engineered consent?

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This NYT piece on the muted feud between Fox's Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann alleged an unacknowledged "reconciliation" between the hosts that:

...showcased how a personal and commercial battle between two men could create real consequences for their parent corporations. A G.E. shareholders' meeting, for instance, was overrun by critics of MSNBC (and one of Mr. O'Reilly's producers) last April.

In a piece at Salon, Glenn Greenwald reacted strongly to the story's suggestion that "GE is using its control of NBC and MSNBC to ensure that there is no more reporting by Fox of its business activities in Iran or other embarrassing corporate activities, while News Corp. is ensuring that the lies spewed regularly by its top-rated commodity on Fox News are no longer reported by MSNBC:"

There are many reasons why our establishment press exists to do little other than serve the interests of the political and financial establishment and to mindlessly amplify government claims. The virtual disapparance of the line between large corporate interests and journalism ... is certainly one of the leading factors.

His update here notes the problems resulting from GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt "essentially being blackmailed by News Corp.:"

...we will continue to report on GE's corporate activities unless you bar Keith Olbermann from criticizing Fox and O'Reilly. And now, Immelt has succumbed to those threats and ordered Olbermann to cease reporting on Fox. There is simply no doubt -- none -- that this happened. That is the reason that O'Reilly's name has not passed Olbermann's lips since June 1 -- because GE, petrified of further reporting by Fox of its corporate activities, has barred Olbermann from doing so.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has a clip from Olbermann's Monday night show, wherein KO announced his "Worst Person in the World" awards: the bronze went to NYT reporter Brian Stelter, the silver went to Bill O'Reilly, and the gold was awarded to Rupert Murdoch. That doesn't sound much like a true to me, although Olbermann didn't mention the controversy on his program last night.

In light of Greenwald's investigation, Jane Hamsher questions KO's credibility at FDL. David Sirota at OpenLeft decries "the corruption that is destroying journalism:"

Indeed, the fact that the Olbermann-O'Reilly personality feud was presented as the "big" story - and not the General Electric intervention - is a tacit confirmation that corporate-media symbiosis has become such an assumed part of journalism, that many journalists themselves don't see it as any kind of problem, much less news.

In a later post, Sirota was bluntly critical of any KO fans who might be tempted to overlook this story:

You may like Keith Olbermann (as I do), but if your love of Keith Olbermann makes you refuse to defend/demand respect for independent journalism, then you ought to consider how fucked up your value system really is. Loyalty to an individual over loyalty to principles is the definition of cultism. MSNBC partisans insisting that we should ignore General Electric's manipulation of the news out of deference to Keith Olbermann's supposedly infallible awesomeness are at best being intellectually dishonest, and at worst endorsing in precisely the kind of propagandistic pro-censorship sycophancy that is at the heart of this scandal.

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"Loyalty to an individual over loyalty to principles is the definition of cultism. MSNBC partisans insisting that we should ignore General Electric's manipulation of the news out of deference to Keith Olbermann's supposedly infallible awesomeness are at best being intellectually dishonest, and at worst endorsing in precisely the kind of propagandistic pro-censorship sycophancy that is at the heart of this scandal."

*sigh* There's that old adage about violence begetting violence. I'm growing more and more despondent. The criticism coming from the Right is predictable and flaccid, and I'm often critical of the liberal press for not being critical enough of the Obama admin. Or maybe I'm just fatigued by it all. CD: it's all very depressing, and this is the necropsy of journalism. Corporate feuds and personal agendas.

Keep blogging Cog Dis. Just want you to know how much I appreciate you.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on August 5, 2009 9:54 PM.

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