- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Government Coercion is Corporate Coercion.

Posted by: Quincunx on November 15, 1999 at 10:35:09:

In Reply to: If there is to be freedom of the press, then the press must be free from government coercion. posted by David on November 11, 1999 at 10:46:11:

DavidS: I think the biggest problem right now is that a lot of the mainstream Canadian newspapers are owned by Conrad Black. The recent introduction of The National caused a large stir and to their credit a lot of people boycotted it.

Qx: Let's not forget about Southam. Those monopolists own too much also.

DavidS: Right now, I think that the best thing is to separate the government from the media. There are huge conflicts of interest, especially in the CBC between whether the government should continue funding even though the CBC had done a fairly good job of smearing Jean Chretien.

David: If there is to be freedom of the press, then the press must be free from government coercion.

Qx: If the government is dominated and directed by corporate interests and one just sees the one-dimensional argument attacking "government coercion" as the only view then social democracy is in trouble in Canada. If one sees it only this impoverished view then making a separation between government and media will be a fuzzy activity at best.

BTW, Cretien has done a great job of smearing himself but keep in mind that CBC is a commercial enterprise.

David: Once the media is no longer the puppets of the Canadian government, the speech laws can be revoked. I think that the frequency of seeing hate literature would be very low. Granted it would be more common in certain areas (probably smaller towns with a predominatly white population) but for the most part, I think it would all but disapear. My reasoning for this is that 1) there are not that many people with the means or inclination to create and distribute hate literature (working on a newspaper myself, I know the pains that it takes to get just one issue out) 2) many stores would choose not to carry it either out of principle or because it would alienate their customers.

Qx: Now that's optimistic if even a little out of touch with the real world. Does it matter if you work on a newspaper?

It's to the point where Brit Hume, the ABC correspondent at the White House, plays tennis with George Bush....
You find these relationships are so close that reporters don't challenge the subjects of their stories, they just tell you
what the government is saying. In other words, they have become stenographers for power and not journalists. --Jeff
Cohen, Executive Director, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Also, claiming that "the media are the puppets" of the Canadian government is hardly indicative of critical thought. It should be quite obvous that much of what anybody calls government is mainly propped up by corporate interests. If you don't think so then explain to anybody here why Cretien was on the board of directors of Toronto Dominion Bank. That's one bit of evidence to back up my assertion. There's more.

In regards to hate literature. It's quite apparent that hate literature doesn't need mainsream media outlets to get it's message across. Just go on the Internet for more examples.

David: Well, after Bob Ray and his Keynsian flops put Ontario into a very large debt, I would argue that Mike Harris is merely trying to reverse the effects of a spend-spend-spend government.

Qx: Pretty nice sounding excuse but one has to look at the social cost, focus on the ingrates in the Bradgate Group (sick Ayn Rand fanatics that they are) and even how the NDP brought "Total Quality Management" into government policy. The NDP basically paved the way for Tory re-engineering and only someone who fantasizes about "free trade" will beleive the manipulation that both the NDP and Harris governments have done. Blaming "Keynesian flip-flops" sounds like something you may have heard at a Fraser Institute seminar. It certainly isn't a well-thought out label.

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