From Mark Polege’s article entitled “Robert McChesney and the Free Press” published on Nov. 3rd, 2009 on Examiner.com
I have come across a number of commercials and videos on Youtube, lately, produced by an organization called Free Press.
In the videos they discuss their views against large media corporations and their wide spread ownership and operation over communications media. Some examples of these media sources are radio, television and the Internet. Interesting points of view but who is Free Press?
Free Press Commercial:
On the Free Press website at FreePress.net, they describe themselves as the following:
“Free Press is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications. Free Press was launched in late 2002 by media scholar Robert W. McChesney, journalist John Nichols and Josh Silver, our executive director.”
So who is Robert McChesney?
Robert W. McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he teaches in the Department of Communication. McChesney also hosts the “Media Matters” weekly radio program on WILL-AM radio. Chensey, former editor of the socialist & Marxist Monthly Review, now is director of the foundation that operates the magazine. He is also an activist who speaks out against the free market in the media industry with such statements as this taken from an interview he gave for the Socialist Project in August 2009,
“Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution. While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program.”
These statements might seem quite disheartening taken in context to recent discussions of the Fairness Doctrine, Net Neutrality, and the actions of the White House against FOX NEWS. However, with Robert McChesney it does not stop there. Free Press co-authored a 2007 report with the FCC’s “Chief Diversity Czar” Mark Lloyd entitled, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. ” In it they suggest the listening trends of people preferring “Conservative & Christian” programs as a ‘free market’ problem they wish to solve. One solution from the report states that the FCC should, “restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations,” which would in turn limit the very voice they are trying to allow to become more diverse. Mark Lloyd & Free Press have many views in which they share and I strongly suggest you learn for yourself what they are. McChesney goes on about the Media in his article, “The U.S. Media Reform Movement: Going Forward,” from the Monthly Review:
“The media system reflected the nature of the U.S. political economy, and any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist political economy.”
McChesney also writes in “The New New Deal Under Obama,” also at the Monthly Review:
“These gains will only be made through an enormous class struggle from below. If won, they will not, we underscore, eliminate the evils of capitalism, or the dangers it poses for the world and its people. In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”
Robert McChesney & Free Press have also been working to help devise policy for the ‘Net Neutrality’ plan President Obama has been pushing to help “save” us from the Internet & large corporations. Also, Obama’s FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, hand picked Free Press’ Jen Howard to be the FCC’s Press Secretary. And remember the former “Green Jobs Czar,” Van Jones? Up until 2008, Jones was a board member of none other than Free Press. Under the dictatorship of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, McChesney had this to say in “Venezuela and the Media: Fact and Fiction,” about free speech in that country,
“Aggressive unqualified political dissent is alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own.”
The last places where free speech is truly free is talk radio and the Internet. If liberal points of view were what a majority of listeners sought out, ratings and advertising dollars would reflect this. Despite cries from the Left over ‘lack of diversity’ in content, the substantial liberal interest just isn’t there. Because a majority of talk radio listeners are not liberal, people like Robert McChesney & Free Press, as well as other socialists and Marxists, believe negotiating or forcing the people by policy will increase their interest in liberal ideas. If it sounds tyrannical that’s because it is. This is why Mark Lloyd, Robert McChesney, and the people at the ironically named Free Press, have such an affinity for the tactics of Hugo Chavez in controlling the media in the U.S.
They believe ‘you control the Media – you control the people.’ What they don’t realize is tactics like that won’t work here. We have been born free and freedom is all we know. More and more we are reminded of this privilege everyday. It is embed in us, a part of us, and courses through our veins in red, white, and blue. Whether we get the actual news from a blog, a newsletter, or word of mouth, we know that a government that presents its own news is not to be trusted, regardless of which party reads the teleprompter.