How bizarre is it to be listening to Mozart on NPR and to hear an advertisement for fracking? You might hear that the American Natural Gas Alliance is providing good jobs and protecting the environment.
Isn’t there something insidious about NPR promoting an industry blithely unfettered by environmental regulations? Remember Orwell’s “1984”?
Industry is telling us that what they want is really good for us, and NPR is willing to be their mouthpiece. Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” Nowadays, though, the money in the medium is the message.
When WSKG failed to meet its fund drive goal in April, I wrote:“there is no point in asking me to ante up ... WSKG has failed to advocate for the environment and the public.”
I suggested: Go down to Dimock and count water buffaloes in front yards Report on where doctors stand on this issue. Report on truckers dumping toxic waste on the roads and fields of Pa. Report on silica dust. Report on radon. Report on mortgage cancellations.
WSKG responded that they act “first and foremost, in the public interest because that is who funds us and that is whom we are charged with serving.”
In the May 2013 New Yorker, Jane Mayer had an article that suggested the NPR “firewall” between ads and journalism was not fireproof and that if a Koch brother was on the board then independent reporting wasn’t that important after all. NPR and the rest of U.S. news organizations have failed to check the facts they are being fed by politicians and big oil.
There is no controversy. When the science is on one side and corporate dollars are on the other and the media is looking for middle ground, you realize it’s the money in the medium that is the message.