Something has come to my attention this week that I think will be important, though I am certain you have already seen it. A lot of attention has been given to a series of readings from local American news outlets where the news anchors read out a script provided to them by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of those local news stations. In fact, I will leave a video below which illustrates the point that I’m sure some of you may have already seen.
Sinclair Broadcasting has been increasingly put under the spotlight for its apparent right-leaning tilt. In fact, back in the day they even supported George W. Bush. They are also being scrutinized for their closeness to the Trump administration, which is unsurprising given Ajit Pai’s ties to the company. Given that Sinclair Broadcast Group owns the most TV stations in America, this grants Sinclair an enormous amount of influence within the media. Not to mention, guess who supports Sinclair in all this? None other than Donald Trump himself.
That’s right, that is Donald Trump, the guy who attacks the liberal media for being a bunch of propagandists, openly supporting corporate media. While he positions against corporate media through his opposition to liberal media outlets such as CNN, in reality it seems he simply wants another faction of corporate media to take over, just that this faction agrees with him and the liberal media is opposed to him. Which is funny considering a lot of the stations and channels owned by Sinclair are also affiliated with ABC, CBS, and NBC, who Trump identifies as the fakers, as well as FOX. I must say corporate media in America seems practically incestuous if you think about it.
And don’t expect the right to care about corporate media on a consistent basis. One thing I learned recently is that Breitbart, possibly the flagship of ostensibly counter-cultural media on the right, is directly funded by billionnaire computer scientist Robert Mercer, who also funded the Trump campaign, owns a hedge fund named Renaissance Technologies, was revealed to be a major shareholder in Cambridge Analytica, and is currently charged with funding adverts featuring a fictional “Islamic States of America”, among various other adverts aimed at other countries. This would mean that every anti-establishment right-winger’s favorite news website is really no different to any other corporate media, just that they spew populism instead of liberalism. Not to mention, if you want to look at the really far-right, Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute was founded by William Regnery II, another multi-millionaire, who was also the founder of the Charles Martel Society (which seems to be named after the Charles Martel Group, a French terrorist organization who committed numerous attacks on Algerians during the 1970’s and 80’s), another far-right think tank which publishes a magazine called The Occidental Quarterly. These people are basically what the populist right has instead of George Soros (who spends millions of dollars on liberal causes) or the Koch Brothers (who spend millions of dollars promoting conservative/libertarian causes).
This suggests to me that the populist or radical right might not be some grassroots movement after all, but rather a political push by millionaires to get people they like in power, possibly to stymie the growth of left-wing movements that might otherwise have prevailed. This is not the first time this has happened. Indeed, we must consider how, when you actually look at how fascism came about, you’ll find that people like Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco, were actually supported by wealthy capitalists who felt threatened by the rise of radical left-wing movements. While Trump himself is not much for a fascist, it still kind of vindicates the view of some leftists that the movement gathering around him is an upper class project. At any rate, Trump seems to want his own corporate media to support his power.