Another reason the corporate media are inimical to democracy: the President of the United States calls a press conference in the midst of two wars, an economic recession, and a swine flu outbreak, and the broadcast networks grumble about losing ad revenue heading into sweeps month. Fox is actually bailing on this news conference, sticking with its scheduled broadcast of "Lie to Me," a show I've never heard of (but whose title will give my anti-Obama commenters fodder for amusing snarkification).
I ascribe no political motives here, nor do the analysts in the AP story. Fox will run the President's show on Fox News and Fox Business. Fox also bailed on a prime-time speech from President Bush in November 2001.
But I do note how the corporate media find themselves highly tempted to put profit over civic duty. Sometimes being a good corporate citizen—and a leader—means giving the people not what they want, but what they need. Civic affairs and politics need to be highlighted. We need to pay attention and have more conversations about the direction of our communities and our country.
Of course, one could argue that with the White House and our other elected officials able to reach us through YouTube and other wonderful Web widgets, and with 57 channels with nothing on that we can switch to, the broadcast networks are mostly irrelevant to real civic discourse. Still, for now, the TV networks command a significant portion of the public's attention with their use of our airwaves. They therefore have an obligation to focus our attention on important civic events. Sure, the economy's tough for everyone, but the networks can all afford an hour from the White House before returning to our regularly scheduled commercials.
vaguely related: Above this AP story, I see the following non-headline: "Elton John, Paul McCartney Hit Hard by Recession." Right.
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