December 1, 2005
Death of Media: And the Fight to Save Democracy (Paperback)
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Frankly, we are surprised that of all our premiums, ones about the media, in general, sell the least. Maybe it's because BuzzFlash is part of the new media that we find this surprising. After all, it's a basic premise of BuzzFlash that the conventional mainstream media is very much a part of the problem in impeding democracy in America.
After all, why was it that a vast majority of Americans, until recently, thought that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11? It is because the media never seriously questioned, until recently, the Bush Administration lies that led up to the Iraq War. Heck, even now, a sizeable number of Americans believe that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Even Cheney and Bush don't claim that anymore.
The conventional media is such a huge part of the crisis we face as a democracy that it is hard to even talk about issues. The corporate media goes wherever the White House or the latest missing bride leads them. The real news isn't profitable enough for the corporate-owned press, so they don't really DO much news anymore. They do public relations and entertainment.
And they aren't going to go out on a limb to report much of the truth about the Bush Administration lies, deception and imperial presidency, because they are afraid that the vengeance-driven Busheviks will sabotage their corporate bottom line.
If you doubt this, ask when was the last time a reporter or producer lost his or her job for pro-Bush reporting? Yet, look at the long line of reporters, producers and even news executives who have been either fired, exiled or demoted for reporting something critical about the Bush Administration. No, we don't really have a free mainstream press, just the appearance of one.
That brings us to the groundbreaking work of the much-underappreciated Danny Schechter, also known as "The News Dissector." Schechter has a nifty website called mediachannel.org. He's a former member of the mainstream media who is now a prophet calling for full-scale media reform if we want to save democracy.
Schechter is enlightened, experienced and angry at what has happened to the news "industry." He, like BuzzFlash and others, believes that democracy won't be restored to America until the media becomes an honest disseminator of the news, not just profit centers for large corporations, mostly specializing in entertainment.
"The Death of Media And the Fight to Save Democracy" is short, scintillating and impassioned. It's also hopeful that we can overhaul the media through citizens' revolution of information exchange. Certainly, the Internet plays a major role in that effort.
You can't just get angry at the mainstream media. You have to be part of the movement to build the NEW media. Schechter is part prophet, part strategist and part cheerleader for reform. He deserves to be read.
As one description of "The Death of the Media" observes:
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