Visions of a Freeman - September 17, del 2013
Six dictators say: "Say there is freedom of expression or you are fired".

Breaking Benjamin - So Cold
Six corporations control virtually all American media. News Corp. owns over 27 television stations and over 150 newspapers. Time Warner has over 100 subsidiaries including CNN, Time Magazine, and The CW.

Just six corporations own the vast majority of media outlets in the United States. Through years of relentless mergers, acquisitions and consolidations, a handful of corporations have been able to dominate most of what Americans read, see and hear on a daily basis.

There is much debate on the legitimacy of the consolidation of media, with strong proponents and opponents bringing forth a wide variety of arguments.

Regardless of your position on the viability of the concentration of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands, it is an irrefutable fact that over the past few decades the corporations controlling the preponderance of American media have lessened considerably.

As of 2011, the largest media corporations in the United States in terms of revenue and profit are: General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, CBS and Viacom.

Walt Disney – or more specifically Disney Media Networks – controls a staggering amount of media outlets. In the field of motion pictures, they own Walt Disney Pictures (which includes Pixar Animation Studios), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. They then distribute these films through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment while distributing soundtracks and original music under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records.

They also own the entire ABC Television Network (which includes ABC Daytime, ABC Entertainment Group and ABC News), the Disney Channel, ABC Family, SOAPnet, 80% of ESPN (along with ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones, ESPN360, ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN On Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV) and television distribution divisions of Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Disney-ABC ESPN Television.

Walt Disney also owns large shares of A&E Television Networks and Lifetime Entertainment Services, while ABC Television Network boasts over 200 affiliated stations which together reach 99% of American household televisions, and that isn’t even getting in to Walt Disney’s control of radio, publishing and other holdings.

News Corp., now infamous for the News International phone hacking scandal in the UK, owns Fox, MyNetworkTV and other stations totaling some 27 television stations in the United States alone, with Fox Television Stations reaching over 35% of American television homes with six duopolies in the top 10 television markets.

Fox International owns 120 channels around the globe while News Corp. also owns production and distribution companies like Fox Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox Film Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures and more on an international scale.

General Electric (GE) owns a 49% stake in NBC-Universal and NBC Networks (includes NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Television, NBC Universal, CNBC, CNBC World (Arabia, India, Asia, Europe), MSNBC, Bravo, SyFy Channel, Telemundo, USA, Oxygen and more) along with 46 NBC affiliate stations and more stations internationally.

In the realm of film production and distribution, GE owns Universal Pictures, Focus Features, and Rogue Pictures with production agreements with more companies and distribution through Universal Studios Home Entertainment. They also control, etc. along with (a News Corp. and NBC Universal joint venture) and more.

Then comes Time Warner, the largest media conglomerate with the second highest revenue behind Disney, both of which have holdings which far exceed the space here and include a wide variety of industries including monopolies on cable service in some locations.

As with many of the other powerful media groups, Time Warner Inc. was formed with the merger of Warner Communications, Inc., Time Inc., and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and now encompasses a plethora of properties in television, the Internet (like AOL, CNN, TMZ,, Moviefone,, and more), film, publishing (including comic books and more than 150 magazines) along with marketing companies as well.

Viacom owns a massive amount of television properties including MTV Networks (and the many variants including MTV Networks International which operates in 160 nations), BET Networks, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, TV Land, and VH1. They also control several film production companies under Paramount Pictures Corporation and a massive internet presence.

CBS Network consists of 30 stations and a 50% share of the CW Network, the other 50% belonging to Time Warner along with 130 radio stations, major book publishers like Simon & Shuster, prominent online holdings, CBS Outdoor and more.

The case against increased media conglomeration is a strong one with countless supporting factors, although many individuals seem to come to this conclusion naturally when seeing how the vast majority of the media they are exposed to come from just a few corporations, all of which have close relationships with each other.

Dictators say: "Do as I say or you are fired".


CNN Journalist: Mainstream Media Takes Money from FOREIGN Dictators to Run Flattering Propaganda

Lyon was fired from CNN after she refused to stop reporting on her first-hand experience of the systematic torture and murder of peaceful protesters by the government of Bahrain.

Lyon’s special report on Bahrain was scheduled to run on both CNN’s U.S. and international networks, but was pulled after only a limited showing due to pressure from the Bahrainis and their lobbyists.

At the same time that Lyon was risking her life to do on-the-ground reporting in Bahrain, another CNN journalist was filming a paid propaganda piece on how the Bahraini leaders are a bunch of friendly pro-democracy reformers.

