The Business of Lies | Teen Ink

The Business of Lies

November 20, 2010
By TheBirdman1014 SILVER, Coxsackie, New York
TheBirdman1014 SILVER, Coxsackie, New York
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

When you attempt to discern the causes of the many conflicts in the world, do not turn on the television. Don’t pick up a major newspaper, or look to a national radio station to provide the answers. None of those choices will be of use to someone looking for cold, hard truth. Each of the above three examples of media have been corrupted. By whom, you may ask? The answer is simple, yet complicated. Easy to solve, yet hard to put into practice. It is both right in front of your nose, yet shrouded in mystery and lies.

The major media in this nation used to be a rather proud institution. Newspapers would grill public officials on the issues, expose scandals around the globe, and provide the public with a needed service for a functioning democracy. Yet, somewhere along the road, the same journalists who covered the Watergate scandal now amuse themselves with events like “Lewinsky-gate” or the latest Hollywood drama.

Over the past decades, the government has gotten anything but better. It has grown larger, more costly, and more intrusive to each and every citizen’s private lives, except for the privileged few who have the means to fund the politicians who keep them in positions to do the same, election cycle after election cycle. Who is to protect us from this? The answer used to be the media. Now, on the other hand, no one seems to be there to prevent an ongoing catastrophe in Washington from spreading.

The reason this has happened is, if stated bluntly, simple. Corporations control the media. The purpose of a corporation is to make money. If those two statements are added together, the result is a media organization more concerned with the profit margin than with actual reporting of the facts. Because the nation has been brainwashed into caring more about Jennifer Aniston’s next boyfriend than the millions of starving children in United States, ratings go up when an actress goes to rehab, yet the belief is few people will watch if their lifestyles are shown to result in the suffering of people around the globe.

The three major cable news channels are owned by major companies, each having reasons to hide the truth from viewers. Fox News is owned by News Corp., led by Rupert Murdoch. CNN is owned by Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world. MSNBC is owned by General Electric, or GE. Why would any of the three present factual information when they are trying to bring in the biggest profit they can? It goes against any business model. You present a product to the consumer. In corporate media, the business of lies, consumers are certainly not being offered the truth.

The run-up to, and the subsequent invasion, of Iraq is a clear example of journalistic negligence and even collusion with the government. All the channels falsely proclaimed that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction and had the capabilities to produce long-range weapons that could wreak havoc on little children in small schools across America. The sensational news was anything but true. In order to boost ratings, the most outlandish government officials presented even wackier stories that created a climate of fear in the nation. People were stunned and shocked. With a populace paralyzed, the Bush administration was free to invade Iraq, which as we know resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Where was the media? That is the million-dollar question. They were taken over. The invasion of the media happened long before the invasion of Iraq. When telecommunication companies began to merge with media companies, the end was near. Soon, only a handful of large companies presented information to almost every single American. There was nothing many people could do. One may be excused for their ignorance on some issues. The narratives that raised ratings were so prevalent that they became ingrained in the mind of the public. Even now, many myths that have been dispelled are still cited by unwitting followers of major corporate media companies.

The business of lies must end. There is a clear conflict of interest in the media and corporations. Why would GE, the owner of MSNBC, give significant negative coverage of the Iraq war when they make many military products for the United States Military? Why would CNN give praise to congressmen and women who are fighting for a free internet, when Time Warner billions of dollars at stake if telecommunications regulations were kept a minimum. Why would Fox bother to tell the truth on the Obama Administration’s goals, when they can garner higher ratings by painting him as the Anti-Christ, or the reincarnation of Karl Marx, only this time with lasers? Businesses cannot be allowed to pick and choose what the public hears. If anything resembling a democracy is meant to be saved from the abyss, it is necessary to have a free and independent media, where profits are not on everyone’s minds. The freedom of information is the precursor to freedom of thought. Corporations cannot be allowed to stifle the first in order to quell our freedoms that result from the truth.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Nov. 29 2010 at 3:08 pm
TheBirdman1014 SILVER, Coxsackie, New York
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

I don't seek to silence free speech. On the contrary, I believe the monopolization of the media stifles free speech. I oppose corporate media because it harms free speech. It does this, as I've said, by only putting forth information that will garner high ratings. In a free society, we need less corporate control of the media so the truth can be heard.

I don't agree with any plan that would shut off various media outlets. However, preventing lage corporations from eating up smaller, independent news outlets is crucial to ensuring that a free and fair press can accurately and truthfully cover the news.

As for my political views, I don't hav much in common with the modern American libertarian.

on Nov. 29 2010 at 9:09 am
Treefiddy BRONZE, Tarzana, California
1 article 0 photos 158 comments

You sound like Jay Rockefeller. I hardly mean that as a complement.

"There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: “Out. Off. End. Goodbye.”

Its point is non sequitur because MSNBC has almost no ratings at all, while Fox is the most watched station on cable. He would throw MSNBC under the bus to silence an opposing voice because it would, " be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress."

By the way, many people have left tradition media, such as televison outlets and newspapers. No one entity can hold a monopoly on speech.

tdnarb, I find it odd that you, whom I believe are a libertarian, would agree with something that stifled freedom of speech.

on Nov. 28 2010 at 11:52 pm
the_sky_is_blue GOLD, Reno, Nevada
14 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Become the change you want to see"-Mahatma Gandhi

I like the message.  What you have said is very true.  Good Job!