Because Corporate Media Ignores the Rise of Oligarchy, We Must Fill the Void

(COMMONDREAMS— How often does the corporate media cover skyrocketing inequality, crippling poverty, and the pernicious influence of corporate cash on the American political system?

“Almost never,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) argues in an op-ed for the Guardian published on Friday, just days ahead of his planned inequality town hall that will be streamed online Monday.

The very fact that Sanders—along with his fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and filmmaker Michael Moore—is hosting the town hall in partnership with organizations like NowThis and The Young Turks rather than one of America’s major television networks is itself a testament to the Vermont senator’s contention that “corporate media has failed to let the American people fully understand the economic forces shaping their lives.”

But while “the corporate media ignores the rise of oligarchy,” Sanders insists that “the rest of us” have a responsibility to keep these issues at the center of American political discourse.

“We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask: who owns America, and who has the political power? Why, in the richest country in the history of the world are so many Americans living in poverty? What are the forces that have caused the American middle class, once the envy of the world, to decline precipitously?” Sanders writes. “We need to hear from struggling Americans whose stories are rarely told in newspapers or television.”

Just years ago, in-depth discussions of inequality and its corrosive effects on the democratic process were confined to the political fringes.

But the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign forced a discussion of inequality onto the national stage, and helped reveal that a massive swath of the U.S. is eager to push back against the outsize influence of the Koch Brothers, big banks, and fossil fuel companies on policy decisions that impact the lives of millions of Americans.

In his Guardian op-ed, Sanders argues that the only way to combat the systemic inequities that have resulted in the largest income disparities since the 1920s is to continue raising “political consciousness,” without the help of corporate media outlets that fail to give these crises the attention they deserve.

“The rapid rise of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral, economic, and political issue of our time,” Sanders concludes. “We need to raise political consciousness in America and help us move forward with a progressive agenda that meets the needs of our working families. It’s up to us all to join the conversation—it’s just the beginning.”

By Jake Johnson / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

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  • Ziland Sirus

    Quite funny that you’d quote something like “corporate media has failed to let the American people fully understand the economic forces shaping their lives.”, and then babble on about rising inequality, which you’d know isn’t a problem at all, if you understood economics. And in the same breath mention the rise in poverty, two things that are only related in as much that one is a consequence of attempting to prevent the other.

    If you did understand economics, you’d know why preventing poverty creates massive inequality, and preventing inequality creates massive poverty, and if you try to prevent both, then both increase. But if you let the chips fall where they may, the rising tide lifts all boats. Inequality is a good thing, so is relative poverty, it is the driving force behind the engine called innovation and human well being. We are, after all talking about ‘poor’ people with more wealth than kings of old.

    Yes, the mass media hasn’t explained economics to the people. But it isn’t the mass media’s job to do so, now is it? The real problem is that the government, in its infinite wisdom, has prefered to keep its populace in complete ignorance about economics. Why is this? Now that’s the question you should be asking instead of pointing a finger at your brothers in crime.

    But then, this has nothing to do about informing ‘the public’, does it? This is about polarizing people so that they can be used as cannon fodder for your war. In this case, some kind of utopia that exists only in your head…

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    • lindsay s

      Really, you can’t be serious. You post the exact opposite of the truth and all you have to do is read some history to know that extreme wealth disparity is the #1 reason nations have failed throughout history… or look at the rest of the developed world…or read our founding fathers….James Madison: “…there is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of wealth and property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations.”

      Abraham Lincoln: “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity,” “The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.”
      “If the American people ever allow banks to control their currency, the banks and corporations that will grow up around then will then deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”James Madison: “…there is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of wealth and property. I could fill the page with warnings about wealth disparity going back to Socrates.

    • lindsay s

      Sorry, it’s not in our head, it’s seen around the rest of the developed world. Every year there’s a complicated ‘world happiness’ study that rates the happiness, satisfaction, well being, freedoms, etc of people in every country.. We used to be near the top. After Bush, we fell to 14th. Now, under trump, we’re 18th in the world with European nations and Australia, etc all beating us. The study found that the main common denominator was how the wealth in those countries was distributed more equally and that those countries used their wealth to benefit theircitizens.
      Abraham Lincoln: “….. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for this in my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”