Ask the media critics on the left to identify the bible of their movement and they will inevitably cite Ben Bagdikian’s famous book, The Media Monopoly. But in a sign that the media monopoly has turned into a weapon of the “progressive” movement, it is Donald J. Trump and his economic adviser, Professor Peter Navarro, who are leading the charge against the corporate interests with media properties backing the Democratic Party and its global socialist agenda.
In a hard-hitting statement, Trump adviser Navarro announced that Trump, if elected president, “will break up the new media conglomerate oligopolies that have gained enormous control over our information, intrude into our personal lives, and in this election, are attempting to unduly influence America’s political process.”
A professor of economics and public policy at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, Navarro identified the corporations with a monopoly over news and information as the same ones that are ripping off American consumers and shipping jobs overseas. “The very corporations that have gained from shipping America’s factories and jobs offshore are the very same media conglomerates now pushing Hillary Clinton’s agenda,” he said in a statement. “She is the official candidate of the multinational ruling elite.”
Bagdikian’s The Media Monopoly, first published in 1983, has served as a guidebook for students of the media industry who critically analyze the consolidation of power into fewer and fewer companies. But as these companies demonstrate their influence in the 2016 presidential campaign in a way favorable to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, leading “progressives” have grown silent about the need to break up the media monopolies and give Americans access to more choices for news and information.
Navarro compared Trump’s plan with the one used by Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, who “busted up more than 40 oil, railroad, steel and other ‘trusts’ that were wielding their rapacious monopoly power to gouge consumers and interfere with the efficient functioning of the American economy.”
Citing examples of how these modern-day monopolies work, Navarro said, “NBC, and its Clinton megaphone MSNBC, were once owned by General Electric, a leader in offshoring factories to China. Now NBC has been bought by Comcast, which is specifically targeting the Chinese market—even as Comcast’s anchors and reporters at MSNBC engage in their Never Trump tactics.”
Citing a proposed mega-merger in the news, he said, “AT&T, the original and abusive ‘Ma Bell’ telephone monopoly, is now trying to buy Time Warner and thus the wildly anti-Trump CNN.”
Navarro said, “Donald Trump would never approve such a deal because it concentrates too much power in the hands of the too and powerful few.”
Taking aim at The New York Times, an influential national newspaper, the professor said that its “strings are being pulled by Mexico’s Carlos Slim, a billionaire who benefits from NAFTA and supports Hillary Clinton’s open border policies.” Regarding The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, Navarro said it “profits from the flow of illegally subsidized foreign products through its distribution channels. Lower costs mean higher margins—no matter if bad trade deals lead to massive unemployment in America.”
Navarro, who carries the title of senior economic advisor to Trump, said America is witnessing the “oligopolistic realignment of the American media along ideological and corporate lines” in a manner that is “destroying an American democracy that depends on a free flow of information and freedom of thought.”
As noted by Trump himself in a recent speech, the giant media companies are part of the “global special interests” determined to stop his campaign and destroy him personally. Their tactics, he said, involve personal attacks. “The establishment and their media enablers wield control over this nation through means that are well known,” he noted. “Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy your career and reputation. And they will lie, lie and lie even more.”
In the case of The New York Times, Trump said, the publication won’t correct the record after publishing false allegations. He explained, “Six months ago, The New York Times wrote a massive story attacking me, and the central witness they used said the story was false, that she was quoted inaccurately. She said I was a great guy, and never made those remarks. We demanded a retraction, but they refused to print it—just like they refused to print the comments from another source who praised me in her book, or the words of another wonderful woman who said nice things.”
“These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies,” he said.
The New York businessman declared that he is getting in the way of the “global special interests” whose agenda is “global government” and “radical globalization” schemes.
“The Clinton Machine is at the center of this power structure,” he said. “We’ve seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers.” He noted those same emails also prove how the media serve the interests of the Clintons and their global backers.
However, in Britain, Trump noted, the people revolted. He said “…they voted to liberate themselves from global government and global trade deals and global immigration deals that have destroyed their sovereignty.” But the real fight is here: “…the central base of world political power is here in America, and it is our corrupt political establishment that is the greatest power behind the efforts at radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people.”
There used to be a time when Democrats and progressives claimed to be for working people. These workers and their families are seen today as expendable. “Just look at what this corrupt establishment has done to our cities like Detroit and Flint, Michigan—and rural towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and across our country,” Trump said. “They have stripped these towns bare, and raided the wealth for themselves and taken away their jobs.”
After the looting of U.S. manufacturing industries, the globalists now want to acquire American media properties. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted to allow the sale of American radio and TV stations to foreigners. The FCC ruling enables front companies of hostile regimes to literally take over media properties that were once legally required to serve the interests of American consumers of news and information.
Not surprisingly, however, the scope of what the FCC did and the damage that will be done to the belief that the American media should serve American consumers were issues that received no coverage from our corporate media that want to sell out to foreign interests.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.