Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sun Myung Moon and the Right's Media Apparatus

Robert Parry on the media's asymmetry:
Despite Barack Obama’s election victory, this media asymmetry will not go away. Indeed, it is almost certain to limit his ability to bring about significant change and could tilt the country back in the direction of the Republicans in the not-too-distant future.

It is a pattern I have seen often since 1977 when I arrived in Washington as a reporter for the Associated Press.

During that time, while the American Left has been largely absent from the national media landscape, wealthy right-wingers (from foundations like Olin and Scaife to media moguls like Sun Myung Moon and Rupert Murdoch) have poured tens of billions of dollars into media.

Over those years, the Right built a towering – and vertically integrated – media structure reaching from newspapers, magazines and books to talk radio, cable TV and the Internet, an apparatus concentrated in the power centers of New York and Washington.

The Right also invested money in attack groups to go after mainstream journalists who dared dig up information that put right-wing policies or politicians in a negative light. Offending journalists were accused of “liberal bias” and often found themselves hounded from the national press corps.

Over time, this imbalance had a spillover effect. Many right-wing and neoconservative pundits landed prime spots on mainstream TV news shows and the Op-Ed pages of leading newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Even the most dangerous of right-wing ideas – such as free-market absolutism at home and neoconservative imperialism abroad – got respectful if not reverential treatment across the mainstream-to-right-wing media spectrum, the news outlets that most Americans read, heard and watched.

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