Meg Lee Chin

Is corporate media destroying the USA? If so, how did it happen?

Though Ronald Reagan is generally seen as one of America's most successful and popular presidents, he has however left a rather questionable legacy. In fact one could argue that many of our current problems are as a result of his policies.

In the early eighties Ronald Reagan began to aggressively deregulate the media. Prior to this period there were standards and practices for the news. Reagan did away with the "Fairness Doctrine" which required broadcasters to devote airtime to the discussion of controversial matters in the public interest and to air contrasting views regarding these matters. This meant all stations were obliged to represent all points of view on controversial issues.

His policies also lead to the media becoming consolidated under the ownership of fewer and fewer companies. Previously there were strict rules against such monopolies. But today not only is our news heavily biased but the bias is controlled by only a small handful of people.

This deregulation has degraded the quality of the news. Being "fair and balanced" is no longer required. Thus the news has been reduced to mere entertainment or even worse - a tool of propaganda aimed at the furthering the agendas of a few powerful people.

The tragedy is that these policies have left us uninformed and no longer aware of the atrocities committed worldwide in our name. Worse still, we are so placated by cheap and fast entertainment that we no longer care.

Scarier still is the effect of advertising on our minds. Many have heard of mind influencing techniques such as NLP and its ability to change human behavior. Few are aware that these methods have been used for years in advertising.

The cumulative effect of the extreme levels of advertising we have been subjected to throughout our lives may be the most damaging of all. At the core of all advertising is the idea that our only purpose in life is to be consumers. Thus advertising strips us of our humanity.

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co.

  • Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
  • Number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
  • Rank of food products/fast-food restaurants among TV advertisements to kids: 1
  • Total spending by 100 leading TV advertisers in 1993: $15 billion
  • "One out of every three Americans is now considered to be obese."
  • Hours per day the average American watches TV: 4 hours
  • Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
  • Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500 hours
  • By age eighteen, the average American has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 murders.


"Millions of Americans are so hooked on television that they fit the criteria for substance abuse as defined in the official psychiatric manual, according to Rutgers University psychologist and TV-Free America board member Robert Kubey."

While the public grows increasingly more lethargic, overweight, shallow and stupid in front of their televisions, they are being brainwashed by a press making the propaganda practices of the former Soviet Union look primitive by comparison. Meanwhile our government is slowly eroding the powers of "We the People". Few really know or understand the Patriot Act or Obamacare. No one seems to have noticed that our constitution has been eroded or that our Bill of Rights has been whittled down to just one right. (We still have the right not to put soldiers up for the night in our homes.)

We are killing innocents all over the world and no one really knows why. Like docile children, most Americans choose to put their utmost faith in the goodness of their leaders. It's far more pleasant to sink into in the warm coziness of delusion than wake to the cold reality of a government who aren't really your parents and don't really love you.

So can the media change the behavior of a nation? My answer is a resounding YES. Corporate media gone wild is destroying America. The latest arrival of the internet has been a saving grace in allowing us "little folk" to publish our views. But although government seems eager to grant freedom to large corporations, in contrast they seem bent on stifling our voices. So not content just to UNDER-regulate corporate media now they want to OVER-regulate the world wide web. Today USA - Tomorrow the whole world. it and weep. The rest of the weep too because you're next.