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Money + Media = Mind Manipulation

by Cloak and Dagger Thursday, Jul. 24, 2003 at 2:07 PM

During the election of 2000, Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state under Jeb Bush, ordered the removal of 90,000 names from the voter roles because they were convicted felons; but not really. These people were Black. The eliminated voters’ race appears on the disqualifying list that was obtained and reported by Greg Palast in The Guardian. The story ran in Europe, South America and Canada. Palast maintains that he published the story within weeks of the election, but it did not appear until seven months after the election in the Washington Post.

Money + Media = Mind Manipulation

By: Karl B. Johnson

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Originally posted 7/23/2003

What do George W. Bush, media consolidation, the DLC, and biased news coverage all have In common?

”We know now that government by organized money is just as

dangerous as government by organized mob.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936

Last of a three-part series

Slick plays

I don’t have the space to outline all the slick media plays that have been run on the public, but I want to name a few in order to show how the public’s views of the world are shaped by American mass media.

When the war on Iraq began, peace demonstrations across the globe captured the media attention. In a counter move to the anti-war demonstrations, there were pro-war demonstrations in cities like Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia and, yes, Minneapolis and St. Paul. According to an article published on March 26, 2003, in the British newspaper The Guardian by Oliver Burkerman, “Many of these rallies, it turns out, have been organized and paid for by Clear Channel Inc.” Clear Channel owns more than 1,200 radio stations nationwide.

During the election of 2000,

Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state under Jeb Bush, ordered the removal of 90,000 names from the voter roles because they were convicted felons; but not really. These people were Black. The eliminated voters’ race appears on the disqualifying list that was obtained and reported by Greg Palast in The Guardian. The story ran in Europe, South America and Canada.

Palast maintains that he published the story within weeks of the election, but it did not appear until seven months after the election in the Washington Post. Katherine Harris confessed to the misdeed. The NAACP successfully sued her and the State of Florida.

The image of Saddam Hussein’s statue being pulled down in Baghdad that ran continuously on every major television in America during April of 2003 was staged. Clergyman Neville Watson, from Australia, was less than 300 meters from the action as it occurred. In his interview to Australia’s SBS TV on April 17, 2003, Neville stated, “It was a very small crowd. The rest of the square was almost empty, and when we inquired as to where the crowd came from, it was from Saddam City. In other words, it was a rent-a-crowd.”

One of the most recent plays run on the public was President Bush’s landing on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln on May 1. Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times has exposed the big charade. According to an article published by Bumiller on May 16, 2003, the Bush team hired Scott Sforza, a former ABC producer; Bob DeServi, a former NBC cameraman; Greg Jenkins, a former FOX television producer; and “a small army of staff and volunteers who move days ahead of Mr. Bush and his entourage to set up the staging of all White House events.”

The boat on which Bush landed was in sight of California’s coast, and instead of having Bush give his speech on land, the image-makers wanted to capture and project a “top gun” image to the American people. This was rigged. “We pay particular attention to not only what the president says but what the American people see,” said Dan Bartlett, White House communications director.

Dangerous waters

The recent decision by the FCC (chaired by Michael Powell, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s son) changing the rules of media expansion was no accident. The individual chairmen of FOX, CBS, NBC and Time Warner met with the FCC more than 71 times prior to the ruling. The public does not know what was discussed because the meetings were private.

The American mass media have done a great job of marketing products. However, they have done an even better job of “selling” ideas. Their influence over the minds and thoughts of people who spend very little time reading is unfathomable.

It might have seemed like a good idea at the time for the editors and journalists of “mainstream” media to withhold crucial information about Katherine Harris’ complicity in the theft of the presidential election of 2000, but now that the story is known, the American media has credibility issues that will haunt every election for years to come. This comes when we most need credible journalism, considering the situations that now confront the American people — issues such as 10 million people being unemployed, the worst economy in more than a decade, billion dollars cut from public services, health, welfare and education in 2002, and another .7 billion that will be cut this year.

Many Iraqi people do not view the “coalition” forces as “liberators,” but instead kill and maim young Americans on a daily basis. Saddam was not building nukes, and there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. The “tax cuts” have primarily benefited corporations and the very rich while draining off services for the elderly and the very young, simultaneously incurring a huge debt for future generations and limiting the ability of the federal government to legally challenge large corporations. This is not to mention the fact that other, formerly friendly governments are, for lack of a better term, “cautious” in dealing with America.

The duplicitous spirit that has engulfed America has caused me to ask some serious questions about “democracy.” If the American government and media allowed 90,000 eligible voters to be disenfranchised from a national election, what kind of democracy will they export to Iraq? If mainstream American media continually invest money in the campaigns of politicians, what do they expect in return? What do the American people believe corporate media want for this investment? If one believes that they want an increase in profits, then why would one believe any “poll” conducted by the corporate media when it might hurt their candidate? When will the American voters stop corporate interests from using their tax dollars and the blood of their daughters and sons to fatten their wallets?

The Black media in America has good reason to be anxious about the newest FCC rules. They are a voice crying in the wilderness. The right-wing media wasted no time attempting to kill the voices of Danny Glover and the Dixie Chicks when they exercised their right to free speech in opposition to this administration. The question is, who’s next?

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