Diary

Could the US be next for a Chavez-style media takeover?

Almost two years ago I took a trip to China. I was excited, but somewhat leery of a culture I had been told was so different from our own. I would also be treading into Communist territory. I am fairly well-traveled. I have been to Europe, the Middle East and South America five times.

We planned this trip to arrive in China one day before our tour was to begin. After all, there are problems of weather, mechanical problems of the aircraft, terrorist fears etc. We wanted to make sure we were there well ahead of time. It would also allow us to relax for one day and adjust to the 12 hour time difference. The tour company put us up at one of the most luxurious hotels in Beijing: The Westin. It had all the comforts and amenities of any five star hotel in the US. Except there was one huge obstacle: the language. I have never felt as helpless anywhere in the world as I was in China for that first 24 hours before the arrival of our English-speaking tour guide.

But that afternoon we arrived something totally unexpected happened. A major earthquake whose epicenter we were later told was 1200 miles from us, but still shook our hotel in Beijing.

At first we weren’t sure what was happening. Was it a storm, a low-flying aircraft that knocked everything off the shelves in our hotel bathroom? We called the front desk. Earthquake we were told. We turned on the TV in our room. Local news. National news. All in Chinese, of course. Useless. We found CNN later. And the reports started coming in about the devastation that had rocked a country not only devastated by Communism but by a major natural disaster.

Imagine our surprise the next day when we met up with our tour guide. We told him about what we had seen on CNN about the earthquake. He looked at us and said “only the large, luxurious tourist hotels are allowed to have news television from the US. US news stations are blocked for the citizens here.”

So my point is, what we take for granted in the US as “free press” and the luxuries of having access to news and information from outside of this country is usual for us. So imagine that taken away.

The saying is you don’t miss what you never had.

Steve Forbes has an extremely disconcerting report via Fox News today. Could a Chavez-Style Media Crackdown Be Coming Our Way?

Ever hear of Robert McChesney? He is the founder of FreePress.net. Quite a little progressive we have here. And what do you know. He is also a supporter of Hugo Chavez. Ya know, that guy in Venezuela that has pretty much nationalized his country and loves killing journalists who disagree with him?

Forbes states via a report from the OAS (Organization of American States):

Each day Chavez gets closer to his goal of a Castroite dictatorship.

The Washington Post, in an editorial on Monday, called the report “shocking” and suggested that those who continue to defend Chavez against his” Yanqui imperialist” critics ought to be thoroughly discredited.

Many of 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.

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.

Oops.

Forbes goes on to say:

Dr. McChesney is apparently quite comfortable with [this].  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.

Yep. Tomorrow I fully expect McChesney to be named as Obama’s what is it, anyhow, that number of czars he has now? as the “Press Police” czar. Just like China. And Venezuela. And how many other countries who don’t enjoy the variety and access of news we have in this country. This is Marxist, Leninist, and Hitleresque. The potential suppression of news in the US.

With the explosion of the internet, twitter & social net-working, many newspapers and other media are in dire straits. If a government who has already essentially “nationalized” a car company and healthcare, decides to infuse taxpayer dollars into the US media, what can we expect for the future?

I’ve already seen it in China. I hope I never see it here.

ABC going, CBS going, FoxNews GONE?

Crossposted