Remember the days when the U.S. federal government concerned itself with media cross-ownership regulations?
Those were the rules that ensured media companies would not dominate individual geographic markets by buying up newspapers, radio stations and television properties in major cities.
The thought was that companies doing that would:
1. limit certain kinds of political speech; and
2. create advertising monopolies.
Today, newspapers, radio stations and television properties are more concerned with basic survival. Few big media companies are even interested in the benefits of dominating individual markets. As the most important and vital forms of media are now online, it’s almost as though the principles that seemed so important a few years ago – competition and free and open debate – have become irrelevant to government.
Two companies have become so dominant in media nationally and internationally that geographic dominance doesn’t seem so important anymore.
Those two companies are Google and Facebook. With hardly anyone in government noticing, these two digital media behemoths, sharing an ultra-left worldview, dominate both advertising revenues and control of the distribution of content in America and throughout the Western world. Add Amazon to the mix and the deck is so stacked against independent media voices and freedom of speech that the First Amendment could soon become a meaningless, irrelevant relic. Together, the three companies, are without question the most important media companies in the world – even though they aren’t known for creating content.
The worldview of Google, Facebook and Amazon (and you can throw in Twitter, if you like) is not unlike the worldview of San Francisco or Berkeley. It’s akin to the worldview that imposes speech codes on college and university campuses. It sees “conservative” ideas as “hate speech.” All of them employ as content police a corrupt, extremist, left-wing organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labels President Trump as a “fascist,” a “hater,” a “racist” and worse.
Think of how Google and Facebook alone impose their shared values on America today:
- together they control digital advertising – depriving media who don’t follow their speech codes or play by the rules of their mysteriously and secretly changing algorithms from getting any;
- through dominant search engine power, they effectively “bury” content they don’t like, while elevating their favored content creators;
- they shut down YouTube and Facebook pages for content that offends their own narrow form of left-wing “political correctness”;
- through their own political biases, they determine what is “real news” and what is “fake news”;
- they own the platforms those with different views are forced to use – as bandwidth providers, as advertising servers;
Their ascendancy has narrowed debate and given preference to one political point of view in a way unprecedented in American history.
Government, meanwhile, the only power large enough to hold them in check, to demand accountability, to protect free speech, to uphold freedom of religion and to be a guardian of freedom of the press, has virtually ignored the crisis created by the power and wealth these public corporations have accumulated.
Censorship has won the day.
It’s not that a few politicians haven’t noticed what I am saying; it’s just that nothing is being done about it.
“These activists want the playing field to be tilted in favor of their ‘politically correct’ worldview so that democratic outcomes like the 2016 presidential election can never happen again,” warned Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “Censorship like this undermines public discourse and trust in our institutions — and it is likely to get worse before it gets better.”
In the meantime, the independent media – companies like WND, Breitbart and others – are being targeted for extermination by this cartel. A cultural and corporate coup is under way. It may be the biggest threat we face to maintaining free and open debate in a civil society under the rule of the Constitution and the will of the people.
Where are the meaningful congressional hearings? Indeed, where is President Trump on this critically important issue?
We are in the midst of an important midterm election campaign that could shift the balance of political power. It could be the last meaningful election America ever has.
The hour is late.
The stakes are high.
The window of opportunity is closing.
WND, along with all other independent media, is facing an existential threat because of what you have read here. Our only alternative, as of now, is to rely on the direct, voluntary financial support of our audience. We encourage you to support WND and the future of freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of religion while you still can.