Media and the Contract with America
George Bush once described Ronald Reagan’s fiscal agenda as “voodoo economics.” You’ll recall that Reaganomics was a great success story. The U.S. in the 1980s went from the world’s #1 creditor nation to the world’s #1 debtor. There were massive budget deficits. Remember the famous “trickle-down” theory? It never happened. It was a flood up for the rich. The numbers didn’t add up then and they don’t add up now, but that doesn’t seem to stop the right wing. Its Contract with America is a revival of failed policies. Its essence is to reduce taxes for the wealthy, increase military spending and cut social programs. It’s not a revolution, it’s class warfare. The Contract specifically targets the poor and disadvantaged. There’s a lot of pious rhetoric about welfare reform, but it’s not for the big boys. Corporate welfare, which dwarfs any other kind, is well protected. The much-vaunted Contract doesn’t even mention it. The media play a crucial role in the political debate, but who are the media? Increasingly, they are large corporations that are parts of even larger conglomerates. Corporate control of media is accelerating at an alarming rate. Their reporting reflects the interests and concerns of their owners.
Recorded at the Boulder Public Library.
Laura Flanders is the host of the “Radio Nation” on Air America Radio. She is the author of Real Majority, Media Minority and Bushwomen. Her latest book is Blue Grit.