Ok, so you sit down to watch the news, or read the news. And suddenly you realize that it is all the same no matter where you look. But is it? Are you looking everywhere, for real everywhere that you can think of? I bet not; what do you really know about the country you live in? Maybe even the country you were born and raised in and your fathers’ father was born here too.
Let’s Rewind First!
But let’s backtrack to when I was a kid. You know, about a million years ago, known as the seventies. There were four stations on tv when I was a kid. ABC, NBC, CBS & PBS. We lived in a small town of about 3000 people (that might be stretching it). There was a newspaper, but most people opted for the Peoria Journal Star or the Chicago Tribune. Yes, I grew up in central Illinois.
When I was a kid, I thought that what was on the news and in the news was reasonably reliable. From what I have seen and researched, depending on where you read, from 60-85% of American adults say their daily news source is biased. That is up from only 30-35% in the mid 70’s. Those are some astonishing numbers on the outside.
But then Congress said…Let’s Change the Way American’s See the News!
Congress made a big change in the law in about 1996. Prior to then, big corporations could not buy out their competitor’s. The law was changed so they could do these huge corporate takeovers. Now, there are basically the big six. There are essentially six corporations running the media in America.
According to the Frugal Dad, and I quote “As of September 2020, the 6 media giants are ATT (bought Time Warner), CBS, Comcast, Disney, News Corp (the parent company of Fox News), and Viacom.” They control over 70% of what we see on tv, cable, satellite, etc. 3,762 businesses contribute the remainder.
Now that is some Math, was it Newsworthy?
That list is ever-changing. It changed from the time I began looking and found names and numbers to the time I wrote this. No doubt there will be more changes. How long before the big 6 is the big 4 or the big 3?
Because they control so much, current numbers are hard to come by on Any relevant subject. In 1995 no company could own more than 40 radio stations. Clear Channel Media now basically owns the market. They own 1207 stations in 201 out of 287 markets in the U.S. In some markets they own every station in the towns or cities. Clear Channel Media is owned by…I bet you guessed it. iHeartMedia Inc. Everyone has heard of iHeartRadio. Same company, different subsidiary.
iHeartRadio, nearly everyone with a smartphone has listened to them now and again. And now that they have added podcasts, every podcaster (like us at 18 Wheel Talk Podcast Show) wants to be on there also (we are).
That is the Tip of the Corporate Iceberg!
So that is just the tip of the iceberg if you think about it. What else has changed in America? Corporate America has taken us over bit by bit. Or should I say bite by bite? Just take a look at the food giants. Grocery stores bought out other chains, let them keep their own name, but are a “subsidiary of” the larger one now.
And food production companies, the list is too long. Here is what I found on the top ten, sales are listed in U.S. currency, in the millions of dollars. So Nestle, in 2019 made $93,268,000.00 as a company. This list doesn’t even show such giants as Kellogg, Post or General Mills. All have markets in the billions. Mondelēz International owns Kraft and Nabisco, among other brands.
GRAPH BELOW, SLIDES ON MOBILE
|Company||Headquarters||2019 Total Sales||2019 Food and Beverage Sales|
|1||Nestlé||Stamford, CT||93, 268||80, 195|
|2||PepsiCo., Inc.||Purchase, NY||64,661||64,661|
|4||Tyson Foods||Springdale, AR||40,052||40,052|
|5||Archer Daniels Midland Company||Chicago, IL||64,341||38,900|
|8||Kraft-Heinz Company||Chicago, IL||26,259||26,259|
|9||Mondelez International||Deerfield, IL||25,938||25,938|
|10||Smithfield Foods/WH Group||Smithfield, VA||22,605||21,283|
And I don’t even have to show numbers on Big Box stores. They took over and ate each other up so fast that even the biggest one’s from my teen and young adult years are gone. Giants like Kmart (1899-still open in limited locations), Sears (1893- still open, small scale), Woolworth’s (1879-1997), Oldsmobile (1897-1998).
Do you See Where America is going?
For a Copy of this picture…
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So that kind of sets the note on a larger scale for you to really see what you may or may not believe about where America is going. These are things you don’t see in the news, not the “major network news”. It isn’t news worthy when another Mom or Pop store or even a big store like Kmart or Sears drops to a Really big business Like a Walmart or a Kroger store or when both Nabisco and Kraft are eaten up by Mondelez International.
“Also Not Newsworthy about where you get your news…”
Other not “news-worthy items”? Things like 178 million unique users read Time Warner News every month. That’s twice the amount of Digg, Tumblr and Reddit, Combined! That’s nearly three times the amount of Google news. News Corp. owns the Top newspaper on three continents; The Wall Street Journal, The Sun and the Australian (owns Fox Sports Australia). And over a decade ago, they avoided over $875 million in U.S. taxes alone. That is enough to double FEMA’s budget or fund NPR for over 40 years. Now let’s update what you should know about America.
First off 60 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid no taxes on a total of $79 billion of profits earned in 2018. The companies, which include tech giants such as Amazon and Netflix, should have paid more in taxes. analysis is based on the corporations’ annual financial reports, which were filed earlier this year to report their 2018 results. These larger companies should have paid a collective $16.4 billion in federal income taxes. Instead, these corporations received a net tax rebate of $4.3 billion.
credit for picture to “the Frugal Dad”
Did Someone say Taxes?
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has claimed on Twitter that the $119 Amazon Prime members pay annually for perks, including free two-day shipping, is more than the online retail giant paid in taxes last year. Let that sink in as you sit and do your taxes this year, even with that little tax rebate we, the little people are supposed to get.
Amazon alone, has a tax rate of -1 percent. Their rebate this year is expected to be $129,000,000.00. Yes, you read that correctly, $129 million dollar rebate for the online giant. They of course balked at the number when questioned by the program “Money Watch”.
Let’s Wind it down a bit here…
So where do you get your news and how do you tell if it is real? I have friends that swear by one broadcast company or another. “Oh, I only listen to “Insert YOUR news source here” they are the only one who tells the truth. I have other friends who say the same about getting their news off the dark web, or Reddit, Digg, Tumblr, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Everyone has their own source that they believe to whatever extent they choose to believe.
Next time try and remember that when you are looking at news for a news source, consider your agenda as well as the agenda of the source you go to. And the best example I could give you is that if you are looking for political news for one a major candidate, look for news published by their political party. Maybe you even want to look at the view from outside the U.S.
That being said about where you get your news through, here is a quick list of options.
This is a list I compiled for you.
https://www.pewresearch.org/ not just political news, on the spot news that is researched.
https://aeon.co/ for historical context on wat you are seeing in the news.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/monkey-cage/ it is like the Washington Post without the Washington Post in it. It is a specific part of the Post; highly educated analysis of the issues at hand by people that wore their brains to work that day.
https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news This gives you a glance at the various sides of news.
https://reason.com/ hard hitting independent journalism on a variety of subjects.
https://truthout.org/ nonprofit news organization that self-describes as journalism in the pursuit of justice. Providing independent reporting and commentary on a diverse range of subjects.
So this where I end my news about the news. I began writing this because I was having difficulty finding out the real news about Covid-19 in America, the Covid Vaccine in America and where we’re going from here.
Namaste ~ Momma Janet