Politics

The Neomarxist who is helping to influence Obama’s media policy

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Mike Riggs
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      Mike Riggs

      Mike Riggs is a staff writer at The Daily Caller. He has written and reported for Reason magazine and reason.com, GQ, the Awl, Decibel, Culture 11, the Philadelphia Bulletin, and the Washington City Paper, where he served as an arts and entertainment editor.

“Only government can implement policies and subsidies to provide an institutional framework for quality journalism.” Does that statement give you chills?

How about this one: “The news is not a commercial product. It is a public good, necessary for a self-governing society. Once we accept this, we can talk about the kind of media policies and subsidies we want.”

Or this one? “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick-by-brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”

These are the sentiments of Robert McChesney, a self-professed neomarxist media scholar and the founder of the lobbying group and think tank Free Press. McChesney’s statements should worry you, perhaps even fill you with dread. Not because the rantings of a lefty professor are particularly scary in and of themselves, but because McChesney’s views are having a direct effect on the Obama administration’s policies on the media. Don’t believe it? Check out a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission entitled, “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism.” Portions sounds like they were written by McChesney himself.

“I certainly think Free Press is making headway with the FTC,” said Adam Theirer, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. “They’ve been filing extensive comments with the FTC and they’ve gotten face-time at the FTC workshops. And if you look at the 47-page discussion document that the FTC just released, many of those ideas were borrowed directly from McChesney or Free Press.”

Those ideas, many of them culled from McChesney’s book The Death and Life of American Journalism (co-written with the Nation’s John Nichols), include:

  • The establishment of a “‘journalism’ division of AmeriCorps” to “ensure that young people who love journalism will stay in the field”
  • Providing “a tax credit to news organizations for every journalist they employ”
  • “Establishing citizenship news vouchers”
  • “Increasing postal subsidies for newspapers and periodicals”
  • A tax on news aggregators, or even a policy to make news aggregation sites, like the Drudge Report, illegal
  • The allocation of roughly $35 billion in public news subsidies
  • A five percent tax on consumer electronics
  • A ISP cell phone tax
  • A revision of the tax code to allow for more nonprofit media

The group’s involvement in the FTC document might surprise people who thought Free Press was involved exclusively in pushing internet regulation known as net neutrality. But Free Press’s critics, and even some of its allies, say it has been working towards a much larger goal since its creation in 2002.

“Free Press hasn’t always been about net neutrality,” said a telecommunications expert with intimate knowledge of the group. “It’s just a diversion that’s been really lucrative for them. What they’re really about is having an order of magnitude more media under government control and implementing rules that disadvantage for-profit media.”

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  • DefendUrRights

    Ah – someone new to hate. Good.

    He looks like he is too young to have served in VietNam – and looks like he is too soft to have every thought about serving anything except himself…and looks like he is a dope head – a toker – a complete narcissist…

    he is of that generation – only subversive because of a privileged childhood.

    He’s not too old to have forgotten rationed gasoline; however.

  • Pingback: Obama orchestrates the “perfect storm” for elimination of 1st Amendment | RedState

  • godgnsguts

    …”McChesney’s views are having a direct effect on the Obama administration’s policies on the media.”

    What’s the next brilliant discovery? The sky is blue?

  • unmutual

    Neo-Comm

  • daltonii

    “Tea party’ candidates hurt by lack of organization in movement”

    1. The polls hadn’t even closed Tuesday when “tea party” activists in Nevada started sniping at one another over whether Sharron Angle, the soon-to-be Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, was the best candidate to bring down Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.

    2. In Virginia, tea partiers vented on blogs and to reporters about the movement’s inability to coalesce around a single, strong candidate in two House races, resulting in the nomination of establishment candidates instead.

    3. The national tea party movement has never had a central organization or single leader; in fact, it has boasted the opposite. Frustrated and lacking agreement on what to do next, self-identified tea party leaders say the movement may be in danger of breaking apart before it ever really comes together.

    5. They’re starting to act like mainstream politicians.

    6. The discord is not only striking races such as those in Virginia’s 2nd and 5th congressional districts, where large fields of tea party candidates lost the Republican nomination to better organized establishment picks. It is also evident in races where tea party candidates have won — including Nevada, where Angle cruised to victory Tuesday with endorsements from the Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks and the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.

    7. Disapproval of the tea party is at an all-time high, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The poll showed that 50 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the movement, compared with 39 percent in March.

    • rainmaker1145

      In 138 days we will test your theory and then we will come back to this page and ask you how prescient you are feeling about whether we can make Mr. Obama resign or not.

      We’ll be seein’ ya’ real soon. Kiss, kiss, baby…

      • anniebanannie

        I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it…the fact that the Tea Party members don’t march in lock step behind a messiah like the left does drives the lefties even more crazy than they already are.

      • daltonii

        rainmaker1145 – “In 138 days we will test your theory and then we will come back to this page and ask you how prescient you are feeling about whether we can make Mr. Obama resign or not.”

        Oh, so now you think the tea bagging fools are going to prompt President Obama’s literal resignation in 138 days?

        GFL.

    • nursemarilyn

      Will you PLEASE STOP calliing Tea Party members “teabaggers”! Every time you use that deragitory you show YOUR true character. That slur is the same as calling you a bungholer every time you are being referred to. It was NOT the tea partiers who termed themselves that disgusting term. It was some deviant lefty who thought it was funny. Well, we will see how funny it is when the Democrats are slaughtered in November.

      It’s a sad day in America when the President of the United States uses that slur. We have fallen soooo low.

      • nursemarilyn

        That should read, “derogatory term”.

      • daltonii

        “Will you PLEASE STOP calliing Tea Party members “teabaggers”! Every time you use that deragitory you show YOUR true character. That slur is the same as calling you a bungholer every time you are being referred to. It was NOT the tea partiers who termed themselves that disgusting term.”

        Sorry, tea bagger, but it was your own crowd who created the use of the term, and it’s well documented. You fools chose a term before researching what it could also mean, much like voting for Princess Sarah Palin even as you realized she was an uneducated, uninformed dolt.

        At the very first Tea Party rally, your own crew held up signs saying this: “Tea Bag The Liberal Democrats Before They Tea Bag You”

        Here…look it up…and be sure to look at the date:

        http://www.sodahead.com/living/will-you-tea-bag-the-liberal-dems-before-they-tea-bag-youwhat-a-display-of-faillol/question-286274/