Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Horror in the House of Ill Repute

It wasn't long after starting at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that I noticed the insidious effects of corporate media control. Fear of being downsized or "let go" seized our newsroom after it became controlled by a corporation. The bottom line and appeasing Red State subscribers and advertisers seemed to take precedent over news that gave them discomfort. This trend dominated all domains of the Fourth Estate. No longer was it the "fourth branch of government" that ensured access to essential information and ensured the health of democracy. Radio, cable and social media competition has forced many newspapers (the New York Times remains an exception) to compromise their values and present news that is "balanced" even when it betrays their liberal platforms.

There is no greater example of this than FOX News, which, in my opinion, is nothing more than a media brothel specifically created to serve a hungry base and appease right-leaning Johns with the biggest wallets. With a variety of seedy call girls from Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck (whose no longer with the network) to more subtle elite escorts like Bill O'Reilly, FOX delivers faithfully regurgitated GOP talking points, seeks to besmirch the enemies of the far Right and delivers the joys and comfort that their paying customers need to maintain illusions of masculinity and dominance.

However, when the Johns are given too much power in the House of Ill-Repute the giddy arrangement can backfire. Take, for instance, the election night debacle when Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor took issue with the network's decision to cede Ohio to President Barack Obama. Keep in mind, Rove is the brain trust behind Crossroads GPS (Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies), a conservative super Pac that, along with Americans for Prosperity, launched in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, spent an estimated $60 million to influence this election.

It was an awkward moment when the John took hosts Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly to task for daring to report an obvious outcome. Watch the video below and witness "journalism" at its lowest.

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