Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The So Called “Free Press” Muzzled on H.R.3149

While we Americans have pounded our chest and taken great pride in our “free press” for well over a century now (while admonishing other nations for their lack of a "free" press) – a rapid consolidation of corporate ownership within the media has been quietly occurring. In America we now have 6 major TV news outlets (as well as our rapidly dying newspaper industry) that have largely been consolidated into the hands of just a few corporations.

While still largely free to report on most news and topics, there are limits and every potential news story is now thoroughly cleansed by the corporate news gods at the top. The pursuit of profits, each respective political bent and business interest pushes out the reporting on any news item that doesn’t suit the corporate news gods. Case in point, H.R.3149: The Equal Employment for All Act now stalled somewhere in the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. During this, the most horrible economic disaster since the Great Depression, it is without any doubt whatsoever – the single most critical piece of legislation required to put million of Americans back to work. Nonetheless, virtually no one in America has ever even heard of H.R.3149.

Quite simply, H.R.3149 would make it illegal for employers to use a person’s credit report as criteria to hire or fire. While greed at the top of corporate America spurred this economic disaster and billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars have been used to bail them out – the middle and lower middle class in America have been almost bankrupted. Now, we have millions upon millions of Americans that are completely locked out of the workforce entirely because of their credit report. Yes, it’s true that an American can still get a job shoveling manure without a credit report check, but at least 40% of blue collar level jobs and more than 80% of white collar jobs mandate a clean credit report before being hired. So yes, it’s true that an American can still get a job with out a clean credit report, but it’s just not one that will make your mortgage payment and feed your family.

So while the president holds his high profile jobs summit this week in Washington and the “free press” falls all over each other standing out in front of the White House to get on camera (as if it is “news”) – a bill sits stalled in the House of Representatives that would put millions upon millions of Americans back to work within a month. No additional wasted stimulus dollars or additional taxpayer money for unemployment benefits required. Makes fiscal and logical sense doesn’t it . . . so why has our so called “free press” refused to report on it?

The answer is obvious and quite simple – they want to keep their jobs and continue to profile in front of the camera while their fellow Americans continue to go under and unemployed, lose their homes and their children starve. The corporate gods at the top of the news business are simply NOT going to allow the bill to get air and catch fire with the public. Corporations and the business lobby are hell bent against H.R.3149 passing and are in collusion to do anything within their power to stamp it out. They know that if “we the people” are informed about the existence of the legislation, we’ll demand quick movement forward and passage.

In a recent poll, more than 96% of Americans (once informed about the existence of H.R.3149) were in favor of its passage as quickly as possible. Logically, that means that 96% of Americans consider it “NEWS” worthy and want it to be reported upon and yet there is near total silence in the American media. Not so long ago, the American news media still had a spine and journalistic integrity, but today . . . they have become the mere lap dogs of their corporations. Whether the press is controlled by a corrupt government or a corporation – it is NOT a "free press" and does NOT serve its primary duty to the people of America.

Nonetheless, let’s be fair and balanced, even if the media is not, who can blame any journalist or reporter IN THIS HORRIBLE ECONOMY for keeping their mouths shut in order to hang on to their job. They report every day with a big SMILE on just how bad things really are economically and know clearly what reality awaits them if they dare to even report on the existence of H.R.3149. So our free press sold their soul for pieces of silver and forgot the values they learned as undergrads in journalism school . . . who of us, especially the downtrodden of America can blame them? We know what it's like out here . . .

Why would the media report on a valid, viable solution for a huge segment of the under and unemployed, when instead they can profile for the camera and continue with the daily drivel of horrible unemployment statistics instead? We’re just their audience and they now answer to a higher power. We have but one request, please be honest and accurate from this day forward and call yourself the “corporate press” instead of “free.” Hopefully, that's not too much to ask . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment