Media Economic Complex

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The Media Economic Complex is one of the largest hurdles to a viable democracy. The media has biases towards large corporations. These biases compromise public access to reliable and pertinent information. This is part of the overall Military Industrial Congressional Media Complex.

The customers of the media are large corporations, and the product they are selling is you.



  • product=enduser
  • customer=corporation
  • media consolidation
  • conglomerate
  • corporate bias
  • jaundiced
  • selling people
  • negligent
  • derelict in their duty
  • gatekeepers of democracy
  • political media revolving door


This frame is designed to point out the inherent flaws in the dissemination of information in our current media market. The size, scale, and competing interests of media corporations have brought us to a point where their corporate customers are too influential and the people's ability to be well informed is threatened. This media economic complex is closely related to the Corporate Political Complex.

Short Essay

In order to begin this discussion, there are 2 questions that must be asked.

  • Who are the customers of the media?
  • What is the media selling?

Now you may think you know the answers to these 2 questions, but I would imagine that quite a few of you will be wildly off the mark.

While many people are under the impression that the customers of the media are the end users (viewers, readers, and listeners) that impression is incorrect. The customers of the media are the corporate advertisers. The end users are the product being sold. Did you get that? We are the product.

Here are a few hackneyed or very simplistic business concepts that really speak to the problems with this situation:</p>

  • The customer is always right.
  • Never alienate you customer.
  • Do your best to reduce the costs of your product.
  • A good customer is a happy customer.
Have you ever heard of a company doing what is right for its product? It really bothers me when I talk to people about the state of our media and they trot out that company line, "The people get what they want." That is simply untrue. We get what we are willing to stomach, and then some. We only get what we want when we begin to turn it off. If people get what they want, why is 1/4 of television viewing time dedicated to advertising.  Apparently we want that; we just can't get enough of that advertising.  In print, I am sure that we all want 30 pages of advertising before we get to the content.  That is ridiculous. What is not ridiculous is that the customers, the corporate advertisers, get what they want.  They get more and more access to the media's product.  They get a veto on programming.  They are insulated from critique based on their business relationship.  They get to spout untruths without fear of reprecussions.  They get to drop press releases into the system as news.  Their needs are given priority over the needs of the public.  This is not good for society.

Now, this, alone, is bad, but I am afraid it gets much worse.

Not only are these artificial persons the gatekeepers to the information we need to be good citizens, they are also the gatekeepers to our democracy.

Any person running for office must have money to do so given today's political realities.  A good deal of that money comes from large corporations.  Not being able to atract big donor money is a crippling blow to any campaign, but it is not a death sentence by any means.  Howard Dean proved that.  What is the death sentence is the combination of lack of big donor funding and the need of the media to keep its customers happy.  Again, Howard Dean comes to


The scream video was so outrageously disengenious; it really made me sick.  I could not begin to tell you how crushed I was when I saw the other video

of that event.  It was at that time that I knew my views, views critical of corporate governance, would never be heard.  But now I

have  dKos, and things are a little better.

Why did that happen to Dean, a centrist Democrat?

Because he had the audacity to speak up against our masters, the corporation.  These timid anti-corporate stands he took on behalf of the American people were what cost him the nomination.  I do

not think that anyone could convince me otherwise.

Not only do these artificial persons hold the keys to our information and our elected officials, but they also populate the highest

regulatory offices in the land.  The regulatory revolving door is a reality.

To sum it all up:

  • The customers of the media are major corporations, and the public is the product being sold.  

  • As a product being sold, the people are only given what

    is necessary to keep their attention, nothing more.  The products'

    needs, outside of maintenance, are never taken into consideration.

  • Those same media customers are the gatekeepers of our

    democracy through direct funding of campaigns and through the

    influence, as indespensible customers, they hold over the media.

  • corporations not only lobby to write laws, they oversee the regulation and enforcement of those laws.

Please do what you can to bring the corporation back under the power of the people.

Some additional resources:

If you question the quality of, just check out what their detractors have to say about them.

Here is a media consolidation chart that might be of interest to you.

Poclad is a great resource for learning how to fight corporate power.

Long Essay

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