Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fwd: End Corporate Control Over Our Media By Sen. Bernie Sanders:

--- In, "shaman_nation" <edward19@...> wrote:

End Corporate Control Over Our Media By Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Bernie Sanders speaking at the National Conference for Media Reform.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: We have already taken a giant step forward in
transforming our country, because what we have done -- and the size
of this conference indicates our success -- we have begun the long
road to make media a major political issue in America. And more and
more, in campaigns and in non-campaigns, when people who are running
for office go before the public and, as been mentioned, when they
talk about healthcare or the environment or the dozens of other
important issues, somebody in the front of the room is going to raise
their hand and say, "Well, what do you think about corporate control
over the media? What are you going to do about that?" So, to the
degree that we have already raised consciousness on this issue, we
should be very proud. But, obviously, we know that we still have a
very, very long way to go.

I happen to believe that we are reaching a moment when critical mass
is kicking in. Because of your efforts, because of a growing
grassroots movement all over America, what I can tell you is that not
only in the House is there a media caucus where this issue is now
going to reach a higher level than ever before, I can tell you that
it's going to happen in the Senate, as well. I can also tell you,
absolutely, that we will not succeed unless you are there, unless
there is a strong grassroots media, which demands fundamental changes
in media today and the end of corporate control over our media. We've
got to work together on that.

Now, you are going to hear from a lot of folks who know more about
the details of the media than I do, but what I do know a lot about is
how media impacts the political process, what media means for those
of us who day after day struggle with the major issues facing our
country and a goal of trying to improve the quality of life for all
of our people.

And I want to spend just a minute in telling you what I suspect most
of you already know. If you are concerned, as been said, about
healthcare, if you are concerned about foreign policy and Iraq, if
you are concerned about the economy, if you are concerned about
global warming, you are kidding yourselves if you are not concerned
about corporate control over the media, because every one of these
issues is directly controlled and directly relevant to the media.

Let me just talk about a few. Four years ago, George W. Bush told the
American people that a third-rate military power country called Iraq
had weapons of mass destruction and that they were about to attack
the United States of America. That's what he told us. I can tell you,
because I was there in the middle of that, in opposition to that --
that day after day, those of us who oppose the war, among many other
things, would be holding national press conferences that you never
saw. I can tell you, as you know, that hundreds of thousands of
people in our country were so disgusted with the media simply acting
as a megaphone for the President that they turned off American media,
and they went to the BBC or the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In terms of the war in Iraq, the American media failed, and failed
grotesquely, in exposing the dishonest and misleading assertions of
the Bush administration in the lead-up to that war, and they are as
responsible as is President Bush for the disaster that now befalls
us. Media plays a role. And the disintegration of Iraq, the death of
hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, of over 3,000 Americans, the cost of
hundreds of billons of dollars out of our pockets -- directly related
to the failure of the media.

Let me touch on another issue, an issue that I am deeply involved in.
If you were to ask me what the most significant untold story of our
time is, in terms of domestic politics, I would tell you very simply
that that story happens to be the collapse of the American middle
class. Simply stated -- I don't want to speak at great length on it,
but simply stated, despite an explosion of technology, huge increase
in worker productivity, tens of millions of our fellow Americans have
seen a decline in their real wages and are working longer hours for
lower wages. In fact, what you probably don't know is that the
working people in our country work longer hours than do the working
people in any other industrialized nation on earth.

How did that happen? How did it happen today that a two-income family
has less disposal income than a one-income family did thirty years
ago? How does it happen that thirty years ago, one person working
forty hours a week could earn enough money to take care of the
family; now, you need two, and they're still not doing it? Now, one
might think that this is an interesting story. One might think that
globalization and disastrous trade policies, which have lowered the
standard of living of millions of American workers, might be a story
that should be covered.

What I can tell you is that when NAFTA was first passed over ten
years ago -- and I strongly opposed NAFTA -- we did some research. We
did some research. We went through the editorial pages of every major
newspaper in America, every single one of them was prone after, and
today, despite a $600 billion trade deficit, the loss of millions of
good-paying blue-collar and white-collar jobs, these corporate titans
are still in favor of unfettered free trade, despite the disastrous
impact it has had on America's workers.

Now, what is all of this about? What happens? If the reality of
working people's lives are not reflected in the TV, in the
newspapers, what happens? This is what happens. People lose their
jobs, because corporations shut down. Just had an instance in Vermont
this week. 175 workers shut down, lost their jobs, because of free

People working long hours, people working for lower wages, they turn
on the television set, they do not see that reality. What they see is
the issue is personal responsibility. You can't afford healthcare?
You're losing your pension? Then the problem is with you. Work a
little bit harder. It is not a systemic problem. It is not a problem
that can be solved by government. It is not a problem which asked you
to be involved in the political process. You are the only person who
can find a job that pays you a living wage. That's your fault! And
you are the only person who can't find a job that provides you with
healthcare. That's your fault! And you're the only father who can't
afford to send your kid to college. That's your fault! Don't get
involved in the political process. It won't do any good. So people
turn on the television -- they're hurting, they're exhausted -- they
do not see a reflection of their reality in the media. They do not
understand that participation in the political process can bring
about change, and that is not by accident.

