FREEDOM OF SPEECH ON KZYX WITH ROBERT MCCHESNEY, FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 @ 9:00 AM, PACIFIC TIME
"All About Money"; Friday @ 9:00 AM, Pacific Time, on KZYX
Because freedom of speech as been on my mind lately -- I was cut off from public comment at a recent (July 16) Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting -- I'm doing another show on it. Our last show with Hedrick Smith, long-time Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, also a Pulitzer Prize winning author and Emmy Award winning producer at Frontline, was a huge success.
This Friday (August 9), my guest, Robert McChesney, and I will discuss the buyout of The Washington Post by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. What does this mean for freedom of speech, if Amazon was capable of cutting off WikiLeaks from its servers after the WikiLeaks released State Department cables? McChesney is a national media expert and professor of communications at the University of Illinois. Recent books include "Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America" and "Digital Disconnect." Jim Sweeney, Assistant Editorial Director of The Press Democrat will also join the show.
Note: McChesney was Amy Goodman's guest yesterday (August 7). See:http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/7/how_the_washington_posts_new_owner
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McChesney is co-author of "Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America" and author of "Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy", both published this year. He is professor of communications at the University of Illinois.
Said McChesney: "As the commercial model of journalism is in free fall collapse, those remaining news media franchises have become playthings for billionaires, generally of value for political purposes, as old-fashioned monopoly newspapers still carry considerable influence. The United States went through this type of journalism at the turn of the last century and it produced a massive political crisis that led eventually to the creation of professional journalism, to protect the news from the dictates of the owners. Today professionalism has been sacrificed to commercialism, and the resources for actual reporting have plummeted.
"Perhaps nothing better illustrates the desperation facing American journalism and democracy better than the fact we are reduced to praying we get a benevolent billionaire to control our news, when history demonstrates repeatedly such figures are in spectacularly short supply, and the other times we relied on such a model crashed and burned. America meets an existential crisis with an absurd response. No wonder this is a golden age for satire. We have to do better."
In December 2010, Amazon.com cut off WikiLeaks from its computer servers after the group released a trove of State Department cables. See this letter to Bezos, "Human Rights First Seeks Answers From Amazon in Wake of WikiLeaks Drop," written at the time.
McChesney is also the co-founder of Free Press. See: http://www.freepress.net/
For more about McChesney, see:http://www.communication.illinois.edu/people/rwmcches