The wealthy 0.01% minority who rule over the 90% majority understands that the future of their system depends on convincing or paying off 9.99% of the population who become the opinion leaders, the managers, the foremen, the supervisors, the small businessmen and the other shock troops of the system. The rich are like the pathetic men who frequent red-light districts — they must pay for it — and the right wing columnists/celebrities/media hacks/researchers do it for money, often working in the political equivalent of brothels, called think tanks. The choices offered young writers, journalists and academics who aspire to earn a decent living at their craft are not great today. There are many more opportunities to voice opinions supporting the system than to criticize it.
Now we know how much it takes to buy PBS programming: $3.5 million. It might even be less, but $3.5 million is a proven amount that will induce the soi disant public broadcasting network to fall all over itself and violate multiple written, supposedly sacrosanct policies, to produce shows with a story line consistent with the express aims of a right wing foundation.
The George W. Bush email scandal the media has conveniently forgotten

Even for a Republican White House that was badly stumbling through George W. Bush’s sixth year in office, the revelation on April 12, 2007 was shocking. Responding to congressional demands for emails in connection with its investigation into the partisan firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the White House announced that as many as five million emails, covering a two-year span, had been lost.

“Polarizing” has now become a negative political adjective bestowed on anyone in public life about whom people have strong feelings, pro and con. President Obama is now commonly described as a “polarizing” figure – “the most polarizing president in recent American history,” as one pundit put it a few days ago. “Polarizing” is so often used to describe Hillary Clinton that it’s almost become her first name. I keep reading that Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t even run because she’s too “polarizing.” Can we get a grip? The President is “polarizing” because he’s finally shown the gumption and courage to take on the Republican right, after too many years of holding out olive branches that Republicans summarily rejected. Hillary Clinton has been “polarizing” since she stepped on the national stage in 1992 because she’s a powerful woman. Elizabeth Warren is polarizing because she stands squarely and firmly against abuses of power emanating from Wall Street and corporate boardrooms. In this political environment – with regressive Republicans dissing the President, sending open letters to Iran’s rulers, and threatening to close down the government if they don’t get their way; with Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and their right-wing media clones fanning the flames of resentment and hate; with so many Americans frustrated and powerless because they’re getting nowhere and big money has taken over our democracy – anyone with strong conviction, who tells it like it is, who challenges the status quo, is likely to be deemed a “polarizing figure.” But the problem doesn’t lie with these people. It lies with a rabidly regressive right coupled with a sensationalized media looking for red meat 24/7. Under these circumstances, anyone who’s not a “polarizing figure” is probably not doing his or her job.
—  Robert Reich
Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture, not even the ones recognized by the U.S. Government itself as innocent, not even the family members of the ones they tortured to death. Whether by design (most likely) or effect, this inexcusable omission radically distorts coverage.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, reporters marveled at the ability of Donald Trump and his surrogates to create an alternate reality in which statements made by the candidate had not been made at all—from his view that global warming is a hoax, to his nonexistent opposition to the Iraq War, to his refusal to say he would concede in the event of a loss, to his remarks about his relationship to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. These are people who could argue that the sky is green without a blink. They were able to win a presidential election while doing so. Now they will have the entire apparatus of the federal government to bolster their lies, and the mainstream press is woefully unprepared to cover them.
In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in U.S. media history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of its own source — one on whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. But even more staggering than this act of journalistic treachery against the paper’s own source are the claims made to justify it.
