Friday, April 19, 2024
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Corporate Journalists Are Hypocrites Covering Americans for Prosperity

This past week, yet another establishment media reporter clutched his pearls because lobbyists who belong to Americans for Prosperity, a nationwide network of conservative activists, tried to influence local or state politics.     

Yes, right-of-center interests such as Charles Koch or Americans for Prosperity (AFP) are based out of Washington, D.C.

Also, yes, these organizations have satellite offices only a few miles away from many of our state capitals. 

Also, yes, these satellite offices accept funding from the home office in D.C., but they also accept funding from donors who are local. 

The lobbyists in the satellite offices weren’t imported from Washington, D.C. They often grew up in the states in which they work. 

But because these lobbyists are conservatives and because they affiliate with such dastardly people as the Kochs then this is supposedly a scandal.  

Are these same reporters who whine about out-of-state influencers too dense to realize that they themselves work for a large out-of-state corporation that also tries to influence the public?

Take, for example, Phil Williams, the chief investigative reporter for Nashville’s NewsChannel 5. Phil, to his credit, has won several Emmys and Peabody Awards. He is a skilled investigative reporter. But he’s also a liberal who cannot and will not keep his personal biases in check. Just look at any report he puts out concerning right vs. left politics. Heck, just look at his Twitter feed

Last week, Phil reported that — GASP — Americans for Prosperity Tennessee members pressured a state legislator to vote yes on school choice legislation. If the state legislator didn’t vote yes, then AFP promised to find another candidate to run against him and unseat him. What Phil labels a threat is something that most people call democracy in action and a normal part of the political process.

Phil’s station, News Channel 5, is owned by Scripps, based out of Ohio. According to its website, Scripps owns roughly 65 news stations throughout the nation, including those in California, Idaho, New York, Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Utah, among other states. 

Phil doesn’t need anyone to hold his hand tell him how to his job. But, working for Scripps, he has access to resources and money that a locally owned journalism outfit might not have. Phil should remember that the next time he throws a tirade about out-of-state influence.

This is not just a problem with Scripps. I have seen Gannett and other corporate chain media outlets howl just as much about Charles Koch and/or Americans for Prosperity. And, in case you haven’t noticed, they never scream when the local interference comes from George Soros. 

Phil might argue that his station makes money off local advertisers. He might argue that his station puts money into the local economy. Phil might also argue that his station has some degree of autonomy from what goes on at the home office in Ohio. 

I, however, worked for three corporate-owned media outlets. I know perfectly well that the people in the home office out-of-state are the ones calling the shots. They decide the in-office dress code. They decide what journalism standards reporters must abide by. They decide what stories reporters may cover (and from what ideological angle). And if and when layoffs come, the people in the home office decide which of the people 1,000 or 2,000 miles away must go and which are allowed to remain. 

Back in the day, local newspapers and local TV stations were locally owned, often by families. Their news divisions might not have had enough money to afford the best equipment or pay the best salaries, but they were better managed and did a better job serving the public interest. They certainly put out more objective journalism as opposed to the one-sided garbage we get today.

Unfortunately, the owners of these local media outlets passed away. Their children had little interest in taking over, so they sold out to large out-of-state corporations. 

The large news corporations don’t want to report the news as much as they want to influence politics. They’ll never admit that, but it’s true. And those corporate media outlets see Charles Koch and Americans for Prosperity not as an entity to cover, but instead as a competitor to discredit. 

Avoid working for any corporate-owned media outlet. Avoid reading or watching any product that comes from a corporate-owned media outlet. The odds are the people at the home office have no ethics. They also micromanage the lower echelon peons to follow their lead. 

Corporate media figures don’t care about journalistic integrity. They only care about power. 

Special thanks to Warhammer’s Wife proofreading this story before publication to make certain there were no misspellings, grammatical errors or other embarrassing mistakes and/or typos