Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why isn't the news media genuinely interested in the elections?

Imagine for a moment, that all the media including, television, radio, magazines, and newspapers had a political opinion that the elections did not deserve any coverage.  Imagine that these media outlets rarely, if ever, gave any publicity to candidates running for office.  The reasoning for this hypothetical opinion would be that the elections just aren’t very important and they don’t merit any attention.

Given the enormous amount of coverage that the media gives to democratic and republican party candidates, this idea appears to be strange.  However, the above scenario has always been the routine policy of all capitalist media outlets.

For the past forty years I have supported the candidates of the Socialist Workers Party.  In order to be placed on the ballot, we have collected an onerous number of signatures.  Rarely, if ever, do we receive any media attention.  We can also make this same argument about the other political parties that are not democrats and republicans.

Elections are about people who represent various political parties running for office.  When the news media makes a decision not to give any coverage to candidates who are not democrats or republicans, they are deciding not to give coverage to the elections.

Imagine for a moment that President Barrack Obama and Willard Mitt Romney received the same publicity as the Socialist Workers Party candidate James Harris.  Clearly, most people don’t know the name of James Harris.  If the media gave the same publicity to Obama and Romney, most people wouldn’t know their names either.

Why is this important?

When we look at our paychecks we see deductions made for city, state, and federal taxes.  When we purchase most commodities we see more deductions for sales taxes.  Someone who has a salary of about $30,000 per year will see at least $300,000 in deductions made for taxes over a period of thirty years.

When we pay for commodities we want, we decide which are the ones we will purchase.  When we supposedly “pay taxes” we don’t get what we want.  The only basis for the argument that this is “our tax money at work” is the fact that we are allowed to pull levers in voting booths one day every year. 

The only way we know of the candidates who are running for office is because of media publicity.  When the media decides that it will not give publicity to candidates who run for office, they are making an argument that we do not deserve a representative government. 
Understanding these facts we can come to an inescapable conclusion.  That is that we do not “pay taxes” at all.  In fact, our rate of pay only reflects our net income after taxes. 

Today, because of the deteriorating state of the capitalist economy, the government is becoming more open in its slavish support of corporate power.  When fifty million people in this country do not have enough food to eat, the government demands that many of these people pay over $700 per year for third rate health care.  This money will be a cash windfall for the insurance and drug companies.

Who does the news media represent?

Today about one percent of the population owns about half of all financial wealth.  There is no reasonable explanation for this.  For this relationship to continue, working people need to be convinced that the government that supports this one-percent of the population is good.  We need to be convinced that this reprehensible disparity of wealth represents “liberty and justice for all.”

While the news media argues that they are “objective” in their reporting of the events of the day, another picture is becoming crystal clear.  Because the news media clearly supports capitalist interests, they need to give us a jilted view of the world.

They have argued that the best way to aid some of the poorest people in the world in Afghanistan or Vietnam is to go to war and kill them.  They argue that the best way to help working people in this country is to give tax incentives to corporations that are owned by the wealthiest people in the world.  While capitalist politicians talk about how they want to “create jobs,” these same politicians supported governments that allowed over 300 million jobs to be eliminated.

These are the reasons why the media needs to be indifferent to candidates who run for office and offer a different view of how to resolve the problems we face.  In 2008 the international capitalist economy nearly collapsed.  The pressures that created this crisis continue to be with us and we can expect a collapse of the economy in the future.  The candidates who support the capitalist system have made it clear that they have no plan to avoid this kind of catastrophe.

When working people become aware that we have no economic future with the capitalist system, we will become open to new ideas.  Masses of people will seek new sources of information that will take a serious interest in how to advance a rational political course for our future.