Forbes: Is a Chavez-Style Media Crackdown Coming to America?

"Many of [Hugo] Chavez’s most ardent supporters here in the U.S. come out of the 'media reform' movement, which believes that our corporate media has been thoroughly co-opted by capitalists bent on destroying the benevolent leadership of the likes of Chavez. They think that our capitalist-plagued media world is in dire need of reform."

So ominously wrote Steve Forbes Wednesday in an article guaranteed to make right-thinking Americans from coast to coast wonder what's next in the Left's plans to control the press.

Readers are advised to fasten their seatbelts tightly for what Forbes presaged is guaranteed to scare the heck of you (h/t Glenn Reynolds):

The chief proponent of this thinking – which amounts to an unprecedented government intrusion into our own country’s media -- is Professor Robert McChesney, founder of the Orwellian-named Free Press, one of the most influential organizations in the growing “media reform” movement on the far-left.

Free Press’ curious stance on media reform can best be summed up by McChesney who suggests that, “Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself."

Don't remove your seatbelts yet, for it got worse:

He has employed it repeatedly to argue that his version of media reform is the first step in the struggle to remake American society in a socialistic fashion. In his attack on the existing media “power structure” in the U.S., he calls for a “class struggle from below…In the end there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.” [...]

As hard as it may be to believe, McChesney and his indefatigable band of media revolutionaries are being taken seriously by some policymakers in Washington. They are granted regular audiences with those overseeing our nation’s media policy at the FCC and FTC, and meeting regularly with members of Congress.

Their latest plan to defacto nationalize the media calls for the federal government to bail out newspapers with $60 billion in new government subsidies. As anyone familiar with Washington knows, money does not come free: Such subsidies will virtually invite the government into the fourth estate as overseers.

Forbes rolled to a truly scary conclusion:

All of this begs the question: Once the federal government starts subsidizing our own free press, how long until the feds start revoking broadcast licenses of government opponents and bringing pesky reporters up on charges of say, “corruption” or “subversion”? According to McChesney and the Free Press folks, it apparently can’t happen soon enough.

Sleep well, America. 

Steve Forbes Robert McChesney
Noel Sheppard's picture


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