Where were television media?

Here’s to the champions of the television news! Our local channels have once again skirted the real issues at hand and instead continue to report what they deem “politically correct.”

While America’s people are rising up by the hundreds of thousands with one voice to tell the Bush administration that we don’t want a single life to be sacrificed for oil (it’s no secret that the Bush family has stake in oil companies), local television stations sit complacently by, running reel after reel of what smacks of government-censored, paranoia-inducing sensationalism.

On Jan. 18, more than 600 people gathered at the Manzanita Bowl on the University of Nevada, Reno, campus to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to support an international peace initiative against a war on Iraq. More than 400 signatures were added that day to the petition, bringing the total to almost 1,800 signatures collected in Reno, alone. Did local television media cover this fact? No! How much did the media link our efforts with, or even mention what the rest of the country was doing that day in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere? Have they reported what is going on all around the world to prevent an attack on Iraq?

Television is the means by which most Americans get their news. But, without exception, every major network is owned by a huge conglomerate, and each of those media conglomerates have enormous conflicts of interest. FOX is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a right-wing Australian whose network has close ties with the Republican Party. NBC is owned by General Electric, which is a major contributor to the Republican Party and has substantial financial interest in weapons manufacturing. ABC is owned by the Disney, which produces its products in Third World countries under near-slavery conditions. CBC is owned by Viacom, a huge media conglomerate possessing over 39 broadcast TV stations and 184 radio stations. Fewer and fewer corporations are controlling virtually everything that the ordinary American sees, hears and reads. And it could get worse: A recent decision in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals over a suit brought by FOX, AOL Time Warner, NBC and Viacom struck down a federal regulation limiting companies from owning TV stations and cable franchises in the same local market.

War is obsolete; the cost is too dear in human lives, ecological stability and dollars. The present military budget in America is at $360 billion—money that could be better spent improving living conditions here and abroad, and building a unified coalition of peace. The major newspapers in America and around the world are reporting that approximately 80 percent of Americans are against a preemptive strike against Iraq, and want the United Nations to continue weapons inspections. A worldwide demonstration for peace is scheduled for Feb. 15. Will our local newsroom boys and girls on the tube be giving us updates on that during the next two weeks? It all makes you wonder who signs the paychecks down at Channels 2, 4 and 8.