Over the weekend, the bastion of leftwing news and commentary, Salon, published an an article titled “Let’s nationalize Fox News: Imagining a very different media.”
The article featured an excerpt from the 2014 book “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA,” which decries corporate control of the news media and daydreams about the virtues of a “democratically run” media in a socialist democratic U.S.
A democratic, accessible-to-all media will move to center stage in a socialist USA… In a socialist democracy, working people will control the political process, the way in which they make a living, and collectively and individually, they will influence mass culture.
Upon first read, one cannot help but wonder if this is a masterful piece of satire. But sadly, it is not.
The post goes on to say that while there is no blueprint for how the media would operate in the new U.S. socialist democracy, it’s easy to “imagine” what it might look like.
Unfortunately for Salon and their comrades, there very much is a blueprint for what media looks like under socialism. One only needs to recall the type of heavy-handed propaganda and faux news reports that came from under the politburo rule of the USSR and Mao’s China.
When the government plans and controls all the means of production and the information highways, it is in their vested interest to keep those outside unconcerned, and those inside brainwashed.
The Salon article whimsically dreams of a world where the government would be happy to control only some of the media. In this scenario, the unions and neighborhood organizations would finally be free to report on the things that affect their members and community.
No more Big Bad Fox News to control what you see and hear! No more blabber-mouth Rush Limbaugh!
The part of the article that most completely misses the mark is when it starts going on about a world without advertising, where your impartial government news won’t be sullied by commercials urging you to buy Coca-Cola.
But what happens to the 92,400 employees of Coca-Cola who get fired when government regulations, a lack of revenue from advertising, and a dismal socialist economy shut down Atlanta’s flagship company?
The authors complain that evil capitalism has done nothing but smother organic news sources, and that their plan for socialism will open up the doors to oxymoronic socialist democratic entrepreneurs who would provide the news.
Here’s the catch: independent news sources are already available, and we didn’t even need a socialist revolution to attain them! Quite the contrary, these independent sources are available because of the incredible success of the internet. A phenomenon brought about by, you guessed it, Capitalism.
Websites like Yellowhammer, Politico, Drudge Report, and even Salon are possible because of the market forces of capitalism. The government may claim that it invented the internet, but without the market growth of the internet over the past two decades and the advertising revenue earned by digital media entrepreneurs, there would be precious few information sources outside of the big-business and government control.
That might be the world Salon wants to live in, but I know I don’t.