That’s right … the Bahraini government paid CNN to do what was literally an infomercial for that brutal regime and pretend it was real journalism.

Lyon says that China and many other foreign, authoritarian regimes also pay CNN and other mainstream networks to run flattering propaganda pieces.

Dictators say: "In here you do as I say, period".
Former Reporter Amber Lyon Exposes Massive Censorship At CNN

I saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.
- Amber Lyon

Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring. Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage. As Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from today:

“In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.

Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.

Having just returned from Bahrain, Lyon says she “saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.”

After Lyon’s crew returned from Bahrain, CNN had no correspondents regularly reporting on the escalating violence. In emails to her producers and executives, Lyon repeatedly asked to return to Bahrain. Her requests were denied, and she was never sent back. She thus resorted to improvising coverage by interviewing activists via Skype in an attempt, she said, “to keep Bahrain in the news”.

In March 2012, Lyon was laid off from CNN as part of an unrelated move by the network to outsource its investigative documentaries.

“At this point,” Lyon said, “I look at those payments as dirty money to stay silent. I got into journalism to expose, not help conceal, wrongdoing, and I’m not willing to keep quiet about this any longer, even if it means I’ll lose those payments.

Dictators say: "You know too much so you are fired".
April Oliver speaks
Fired CNN journalist on dismissal of Arnett: "They will do anything to stem the flow of information"
By Barry Grey
22 April 1999

The World Socialist Web Site spoke on Tuesday with April Oliver, who produced the CNN investigative report "Valley of Death" which aired last June. Oliver and her co-producer Jack Smith were fired by CNN when they refused to disavow their exposé of US use of sarin nerve gas in a secret special forces raid into Laos in 1970 (Operation Tailwind). Peter Arnett, who narrated the TV report, caved in to pressure from CNN executives and repudiated the story. He was publicly reprimanded by CNN at the time, and has now been fired. (See accompanying story.)

BG: What is your reaction to the firing of Peter Arnett?

AO: CNN didn't take this action last summer because they felt it would raise too much of an uproar. They hoped they could do it in such a way as to keep it off of the radar screen, so to speak. Peter was a different case from myself and Jack Smith. He was a very prominent personality.

His firing was a direct result of Pentagon pressure. Perry Smith [a retired major general and former CNN consultant who resigned in protest over the Tailwind report] told the Wall Street Journal last July that CNN would not get cooperation from the Pentagon unless Peter Arnett was fired.

BG: What is your feeling about Arnett's refusal to stand by the Tailwind report?

AO: Arnett is a good reporter who doesn't accept Pentagon disinformation. He is a legend in this business, but he made a Faustian bargain. In saving his job, he destroyed it.

BG: What is the broader significance of Arnett's firing, as well as CNN's cave-in on the Tailwind report and your own dismissal?

AO: It is sad how the CNN executives caved. They will do anything to stem the flow of information and keep themselves protected. There is something so amiss within the executive ranks that nobody thinks there is anything improper in State Department spokesman James Rubin being married to CNN's chief reporter on the Kosovo War, Christian Amanpour.

The military and veterans' groups not only determine what CNN covers, but who covers it. That the military should have veto power over the employment policy of the networks is alarming. The message is: fall in line, otherwise, you're history. Above all, don't mess around with national security issues. It is absolutely chilling. I see the fallout from CNN's capitulation on Tailwind continuing.

It just takes six, only six corporate bosses to set a tyranny, a dictatorship and a group of bullies on the majority of all the media in the United States and parts of the world... Only six people...

The majority of all the media in the United States, just a dictatorship where you do as they say or you are fired and even harassed.

Then they want to give lessons to Venezuela:

U.S. Concerned about Freedom of Expression in Venezuela
Press statement by State Department's deputy spokesman Tom Casey

Posted: May 29, 2007
The United States joins the expressions of concern made by the international community about the May 27 closure of Venezuela's only independent television network with nationwide broadcast coverage.

The European Union, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the U.S. Senate, the Chilean Senate, the EU Parliament, Reporters without Borders, the Inter-American Press Association, and Human Rights Watch, among others have all spoken out in opposition to this action.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and an essential element of democracy. We call on the Government of Venezuela to abide by its commitments under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Inter-American Democratic Charter and to reverse policies that limit freedom of expression.

Released on May 29, 2007

That was when the license of the extremely corrupt TV channel RCTV expired.

