"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." This is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
We must unite and demand accurate and unbiased media, without it we lose the democracy that this nation was built on. Reporters these days report on topics that they are allowed to report on, not the issues that matter. Fox news and countless other media outlets are owned and controlled by right wing conservatives who push their views and opinions onto the American public. We deserve the truth. Our children deserve a democracy and we must ensure that we do our part to preserve it! We must demand an independent and free media!
The FCC's mission, specified in section one of the Communications Act of 1934 and amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (amendment to 47 U.S.C. §151) is to "make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges." The Act furthermore provides that the FCC was created "for the purpose of the national defense" and "for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications."
Media: "The Nation's media regulations must promote competition and diversity and facilitate the transition to digital modes of delivery."
The FCC's enforcement powers include fines and broadcast license revocation.
Here's one example of a corporation using a VNR, as reported by TV News Lies:
NEWS ALERT: A man survived a jump from a plane this afternoon. He was not wearing a parachute and he credits his new Nike Plane Jumpers with cushioning his fall.
Now let's say that story is completely true. All the networks and printed media pick up the story. Front page, lead story. Well, what they forgot to tell you was that the plane was a 2 seater plane, and it was on the runway, stopped, and the jump was from 3 feet off the ground. Now the full story was available to all the media, but Fox News does not feel that those details are important.
That may be a great corporate plug for Nike, but it is nothing that is even close to the truth about what really happened in that event.
A bigger problem arises when the U.S. government uses VNRs to "sell" policies such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A classic example is a VNR put out by the state department about Jessica Lynch. It was the basis for a story published in the Washington Post, written by "journalists" Susan Schmidt and Vernon Loer (which has since been redacted once the truth came out):
Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday.
Lynch, 19, a supply clerk, continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die in fighting 11 days ago, one official said. The ambush took place after a 507th convoy took a wrong turn in the southern city of Nasiriyah.
"She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive."
Great story, but the only problem is that none of it was true. The truth is, Lynch never fired a shot at Nasiriyah. Her rifle jammed during the attack. She suffered shattering injuries when a rocket-propelled grenade struck her Humvee, causing the vehicle to crash. But she was not shot or stabbed.
The "official" VNR narrative of Pat Tillman, a NFL football player who became an army ranger and was killed while deployed in Afghanistan, was also proven to be false.
Another good example of manipulation by the media was coverage of the invasion and bombing of South Ossetia and the murder of civilians by the Georgian Army. The false reporting quickly became clear and obvious as witness reports began to come out. The clearest example being the scandal surrounding the then 12-year-old Amanda Kokoeva who was stopped from telling her story in an interview on Fox News after she began telling how she and her family were saved from the Georgians by Russian forces. (Russia Today)
The numerous doctored photos and even video coverage of the recent demonstrations in Moscow are also another clear example of western media manipulation. These include the usage of Moscow crowd photos from 1991 (TheAtlantic.com) and footage of Greek riots passed along as being in Moscow, (HyperVocal.com) also by Fox News. All of these attempts were engineered to show that the level of violence and the amount of the people involved were much greater than they were in reality.
The reality was that many of these events were attended by more western reporters than demonstrators and that even though they were being funded by the U.S., through NGOs and their agents, (ActivistPost.com) and people were being paid to attend the anti-government demonstrations, (SFGate.com) the actual turnout was nothing to write home about. The fact that the U.S. attempted to interfere in the election of President Putin and organized anyone it could to do everything possible to de-legitimize the election of the popular and well-loved leader is just one more example of U.S. meddling into the internal affairs of sovereign nations.
It's time that the FCC started doing its job! Today our public media is owned by a small group of individuals that control what information we get. News stations that are supposedly "Fair & balanced" force feed unbalanced right wing views on the American people. You allow the media to air video news releases (VNRs) that are created by corporations with the intent of selling a product, or that the U.S. government uses to sell its policies. This is NOT a democracy!
The solution is to create an independent free press, one not dependent on moneyed interests, but rather one that tells people the truth about all matters, regardless of which powerful parties may be exposed.
Every individual deserves the right to know both sides of the story and the freedom to make their own conclusion. I petition the FCC to uphold its constitutional obligation and to start regulating these atrocities to the freedoms of American democracy.
Join the movement https://www.facebook.com/RightsAreMuscles?ref=hl
Examples courtesy of John Robles of the Voice of Russia and George Patlin of Oped News