Instead of a Free Press, by Patrick Lawrence

Patrick Lawrence’s concluding paragraphs say it all:

It is to say this: If the American press has any future, it lies with these independent media. The responsibilities they already bear are outsized to their resources but will nonetheless grow greater. Looked at another way, if the American press is ever to come to its senses — and let us not dismiss the possibility — it will be in response to the reformation independent media will force upon them.

If Jefferson were alive, who do you think he would be reading, and who dismissing?

From Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

In the failed corporate coverage of Steven Donziger and Julian Assange there is an imposition of darkness, ignorance inflicted on Americans with intent.

(Hippo Px, CC0)

Just before the weekend came news that Steven Donziger, the courageous attorney who fought Chevron and won a $9.5 billion environmental case in Ecuador and who now fights the judicial system in America, has been sentenced to six months in prison for a patently ridiculous contempt charge.

He was sentenced, this is to say, without a jury trial after a corrupt judge appointed Chevron’s law firm to conduct the prosecution. Take a sec to read that sentence again if you need to.

If you read anything at all in the corporate press about this travesty, you read something like this, the Reuters lead:

“NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters)—A disbarred American lawyer who spent decades battling Chevron Corp (CVX.N) over pollution in the Ecuadorian rainforest was sentenced Friday to six months’ imprisonment for criminal contempt charges arising from a lawsuit brought by the oil company.”

In other words, if you read anything at all in the corporate press about this judgment you were misinformed to the point of disinformed. The two meet at the horizon, you see: Misinform incessantly and you have disinformed.

The sins of omission in the coverage — see also The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, here and here — are almost too numerous to count. In the same line, you read nothing at all of this momentous turn in the Donziger case in The New York Times. When reality is simply too embarrassing, or contradicts the liberal authoritarian orthodoxy too baldly, the once-but-no-more newspaper of record simply leaves the news unreported.

The power of leaving out, POLO, is my name for this common phenom.

On the same day the Donziger news arrived, Alan Macleod, the ever-trenchant reporter at MintPress News, tweeted out an interesting bit of information on the state of our media:

“Politico’s defense newsletter is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, its health newsletter by a private pharma group, its tech one by Comcast, and its prescription medication one by a lobbying group dedicated to opposing Medicare for All.

How can this be taken seriously as journalism?”

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