Monday, April 12, 2010

How Washington Really Works: Part 3


In part 2, I described the iron triangle among Congress, the regulatory agencies, and the businesses being regulated. In part 3, you see another iron triangle: the one among Congress, the news media, and the big banks and corporations. As you saw in part 2, we're talking about a mutual back-scratching society.
Money has been described as “the mother's milk of politics.” Big banks such as Citibank and Goldman Sachs have a ton of it. So do giant corporations such as Monsanto and Baxter International. According to federal law, banks and corporations are forbidden to directly contribute to political campaigns. CEO's, however, are allowed to set up political action groups (PAC's) and shake down their employees for contributions.
Nobody really believes that these political contributions aren't tied to the kind of service they expect to get from congressmen. If you've ever contributed to a political campaign, you probably did so because you expected certain behavior from the candidate. In your case and mine, there wouldn't be any quid pro quo (That's Latin for, “You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.") After all, most candidates have no reason to remember our measly little contributions. On the other hand, candidates can't help but remember receiving thousands of dollars from one CEO. Do I hear a back being scratched?

Congressmen also are in need of publicity. As long as the name is spelled correctly, any publicity is good publicity. That's because voters tend to remember names better than news. The information media, which is charitably called the news media, is a rich source of free publicity.
What can congressmen give the—er—news media in return? They can give them status, credibility, and (for what it may be worth) news. You've heard the adage, “Names make the news.” People in government have the names that count the most. Me? I'm nobody. Putting my name in their rag wouldn't give them any status or credibility at all.
Here's an example: During the Jimmy Carter administration, White House muck-a-muck Hamilton Jordan peeked down the bodice of an Egyptian ambassador's bodice and said, “I've always wanted to see the pyramids.” It got more space in the Washington Post than a presidential address Carter gave at the time.
If some unknown person did something like that to a vegetable seller, who'd know about it?
Then there's the sweetheart arrangement between the “news” media and the big banks and corporations. Of course, the giant banks and corporation CEO's want favorable publicity; but, more significantly, they want unfavorable publicity to be as muted as possible. If you get all your news from the big six communications companies that dominate the flow of news, you probably didn't hear that Baxter shipped “vaccines” containing live (A) H1N1 flu virus to 18 countries. When the “vaccine” was tried on ferrets, every one of them died.
What do the banksters and corporate parasites have to offer the—um—“news” media? One thing they have is effective control. Most votes are won or lost within a range of 3%; a switch of 1.5% is usually enough to change the outcome of the vote. For that reason, 5% ownership of a company is considered “controlling interest.” Giant banks and corporations are heavily invested in the big six communications companies, and they enjoy the advantage of interlocking directorates. That is, they have people sitting on each others' boards of directors.
Big banks and corporations also heavily advertise in the big six communications companies. You may have heard that the “news” media compete with one another for news. Actually, the news is incidental to a news outlet's profitability. The main pursuit of a news outlet is advertising, not news.
People who buy newspapers and news magazines buy it for the news, but the piddling amount they pay for them is nothing compared to advertising profits. The price of a newspaper is just earnest money to make sure that somebody's actually reading that rag. The broadcast media doesn’t charge the viewer anything, and they make higher profits than the oil companies.
If you're paying less than a dollar for a newspaper, and somebody else regularly places $2,000 advertisements in that same paper, who's going to have more influence on the news and editorial content of the paper? Especially if the advertiser has a henchman on the paper’s board of directors?
In the next article, I'll share with you how an iron triangle among the Congress, the banking cartel, and the military-industrial complex makes war more likely, even when it's against America's national interest.
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