FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT – WHO’S WATCHING THE WATCHERS?

Oscar Wilde wrote:

In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.

The press is arguably as important, if not more so on some occasions than the three branches of government as it has the ability to construct and shape vital narratives which absolutely can affect either of the other three.

THE FOURTH ESTATE

In current use the term is applied to the press, with the earliest use in this sense described by Thomas Carlyle in his book On Heroes and Hero Worship: “Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.”

If, indeed, Burke did make the statement Carlyle attributes to him, the remark may have been in the back of Carlyle’s mind when he wrote in his French Revolution (1837) that “A Fourth Estate, of Able Editors, springs up; increases and multiplies, irrepressible, incalculable. read more

‘Irrepressible’ and ‘incalculable,’ let those words sink in.

SHOULD MEDIA MEMBERS BE SUBJECTED TO PUBLIC ELECTIONS AND TERM LIMITS?

“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Voltaire… or Spider-man for the millennials who may be reading this.

The media loves to create their own polls and report on elections, so why not subject themselves to the same scrutiny as the politicians on whom they pass judgement? I’m serious… It’s high time we set up a bipartisan oversight panel charged with vetting individuals who will have the awesome responsibility of disseminating vital news to the American people and oversee public elections to determine who should fill those roles.

No, I’m not saying it shouldn’t be a free and independent press, I’m merely suggesting that the consumers of the news themselves have a say in who is qualified, trustworthy and equal to the task of freely and independently reporting it – after their credentials have been determined.

Would Chuck Todd survive as host of ‘Meet The Press’ in  a national vote of news consumers, … Wolf Blitzer, … Jake Tapper… George Stephanopoulos?

Why isn’t there more oversight on who is bringing us our news, how they are doing it and who their allegiances are with?

4TH BRANCH FOR SALE TO HIGHEST BIDDERS

  • Carlos Slim, a Mexican billionaire whose net worth is equal to about 6% of Mexico’s gross domestic product and reportedly accounts for 40% of the listings on the Mexican stock exchange is also the largest share holder in The New York Times ,with about 16.8% of the Newspaper. Slim, who some say is the richest man in the world is also billed as a ‘philanthropist’ – really, then why has he invested $341,000,000.00 into a financially challenged U.S. newspaper?  Surely he must be very concerned about the low wage members of the printer’s union. New York Times Co. Reports a Loss, and a Fall in Digital Ad Revenue  
  • Jeff Bezos took a cue from Slim in his pursuit of controlling America’s fourth estate when he purchased the Washington Post.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apparently didn’t waste too much time before signing the $250 million Washington Post deal in 2013. Although it was one of the largest acquisitions he’s ever done at the time, Bezos says he didn’t do any due diligence and just accepted the first offer that came from Don Graham, the former owner of the Washington Post
    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos signed the $250 million Washington Post deal with no due diligence   read more
  • Another billionaire ‘philanthropist’ Ted Turner founded CNN – what’s with all these liberal billionaires who seem to have a penchant for manipulating U.S./world  news? Ted Turner, a man who earned nick names like “the mouth of the South” and “Captain outrageous” was the founder of one of the most influential world wide news agencies – pfft, what could go wrong there?

The media elite lament the preponderance of wealthy individuals when it comes to holding public office – more so now than ever after seeing President Trump’s cabinet nominees – but we haven’t heard a peep out of them when it comes to the U.S. media being almost exclusively controlled by the billionaire class.

These 15 Billionaires Own America’s News Media Companies

Forbes has done a wonderful job of highlighting the billionaires (almost exclusively liberal) who control every bit of news that is trickled down and hand fed to the little folks – and if you reject or question what you’re being fed, you’re labeled a right wing, neanderthal, knuckle dragging cretin.

  • Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg  LP and Bloomberg Media: The “no soda, no salt” nanny
  • Rupert Murdoch – News Corp  Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal also owns 1% of News Corp, after cutting down his holdings from 6% in early 2015.
  • Donald and Samuel “Si” Newhouse Advance Publications  Advance owns newspapers in 25 cities and towns across America and is the country’s largest privately-held newspaper chain. Conde Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, publishes magazines including Wired, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Vogue. Si stepped down as chairman of Conde Nast in 2015.
  • Cox Family – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Jeff Bezos – The Washington Post Would be Hillary cabinet member
  • John Henry – The Boston Globe  Henry agreed to purchase the Globe just days after Bezos acquired the Washington Post. The Globe was previously owned by the New York Times for twenty years. At the time of his purchase, Henry said he didn’t plan to influence the paper’s sports coverage.
  • Sheldon Adelson – The Las Vegas Review-Journal  In December 2014, Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson secretly bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The newspaper’s own reporting outed the billionaire buyer, who reportedly arranged the $140 million deal through his son-in-law. Since then, there have been reports of Adelson influencing coverage of himself at a newspaper that in the past was often critical of the billionaire.
  • Joe Mansueto – Inc. and Fast Company magazines
  •  Mortimer Zuckerman – US News & World Report, New York Daily News  Zuckerman bought the Daily News out of bankruptcy in 1993 and unsuccessfully tried to sell the tabloid newspaper for six months in 2015.
  • Barbey family – Village Voice  Barbey is a member of the billionaire Barbey family, which made its fortune in textiles and manufacturing. In 1989, John Barbey started the Reading Globe and Mitten Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania.
  • Stanley Hubbard – Hubbard Broadcasting  
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong – Tribune Publishing Co.  L.A. doctor and pharmaceutical billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Nant Capital was investing $70.5 million into the media company, making Soon-Shiong the second-largest shareholder. He is now the vice chairman of the media company, which owns papers like The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
  • Carlos Slim Helu – The New York Times  Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, who owns the largest individual stake in the Times. Slim more than doubled his stake in The New York Times in June 2015 to approximately 17% of the media company.
  • Warren Buffett – regional daily papers  has invested in a number of small newspapers and owns about 70 dailies today. In 2012, Berkshire Hathaway acquired 63 daily newspapers and weeklies in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama from Media General for $142 million.
  • Viktor Vekselberg – Gawker  Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s investment arm, Columbus Nova Technology Partners, bought a minority stake in Gawker in January 2016 for an undisclosed amount. The online media company took outside funding for the first time in anticipation of legal fees incurred by a lawsuit brought by wrestler Hulk Hogan, according to a leaked memo from Gawker founder Nick Denton. Hogan sued Gawker after it published a sex tape. In March a jury awarded Hogan $140 million in damages.  full story

 MEN AND BOYS AND THE PRICE OF THEIR TOYS

When did news companies replace the Ferrari and the beach house?

They say the different between men and boys is the price of their toys, maybe so but couldn’t we all muster up our own inner ‘philanthropist’ and ease the burden that these billionaires bear from their bleeding balance sheets in their news toys and relieve them of it? Let’s take control of the news away from these  men who are just too busy philanthroping  to run these tedious businesses and turn it over to the people whom they were put on this earth to serve so humbly.

We don’t want their $billions, we just want the news – the real news and nothing but the news.

 

THE WIKILEAKS LIST: At Least 65 MSM Reporters Were Meeting with and/or Coordinating Offline with Top Hillary Advisors   full story

 

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