The distorted news coverage of the trial of Johannes Mehserle is just one example of what the corporate media does on a regular basis: present us with a distorted picture of reality that helps serve the interests of those who run this society. Let’s look at the evidence:
Exhibit A: The Iraq War – Sold by Media Lies
- The media helped justify the U.S. occupation of Iraq in 2003. The media scared the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They reported the Bush administration’s lies uncritically.
- The news failed to report the real history of Iraq. They told us that Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own people, the Kurdish population of Northern Iraq. What they failed to mention is that Hussein’s regime got the materials to manufacture chemical weapons from the U.S.
- The companies who own the media profit from the war. For example, General Electric owns NBC and cable stations MSNBC and CNBC. They also make weapons and engines for US military aircraft. Their technology division, which produces these weapons and military equipment made $1.3 billion in profits last quarter!
Exhibit B: Blaming BART Workers for the Budget Deficit
- Last summer BART workers faced major attacks. Management wanted contract with $100 million in concessions from wages, health care, and retirement benefits.
- BART workers voted against accepting the contract. In fact, they voted twice against concession contracts that were offered to them.
- The Chronicle, the Examiner and the Tribune all went to work slandering the BART workers. They painted a picture of BART employees as overpaid, greedy, or unconcerned about the public. They turned the public against the workers – and it worked. Finally workers were forced to accept the BART managers’ attacks in a third and final contract vote.
- The newspapers clearly showed they are on the side of management. In fact some of them are the same people! James Fang, president of the BART Board of Directors is part of the Fang family, who own the SF Examiner. They run the Examiner with the help of the Hearst Corporation, owners of the SF Chronicle. Hearst can’t buy both newspapers because this would appear as a conflict of interest. So they pay the Fang Family to cover for them.
- The same media slander is repeated today about SF MUNI and AC Transit drivers, facing concessions on their contracts.
Corporate Interests at Work
The U.S. media system is owned by six gigantic corporations – General Electric, AOL Time Warner, Disney, News Corp, Viacom and Bertelsmann. These corporations have investments in other industries, from public transit to weapons manufacturing. Any jury presented with evidence would reach a unanimous verdict: guilty of lying with the intention of protecting their interests!