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S. 754 / H.R. 2029

Privacy and Control: CISA

CISA was reintroduced and passed -- secretly buried in a 2000 page budget bill.

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The Purchase of the Press

If knowledge is power . . . control the news, control the people.

by Josh Jackson, Loyal 9 staff, featuring excerpts from Don Fotheringham's "The President Makers" (which we highly recommend)

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How can the press be free when it is bought and sold?

My friend Steve Woodfield observed this: "A funny thing about our relationship with the media is that no one believes the press. But then we still believe what we are told by the press."

Our cynicism is confirmed by the silence on major issues. Just two examples off the top of my head. Where was the expose on the the Russian sanctions by three house members we documented a couple of weeks ago? Why do the press at the daily White House briefings throw inane softballs while keeping lips sealed on issues that effect liberty and the Bill of Rights? For example, not one question was asked by the press to the President a year ago when the federal officers stood nose to nose with protesters in Nevada, releasing dogs, firing Tasers, and deploying snipers when the crowds consisted of only a dozen people alone in the desert.

Certainly, though, it seems too big a conspiracy to believe that the press is in the pocket. Yet Don Fotheringham, in his eye-opening book, "The President Makers," documents how this partnership between press and power came to be. His story is old, starting in the late 1800's, but the implications stretch forward in time as the money powers control the papers and the papers are then a tool in controlling the population and the politicians.

From "Chapter 5," An Early Grip on the News," Fotheringham documents the literal buying of the media.

"The most serious continuing problems for Rockefeller, Morgan and their partners were unfriendly newspapers. The big men were troubled by editorials and articles, critical of their brutal methods, eliminating competition, political payoffs, and similar shady business practices (23)." They "found a simple answer to their problem. Early in the 1880s they began to buy controlling interest in newspapers. . . . In some instances the monopoly men purchased the entire troublesome company."

Citing historian Ferdinand Lundberg, the book documents Rockefeller, his Standard Oil and banks, or usually agents, friends and straw companies bought papers big and small, including major papers in New York, Washington, and Baltimore, and dozens in many other states including 110 papers in Ohio alone. The partners of Rockefeller. The JP Morgan bank and business connections and the other major monopolists and president-makers were doing the same as they formed papers, including the New York Sun and forty years later, with other major war-mongering players, Time Magazine; they placed large ad buys; and they out and out paid off editors (27). One of the major company purchases, The Gannett company brought control to across the nation. In 1927, the Federal Trade Commission connected a direct payment of $350,000 directly from Standard Oil to the the publisher of the Denver Post.

The implications of this control, of course, are major. The papers had been declared sacred by Jefferson and other founding fathers as the instrument of knowledge so vital to the workings on democracy. They had now been bought. If knowledge is power, then the control of information is the ultimate power.

One of the earliest issues was the squelching of union organization, burying the stories on thuggish violence of the hired armies of the monopolies, and the silencing of their critics. Papers that were critical soon changed their tune or were shut down by their new owners (31).

Entry into the First World War was another project of these papers, cooperating with propagandists from the British leadership and under the direction of principals of the major banks and corporations that would (and did) profit from the war. The consortium billed itself as "The League to Enforce Peace" (72-77). Despite the name, the true intent was exposed in one congressional investigation conducted by Norman Dodd, who documented the Carnegie trustees operating on the guiding premise over a year's time that "There is no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people " (70).

Fotheringham writes, "In an effort to get to the bottom of this strange and sudden flood of pro-war propaganda, three members of the House . . . conducted their own investigation." Quoting from the congressional investigation, "In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interests . . . got twelve men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential papers in the United States, a sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the United States. . . . They found it only necessary to control twenty-five of the greatest papers, . . . an editor was furnished for each to supervise" (76).

Does this all sound familiar today?


12 Feb 2015
at 10:19PM

Oh, what a wonderful little capsule of the destruction of our freedom of the press. How sad it is. (I knew it had happened, but hadn't seen it written down so succinctly before.) THANKS so much for taking the time--providing the references, etc.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

- 2 Corinthian 4:8

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