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Mainstream Corporate Media Dismisses Democracy

by Peter Phillips, Director Project Censored Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2000 at 8:27 PM

By ignoring critical social issues mainstream corporate media dismisses democratic values in the United States.

Since the Fall of 1999 there have been four major political demonstrations in the United States. The cities of Seattle, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles each hosted either a major political party convention or global economic institution meetings where thousands of activists protested, engaged in non-violent civil disobedience, and in rare, often provoked cases, caused superficial damaged to public and private property.

Corporate media has labeled the protesters as unorganized groups of radical environmentalists, single issues extremists, and directionless anarchists bent on disrupting social order. The extensive involvement of unions and labor in Seattle has generally been explained as an one time aberration and the global trade issues focusing on NAFTA and the WTO have been mostly forgotten.

The corporate media has been particularly strong in its denigration of the recent demonstrations at the Democrat and Republican conventions. Presenting the image of the demonstrators acting out radical fantasies in a deteriorating attempt to sustain the momentum of Seattle.

While on first glance it may seem that Mumia rallies, anti-water fluoridation teach-ins, marches against Occidental Oil's threats to the U'wa tribe, police brutality demonstrations, and black-clad anarchists, have little in common and no centralized leadership. A deeper analysis will determine that each of the protesting individuals and social action groups share a common disdain for institutionalized power structures that service the corporate elites of the world at the expense of working people and the environment.

The demonstrators represent millions of us who innately recognize that the New World Order is one that does not allow for grassroots democratic processes, but rather pontificates the inevitabilities of globalization, corporate growth, and individual belt tightening, while proceeding with building institutions for top-down public-private partnerships to control and regulate the behaviors of the global masses.

Fifty-five million non-voters in the U.S. already recognize that it takes money to buy power and access to our two party system and have opted out of the charade. They recognize that our collective ability to participate has been structured out of the political decision making process.

The activists in Philadelphia and Los Angeles speak for the millions of us who had to stay at work doing the overtime to make ends meet in our bifurcating economy. We silently cheer the demonstrators and daily resist bureaucratic rules and top down management in our own ways. Overt resistance to national and global power structures is a manifestation of the deep mistrust working people feel towards governments and their mega-corporation partners.

The activists are the New Progressive Movement, a vanguard of political actors emerging from the grassroots of hometown USA. They have successfully used the internet, and satellite links to stream e-mail, radio and TV images throughout the world, and continue to work towards building real news systems independent of corporate media.

The anarchists, supposedly encourage by Eugene Oregon author John Zerzan, are clear on their objectives of building sustainable democratic grassroots communities that respect the environment and minimized domination in any form. Certainly many Americans could fine common ground for such a humanistic goal.

To simply dismiss the recent activism as disgruntled groups of aging hippies and misguided youth is a grave error. By not addressing the specific issues corporate media is dismissing democracy itself. We must examine the specifics of protest, the inequalities of our society and globe, and improve the ways of building democratic participation for the betterment of humankind.


Peter Phillips is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored a media research group.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 29 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Yes, Yes, Yes but .... RC of Philadelphia Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2000 at 11:51 PM
Yes, Yes, Yes but .... RC of Philadelphia Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 12:04 AM
the grossly misinformed public twinkle Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 2:05 PM
And, yet, Mr Protestor in the trenches.... RC from Philadelphia Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 4:37 PM
corporate media Ronald Raygun Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 5:20 PM
corporate media Ronald Raygun Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 5:20 PM
But it is you that is turning us off ... RC of Philadelphia Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 8:06 PM
OK so what steps would engage Corp Media RevereRides Thursday, Sep. 14, 2000 at 8:36 PM
You, you, you, you, you... corporate avenger.. Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 2:34 AM
the crass media aren't that manageable johnk Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 4:57 AM
Listen, knuckleheads, consider Jesse Ventura RC of Philadelphia Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 6:54 AM
Fight on...... twinkle Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 2:03 PM
Twinkle, you lack the guts for revolution RC of Philadelphia Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 3:25 PM
RC, you need to wake up twinkle Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 3:45 PM
Twinkle, do you have guts for the revolution? RC of Philadelphia Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 4:13 PM
A great debate...of sorts. Watchdog Friday, Sep. 15, 2000 at 10:50 PM
RC, You're a coward, a bully, and a fool. REVENGE Saturday, Sep. 16, 2000 at 1:45 AM
Listen Knuckleheads .... RC of Philadelphia Saturday, Sep. 16, 2000 at 6:52 AM
Information for the uninformed twinkle Saturday, Sep. 16, 2000 at 1:59 PM
Come on, Twinkle, give us details... RC of Philadelphia Saturday, Sep. 16, 2000 at 4:20 PM
My plans, a response for RC....... twinkle Saturday, Sep. 16, 2000 at 7:43 PM
I apologize, Twinkle .... RC of Philadelphia Sunday, Sep. 17, 2000 at 1:17 AM
RC, Maybe You Alright Twinkle's Friend Sunday, Sep. 17, 2000 at 3:57 PM
The political system, D, is the masses RC of Philadelphia Sunday, Sep. 17, 2000 at 7:37 PM
Take My Pepsi Challenge Twinkle's Friend Monday, Sep. 18, 2000 at 5:44 AM
D, here's why Nader is at 5% ... RC of Philadelphia Monday, Sep. 18, 2000 at 9:15 AM
RC, I Had Such Hopes For You ... Twinkle's Friend Monday, Sep. 18, 2000 at 4:15 PM
D, I think we both are in agreement RC of Philadelphia Monday, Sep. 18, 2000 at 9:59 PM

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