It is macabre and maybe a little funny that the sick, corrupt and greedy Government of that time in the United States even had the guts to talk about "Independent media" and they still do, even if the majority of all it's media belong to only six corporations...

Spectacular hypocrisy in a fake democracy and a fake freedom of expression.

¿So what "Freedom of Expression are we talking about"?

No such thing, you do as they say or you are fired. I have proven it.

If that was not bad enough they do not have regulation and show harmful material to children that corrupts the family values which lead to broken families and a rise in crime. Not that they care, after all crime news are very profitable and if people go to jail because of that junk in the media, no problem because they can always party with their millionaire friends...
The prison system in the United States is a profit-making industry. Private corporations operate over 200 facilities nationwide and are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Prison privatization in its current form began in 1984 as a result of the War on Drugs. While crime rates otherwise remained steady dating back to 1925, the number of arrests quickly exploded. While the War on Drugs initially had a small impact on incarceration, it was President Reagan’s Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that kickstarted the prison boom.

From 1970 to 2005, the prison population rose 700 percent, while violent crime remained steady or declined. Between 1990 and 2009, the populations of private prisons shot up 1,600 percent. Today, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world – 754 inmates per 100k residents as of 2008. This is roughly 600% that of the rest of the civilized world, with England and Wales having 148, and Australia 126 inmates per 100k residents. As of 2010, private corporations house over 99,000 inmates in 260 facilities nationwide.

Corrections Corp. of America and other private contractors became members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a non-profit 501(c)(3) association that advocates “tough on crime” legislation. In their 2010 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Corrections Corp. of America discussed how drug policy reform threatens their business model:

The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.

To ensure those pieces of legislation aren't passed, Corrections Corp. of America spent $970,000 and GEO Group spent $660,000 lobbying Congress in 2010 alone. In Corrections Corp. of America’s Feb 2011 press release, CEO Damon Hininger stated, “...we are pleased our populations have remained strong, in excess of the 80,000 inmate milestone we surpassed late in 2010.” With the 3.2% increase in inmate population over the previous year, Corrections Corp. of America was able to make $511.26M profit, earning their CEO over $3,000,000 in compensation.

Private prison proponents claim that private corporations are able to provide the same service more efficiently than the government. However, according to the Department of Justice’s “Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons” report, private prisons offer at best a 1% cost savings over their government operated counterparts, while at the same time having 49% more assaults on staff and 65% more assaults on other inmates.

Phoning in Profit

Corporations owning correctional facilities is not the only way that prisons and the War on Drugs have been used as a source of income. For instance, even in government-ran facilities, inmates and their families are regularly subject to price gouging by phone carriers. While the average cost of a phone call in the United States is 3 cents per minute, inmates and their families end up paying between 16 cents and $5.00 per minute. The profits are then split between the carrier and the government body who awarded the contract. In fact, it is not uncommon for the government body to receive a signing bonus from the carrier, like $17M in the case of Los Angeles County. Unlike the public, the Federal Communications Commission has no safeguards against price gouging when it applies to those behind bars.

In the federal prison system, all able-bodied inmates who are not a security risk are forced to work for UNICOR or another prison job. UNICOR, also known as Federal Prison Industries, is a government-created corporation that provides many products and services, including clothing, electronics, furniture, data entry and military hardware. UNICOR enjoys a “mandatory source clause” that according to US laws & regulations, forces all federal agencies with the exception of the Department of Defense to purchase products offered by UNICOR instead of the private sector. However, despite the Department of Defense not being required to purchase its products, many defense contractors take advantage of the cheap labor offered by prisons. For example, inmates make as little as 23 cents an hour manufacturing components used in Patriot missiles, which then sell for $5.9 million apiece. Prisoners also made helmets for the military, until 44,000 defective units were recalled due to their inability to stop bullets. Despite its shortcomings, UNICOR generated $854.3M in sales for fiscal year 2008 – of which 4% went to inmate salaries. Much of this money later ends up in the hands of the local government, as the inmates use their salary to pay for phone calls home. In New York, inmates refusing work assignments have been known to be placed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day until work is resumed. At the same time, it is illegal to import products made using prison labor into the United States.

I don't see why they would be interested in public health or even a reduction in crime, if they are making so much profit amongst themselves and even getting paid to have workers that do not have their rights or any other option (slaves).

When you can't question the media, it's all just one big SLAVERY BUSINESS, as you can clearly see.

That is the Tyranny of Gamblers of the United States of America.

That is why we need Open, Transparent, Academic media.

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