or warrantless wiretapping, the use of the Espionage Act to shut down whistleblowers — the misuse of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act, giving the executive branch the power to assassinate American citizens. And climate change – we should have … given the crisis which is now confronting the ecosystem on which the human species depends for its existence, we should have climate scientists on every night. And none of that appears, because it’s all driven by celebrity gossip, trivia — and yeah, okay, Fox will spin it one way and MSNBC will spin it another, but it’s all the same tawdry, useless garbage.
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