…Brian Williams was, of course, one of the many mass media spinners, not only for the invasion of Iraq, but later catastrophic interventions in Libya and elsewhere. This suspension story, the falsehood told by Brian Williams, is the kind of story that the mass corporate media absolutely love, because it’s about an individual personality, it’s not about structural power; it’s about a personal flaw or a misstatement or deception or lie, if you will, but not about constant streams of lies coming from institutions such as NBC News and many others that have billions of dollars of capital behind them. And I think it’s important for us to remember that Brian Williams has run afoul of his fabulations, his lie that was told repeatedly to puff himself up in the context of glorifying the very kind of militarism that he was part of promoting in the first place. And if you look at his career—as of, unfortunately, many of his colleagues—we have to understand, or I think it’s important for us to understand, that the real tragedies, the real transgressions against truth, are virtually never challenged, almost never challenged, by those folks’ colleagues. And I would just sum it up this way: The Wall Street Journal front page yesterday described what Williams had done as telling a false war story, but in fact Williams and his colleagues are in the business of telling false war stories every day to, in effect, justify U.S. military interventions.
This is what Andrew Breitbart, and his progeny, ultimately understood. What Shirley Sherrod did or did not do really didn’t matter. White racial grievance enjoys automatic credibility, and even when disproven, it is never disqualifying of its bearers. It is very difficult to imagine, for instance, a 9/11 truther, who happened to be black, becoming even a governor. And yet we live in an era in which the country’s leading birther might well be president. This fact certainly horrifies some of the same journalists who attacked Clinton this weekend. But what they have yet to come to grips with is that Donald Trump is a democratic phenomenon, and that there are actual people—not trolls under a bridge—whom he, and his prejudices against Latinos, Muslims, and blacks, represent.
The typical conservative candidate in their survey overestimated the district’s conservatism by 20 points. The typical liberal candidate overestimated the conservatism by around 5 percentage points. The authors didn’t really get into why candidates have these perceptions beyond saying that politically active citizens tend to be older and more conservative, but I think it’s pretty obvious that a whole set of factors in most places creates this misperception. Conservatives are often more vocal. Liberals, especially outside cities and university towns, are probably a little cowed. In most places the local social establishment that dictates the agenda will tilt right. The local newspaper is probably conservative. Rush Limbaugh and all those other fatmouths are on the radio. There’s often a local public-affairs radio host who is just about as conservative.
…the media largely ignores the salient point that Clinton has nearly the highest unfavorable ratings of any leading Democrat to run for President. By contrast, Sanders, widely praised by voters as the most honest and trustworthy candidate most have ever seen, has among the lowest unfavorable ratings, despite the media shock that anyone would trust, much less vote for, a democratic socialist.
The press has come in for a great deal of well-justified criticism for how it covered the 2016 election, especially the way it focused on trivialities and non-events and was devoid of any kind of serious policy considerations. But I consider its most grievous sin the failure of the press to take seriously the reportage that was being done, and was in fact widely available, documenting Donald Trump’s alignment with and empowerment of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, militia ‘Patriots,’ and various extremist factions.
The Times makes the world a more dangerous place by lying about it.  It’s just that simple.  Every time journalists lie to millions about the actual state of the world, they degrade those people’s ability to make good decisions about the world, especially political decisions about voting.  Democracy, which puts power in ordinary people’s hands, requires a media that does not knowingly distort facts nor conceal unfortunate truths. The American media, lead by the New York Times, has failed in that task, grossly, for decades.  The blood of millions stains their hands, and when the blame is apportioned for America’s decline, they shall have plenty to answer for.
As incendiary and dangerous as he is — and he is very dangerous — and as much of a main event as he has been in this election season, Donald Trump is largely a distraction from what really ails our political discourse. Long after he is gone from the scene, the Republican Party that engendered him, facilitated him, and now supports him — despite a severe case of buyer’s remorse — will no doubt still thrive, booting up for a future candidacy of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan. And the media will still act as if Trump were an aberration, a departure from so-called “sensible” conservatism. If so, it will be yet another act of media dereliction. In fact, worse than dereliction, because the Republican Party, with its history of dog-whistle racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, and gun addiction, salted now by incipient fascism, has been legitimized by the mainstream media for years. One could say that the GOP and MSM have operated in collusion to the great detriment of this country. One could say that and not even be a liberal, just a commonsensical American.