When we wake up in the morning and we brush our teeth, for better or
worse, we see our own reflections in the mirror. When we turn on the
television, somebody is providing us a mirror to the world, and what
we want is that mirror to reflect the reality of ordinary people and
not the illusions of a few.
AMY GOODMAN: More with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders after
AMY GOODMAN: We return to the Vermont Independent Senator Bernie
Sanders, speaking at the National Conference for Media Reform in
Memphis, Tennessee.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Talk about healthcare. We are told that it is
quite amazing. After sixteen years in the Congress, you hear these
guys getting up on the floor announce, "We have the best healthcare
system in the world. Yeah!" 47 million Americans have no health
insurance. Even more are underinsured. We pay the highest prices in
the world for prescription drugs. Costs are soaring. Best healthcare
system in the world.

But, you know, go out on the street and ask people how many major
countries in the world do not have a national healthcare program,
which guarantees healthcare to all people. And you know what? Most
people do not know, because they have not seen it reflected in the
media, that the United States of America is the only nation on earth
that does not guarantee healthcare to all of its people. They do not
know about the healthcare systems in Scandinavia. They do not know
about European healthcare systems. And the only thing they will hear
about the Canadian healthcare system are the problems that that
system has. That's what they will hear.

I can remember in the early 1990s, during the early years of the
Clinton administration, there was a lot of debate about the need for
real healthcare reform. Do you happen to know which piece of
legislation in the House had far more support than any other concept?
You probably don't. It was legislation to support a single-payer
national healthcare system. That's a fact. But, as somebody who was
involved in that fight, we would turn on the television and
say, "Hey, single payer has more support than any other concept. Are
you going to talk about single payer?" "Oh, no, no. We don't talk
about single payer. It's not feasible." Virtually no coverage about
what a single-payer concept is about. Virtually no coverage about
international healthcare and how other countries are doing a better
job than we are doing.

In terms of the environment. In terms of the environment, if we are
told over and over again that there is a serious scientific debate
about the causation of global warming or whether global warming
actually exists, it has an impact upon our consciousness. Why should
we break our dependency on fossil fuels, why should we move to
sustainable energy, if there is a debate among the scientific
community? And that is, in fact, what you hear in the media. Well,
you know what? There is no debate among the scientific community.

Now, here's an issue that I'm sure you see on the TV almost every
night -- it probably bores you, you see it so much -- and that is
that the United States today has the most unfair distribution of
wealth and income of any major country on earth. I was joking. You
don't see that on television very often. Now, here is at issue, you
know, which is of enormous significance from an economic point of
view, as well as a political point of view, as well as a moral point
of view. Richest 1% of the population in America owns more wealth
than the bottom 90%. Richest 13,000 families earn more income than do
the bottom 20 million families. In many ways, in my view, we are
moving toward an oligarchic form of society. Do you think that maybe
this is an issue that should be thrown out there on the table? Do we
think it's a good idea that so few have so much and so many have so
little? But that is an issue that is beyond the scope of what
establishment media is literally allowed to discuss.

Now, I have been in politics for a long time. I have been asked a
thousand questions by media. Not one member of the media has ever
come up to me and said, "Bernie, what are you going to do to deal
with the outrage of America having the most unfair distribution of
wealth of any country on earth? What are you going to do about it?"
Have you ever heard any political leader ever being asked that
question? Why not? Why is that issue outside of the scope of what we
are allowed to talk about?

AMY GOODMAN: Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, speaking
at the National Conference for Media Reform. It took place last
weekend in Memphis, Tennessee.

"Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will
have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in
a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government." --- James

"Right now, it is easier for us to embrace the status quo, than it is
to take a different course - we as a people see these alternative
courses of actions as more painful than the status quo - but someday
the status quo will be more painful and difficult than the change and
then we will embrace the change. People change when they are ready to
change - when it is time to change - the same can be said for the
masses." "America does not need a Regime Change, America needs a
Regime Removal."

Downsize DC, - Read The Bill

Many other
quick and simple ways to email your voice on Constitutional rights
and organizing for activism -


Dei Jurum Conventus - (God's Rights (Unity)/Convention)

Ed Ward, MD;
Independent writer/Media Liaison for The Price of Liberty;

--- End forwarded message ---

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home