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Mainstream Media Pumping the Illusion of Green Shoots of Economic Recovery

Politics / Mainstream Media Jul 17, 2009 - 08:52 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleRecord profits were posted by Goldman Sachs on July 14, and a surge in profits at J.P. Morgan Chase were reported two days later, along with reports that record bonuses will be paid out too. Meanwhile, RealtyTrac reported that home foreclosures had risen 15% in the first half of this year, year to year. Guess which headline appears at the top of the news and which headline gets blurred? (Answer: The financial firms' surging profits get top billing.)


Is it any wonder why Americans think "green shoots" while the poor, the displaced, the unemployed and the newly indigent and homeless go unnoticed and increase? This is a small but revealing example of how "green shoots" are grown. They are created in the mass mind by the mass media with full knowledge and with full intent.

In truth, why should the public give a damn about how much wealthier the wealthier become, about how much of THEIR present and future earnings are behind the banking profits, when they - the public - are experiencing massive job losses, income reductions and ugly things bordering on catastrophe? GS and JPM may be getting richer but they are getting poorer. Headline writers expect readers to celebrate banks and deny their own predicament. To the investment class and wealthy, the bank profits deserve headlining. But to the general public, especially to the 4% of homeowners who lost homes last month, or to the additional 8% who helplessly weep over notices threatening foreclosure, the media headline should rightfully read: "Record Foreclosures, Poverty, Unemployment and Declining Incomes Accelerate". Or, "While JP Morgan Surges, Americans Sink". Or, "People Bankrupted by Bailouts That Lead to Record Profits for Banks". Or (getting hotter), "Government and Bankers Fleece Americans Again". Or (my favorite), "Damn Fools, Wake Up!"

Instead, media editors place Goldman and JPM at the top of news pages, and the homeless at the bottom even when the audience itself has never and will never participate in the financials' earnings flood, but might drown in the foreclosure one that these banks helped create. This is how "green shoots" are created. This is how "bubbles" are created. "Shared sacrifice" always ends at the boss-man's door. And the "boss-man" owns the media.

(When media fails to delude, war becomes an option.)

But if news editors were to tell the truth, prioritize headlines to fit the "real" gestalt of the country, fearlessly investigate the firms they blindly champion, read background material not written in Washington, a think-tank or PR office, he or she would be summarily fired. In fact, no such person gets to reach the pinnacle of editorialist without possessing the prerequisite understanding that opinion is not his alone, but made for him. Further, no such editor could write objectively on financial matters that affect entire swaths of the population without first experiencing a degree of the pending fears, vulnerabilities, worries and pain those large layers of his readers are undergoing. In the not too distant future many might, but few editors have yet to lose their homes, file for bankruptcy, move in with family or give up on finding work and join the class that he or she ignored while as a professional.

If such were not the case, and journalists had identified themselves - as they once did - with the "common man" (and woman), the tone, import, quality and style of journalism would not be what it is now. Unless you write for a newspaper that has filed for bankruptcy and you fear a sudden pink slip, you do not - indeed, cannot - remotely identify with those who are now quickly sinking from present economic forces. But newspapers are failing and staff insecurity has skyrocketed. The local paper may collapse - even the Boston Globe - but AP remains. That leaves the internet. Should we paraphrase Kissinger and ask, "Whoever owns the internet controls the minds of the people"? So far, we are not yet there. Or are we?

Journalism foresaw some decades ago that its editorial members (if not entire staff) be well remunerated to insure against potential conflicts that might arise when unwanted alliances and allegiances between its journalists and pre-defined organizations, movements and philosophies outside those comprising the status quo were formed. These associations outside the box of journalism became arm-length and distant ones; being such, relegated to the bottoms of back pages or even ignored. Downplaying the rise in home foreclosures while headlining the profits of megalithic banks is no less a result of this: a clear example of media affinity with banking (status quo), and a complete disassociation with the average person. Goldman and JPM pay the bills; the people do not. The editor is not a member of the masses, but an agent assigned to influence the masses.

Growing criticism and outraged are lodged against this arrangement by those "outside the box", including the independent investment community (e.g., Market Oracle writers). "Seeing through" the facade erected by media often requires personal knowledge that contradicts it. The charts and graphs of professional independent analysts are simply not read or understood by most journalists. Alternative sources for information are being shunned in favor of "talking heads" and paid, sponsored "placed experts". Reliance for facts behind any story - financial or otherwise - rests upon "authoritative sources", not from the work of personal research, discovery or independent thinkers. Journalists and editors don't find stories; stories find them. But with job and income already threatened, journalists have no incentive other than to continue to perpetuate the images, myths and illusions they now do. Goldman IS the top headline because Goldman "pays the bills". The headline of July 16 about JPM's surge in profits was not about foreclosures, but neither was it about Henry M. Paulson testifying before and being grilled by Congress that same day.
 
From one perspective, it appears the Corporate-Government media has the sheep believing anything. And the sheep believing "that" anything. And the sheep have lost sight of who they are and who they are not. The public, in a sense, has taken on the character of the editor - it doesn't make decisions, it follows them. The people have become cheerleaders for their slave-masters, and enablers of destinies assigned to them (may their own demise not be included). And they will deny this truth vehemently.

Said one cynic: "They may wave the flag, die in Wars, carry the Bible, persecute the downtrodden, defend the rich and powerful, support the demonization, robbery and murder of nations and peoples, exploit the world's resources, celebrate those who have lied, cheated and stolen from the wealth of the world, vote into power those who destabilize sovereignties, overthrow political leaders, wage war on rogue countries... and they may champion all of it - "the American Way" - into doomsday, if necessary."

Sadly, this is a view of America and Americans by some in the world.

If true, can such a soil sprout "green shoots"?

Answer:

"Nay, it can only sprout green bubbles."

By Michael T Bucci

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at Market Oracle and Global Research. He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous .

    © 2009 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

    Michael T Bucci Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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