Thursday, January 13


Greg Palast puts a different spin on the "Memogate Report" and reminds us that we're not dealing with the broadcast news of Walter Cronkite and John Chancellor anymore. Corporate media ownership has changed everything. Used to be, networks habitually lost money on the news operation and were sanguine about it in the belief that network news lent prestige and public notice to the brand and was thus a kind of "loss leader" for the entertainment division. Today, the bottom line has been substituted for news integrity as a preeminent value in broadcast media, and the push for consolidation and corporate growth in the industry is driving news content.

At the top of the network's craven and dead wrong apology to the President is that cyclopsian CBS eyeball. But I suspect that CBS itself has little interest in eating its own flesh. This vile spike-after-broadcast serves only its master, the owner of CBS, Viacom Corporation.

"From a Viacom standpoint, the election of a Republican administration is a better deal. Because the Republican administration has stood for many things we believe in, deregulation and so on…. I vote for Viacom. Viacom is my life, and I do believe that a Republican administration is better for media companies than a Democratic one."

That more-than-revealing statement, made weeks before the presidential election, by Sumner Redstone, billionaire honcho of CBS' parent company, wasn't reported on CBS. Why not? Someone should investigate.

Viacom needs the White House to bless its voracious and avaricious need to bust current ownership and trade rules to add to its global media monopoly. Placing the severed heads of reporters who would question the Bush mythology on the White House doorstep will certainly ease the way for Viacom's ambitions.

At the least, at the upcoming inaugural parties, CBS' ruler Redstone can expect that White House occupants will give him a standing Rove-ation.


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