: Kvetchers :

Nicholas Caleb
kvetches about the American news media Audio

Kvetchers Rich Alcott Kvetchers Rich Alcott
Kvetchers Rich Alcott Kvetchers Rich Alcott

NICHOLAS CALEB: In the last few weeks there’s been a lot more in the media about Iran. Every few months it seems like there’s a push for a few weeks at a time where people start to talk about it. Now it’s becoming more serious. There are intelligence estimates going before Congress. They’re not actually saying anything. There’s nothing substantively coming out of them. They’re just talking about how, if they wanted to, Iran could push for a nuclear weapon and, if they wanted to cooperated with al-Qaeda, they could do it, and then they always say we don’t have any evidence that they are. But the media’s picking up on these things. Erin Burnett at CNN is the worst right now. They pick up on these things and they push them as if they are facts. and they’ll say things like Iran says it’s not pushing for a nuclear weapon, but nobody believes that, without citing any sources. It’s total anecdotal B.S. that they put out there and pretend that there’s evidence. Or they’ll cite some media report coming out of Britain that’s a Murdoch news source and then cite that as an authority and talk about how they’ve reported that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. Those people don’t know either.

RICH: How is Rupert Murdoch still in business?

NICHOLAS: I don’t know. He’s a criminal. If we ever get investigations into the scandals that went on in Britain with the bribing and wire-tapping of officials then I don’t think he’ll be in business for very long. We have laws against that — things like the Foreign Businesses Practicing Act, something like that, where it’s illegal to bribe foreigners. That’s exactly what he did, so — we’ve got two tiers of justice, two systems of justice in this country. If you’re rich, you don’t get prosecuted for things. You don’t get prosecuted. You don’t even get investigated. And if you’re found to be — in the worst case scenario, if you’ve done something horribly awful, like Bernie Madoff, then there’s one or two people who will go away for awhile, to a minimum security prison. The financial crisis, for example — it’s common-law fraud. Prosecutors will talk about it openly, but they won’t start investigations because they know that when they open up the veil, they’ll find enough stuff and it will make people not have confidence in our financial system and that’ll crash the economy. So for the interests of the American economy, we avoid looking under the rug. The media’s complicit in a lot of ways. They’ve got just as much information as anybody else and they won’t run with it. They’ve got advertisers that got to pay —they’ve got to be paid by. They don’t want to upset the business community. Noam Chomsky started writing about this stuff a long time ago and the system hasn’t changed much since then. Media is business. Media is driven by advertising and media can’t come down on business. It would be bad for the model. A lot of media organizations are actually owned by large businesses anyway. Five companies own a large majority of the news that goes on in the country. General Electric owned and ran NBC until it sold the company to Comcast. One company switches to another. When GE was in charge of NBC — GE also holds a lot of weapons companies and so it wasn’t surprising that they didn’t report poorly on the wars and that they overlooked evidence. There are a lot of conflicts involved in that, that just — people ignore. We pretend that the conflicts of interest just aren’t there.