Thursday, November 1, 2012

Obama's Murdoch and Mass Media Conglomerate Connections

“…All the major media companies, driven largely by their Hollywood film and television businesses, have made larger contributions to President Obama than to his rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney...Even companies whose news outlets are often perceived as having a conservative bias have given significantly more money to Mr. Obama. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, for example, has contributed $58,825 to Mr. Obama's campaign, compared with $2,750 to Mr. RomneyMr. Murdoch has not been shy about expressing his criticism of Mr. Romney...In 2008, News Corporation contributed $380,558 to Mr. Obama's campaign, compared with $32,740 to the Republican nominee John McCain.

Other media companies have contributed more significantly to Mr. Obama, including Time Warner, owner of CNN and the magazine publishing house Time Inc. The company, which is based in New York and also owns Warner Brothers and HBO, has contributed $191,834 to Mr. Obama in the 2012 election cycle, compared with $10,750 to Mr. Romney. The Walt Disney Company, owner of ABC and ESPN, donated $125,856 to Mr. Obama and $9,950 to Mr. Romney.
“Philadelphia-based Comcast Corporation, owner of NBCUniversal and one of the biggest spenders in lobbying money in Washington, has given $206,056 to Mr. Obama and $20,500 to Mr. Romney…”

--from the August 22, 2012 issue of the New York Times

Obama’s Murdoch and Mass Media Conglomerate Connections

Most people in the United States are against the U.S. government allowing a small number of billionaire global media barons (often from foreign countries like Australia) to monopolize the ownership of most U.S. radio studios and networks, U.S. television studios and networks, U.S. movie studios, U.S. magazines and U.S. newspapers and internet news sites.
Yet between 2009 and 2012, no radical democratic reform of the U.S. media world that would have shifted mass media control of the public airwaves away from the U.S. mass media conglomerates and towards more democratic control of the U.S. mass media studios, networks, newspapers and internet news sites by the people of the United States was enacted by the Democratic Obama administration.

One reason for the apparent lack of support for the radical democratic reform of the U.S. mass media industry and the democratization of U.S. mass media ownership by the Democratic Obama administration between 2009 and 2012 might be because the U.S. mass media conglomerates have generally allowed the Obama White House to apparently use the U.S. mass media as a self-promotional political tool between 2009 and 2012. As the 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One by Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter observed:

“…After wrapping up the nomination in June 2008, Obama met secretly with Fox brass at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York with the intention of making peace. He chatted amiably with owner Rupert Murdoch, who openly admired Obama…Murdoch…extravagantly complimented the candidate, and the meeting ended with an informal agreement by Obama to resume relations with Fox. He granted a long interview to Bill O’Reilly, as well as one to the Murdoch-owned Wall Street JournalObama placed courtesy call to Murdoch during the transition [between the November 2008 election and the January 2009 inauguration] but wrote Fox off…[In 2009] Rahm quietly called Murdoch three times to tell him he welcomed his ideas, a peace offering that Murdoch appreciated. The point was to maintain decent relations between the White House and the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal…

“The most common media criticism of Obama (even from supporters like Colin Powell) was that he was overexposed…Obama…believed he needed to be omnipresent or the vacuum would be filled by adversaries…The White House could now flood niche media markets with content via blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and Flicker photo streams…The White House sent messages to reporters several times a day. Obama’s media strategy was to follow bad news with more news…

“…[In 2009] Obama appeared on Jay Leno’s show on NBC and in several 60 Minutes interviews with Steve Kroft on CBS. He opened the White House for a day to NBC News, held a town meeting…with Diane Sawyer on ABC, and sat for dozens of one-on-one interviews with cable outlets and talk radio hosts…When he appeared on five Sunday shows on September 14 [2009]—a first for a president—critics claimed that it was overkill…

“…Obama was overexposed to those who regularly watched Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, Comedy Central, or CNBC or listened to NPR…It amounted to…around 10 percent of the electorate who voted in general elections…The White House sent him into the anchor booth in St. Louis during the [2009] All-Star Game and ghosted article on parenthood under his byline for Parade magazine…He stopped holding full-dress news conferences in the second half of 2009…Instead his format of choice was the one-on-one interview. He sat for 152 interviews in 2009, for more than any of his predecessors…”


No comments: