Hey Media: It's the President's Job to Build Bridges to Russia - Is it Time to Bust Media Monopoly?

Updated on February 20, 2017

Now the utter bizarreness of the media's attempt to cast a normal transition government in a sinister light is revealed. White House correspondent Oliver Knox for Yahoo News writes:

"It was the latest attempt by the president to shift attention away from Flynn’s actions as well as reported contacts between figures in Trump’s inner circle and officials tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government and toward the remarkable leaks of sensitive information related to his contacts with Russia’s U.S. ambassador in December. "

You call that objective reporting? What is "remarkable" about US officials doing their jobs and building bridges with their counterparts in other countries? Strangely enough this kind of attention was never given to a New York Times report showing that the Clinton Foundation took in $150 million or so dollars from Russia before Secretary Clinton approved a deal which gave Putin 20% control of US uranium supplies.

News flash to Mr. Knox: There is no story here. It's called diplomacy. It's part of a wider game called statecraft, and it goes back a long way. You see, the way it works is, guys on Our side talk to guys on Their side and discuss little problems before they become big problems. This starts with building trust, which sometimes works better in informal, off-the-record settings. You have a drink, play golf, and establish a rapport. That's why embassies have so many booze-soaked parties.

You want old men arguing with words behind closed doors for as long as possible, so that young men don't have to do it with guns on the battlefield.

Oh by the way the Executive Branch, and especially the president, conducts foreign policy. So someone like Flynn talking to someone like VP Pence is all Executive Branch business, to be conducted according to whatever makes the president happy. Foreign policy is especially the prerogative of the executive, according to the Constitution, because the Founders knew that you had to have one person in charge of making deals with other countries, because foreign policy by committee doesn't work.

The question is, why is the major media so hell bent on starting a beef with Russia? Last time I checked, the Cold War was still over, the Berlin Wall was still down. Remember Ronald Reagan said to Russian President Gorbachov that time: "Take this wall down?" And he did.

If a lot of people didn't know better, it would look suspiciously like Russia was getting framed to be the next "enemy," to justify the never-ending spending of what President Dwight Eisenhower made up a word to describe: The military-industrial complex. Beware of it, he said.

Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989.
Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989.

The US media should know that the more it hyperventilates over possible good relations with Russia, the sillier it looks. There is no better example of how out of touch and tone deaf the media has become. Trump has shrewdly turned the media's own memes against it, ridiculing "fake media" which "unfairly" caused the resignation of a man he had faith in.

Oliver Knox in Yahoo News:

"then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates approached White House Counsel Don McGahn on Jan. 26 to say that the Department of Justice had information contradicting Flynn’s account... McGahn immediately “briefed the president and a small group of his senior advisers,” then opened an internal investigation that “determined that there is not a legal issue, but rather a trust issue,” the spokesman said."

Contradicted. White House Counsel. Oooo...sounds Watergatey.

Of course there is no legal issue because all advisors serve at the pleasure of the president in order to free his hands to conduct foreign policy, which Congress then votes on either thumbs up or thumbs down on each treaty. If they don't like it, that sends the president back to the drawing board, as it should. But it's the president and his representatives who do the negotiations.

The funny thing is, you would think the media would be happy that the two guys who sit atop the most nuclear warheads in the world get along tolerably well. That used to be a good thing.

That is, until US foreign policy got hijacked by a gang of Neocons whose primary interest is not America, but the military-industrial complex, the Pentagon bureaucracy, and wars that only seem to benefit Israel.

In 2008 the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said:

"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,"

It is clear the major media has set itself up as a true Fourth Estate, acting as a fourth branch of government, neither elected nor ratified. One need not be a supporter of Trump to see that this is the lowest bar for journalism, if we can still call it that, seen in this country since openly partisan muckraking days. The difference was that, ,with many players in the competitive field, opposing viewpoints warred in the marketplace of reporting and opinion. Now we have the worst of both worlds: Yellow journalism without the check of the free market, where somewhere out of the smoke of clashing viewpoints, the truth emerged.

It's about time the US media got a dose of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which allows the US Justice Department to determine that an industry's concentration is "anti-competitive."

In 1992, Ben Bagdikian wrote that fewer than two dozen corporations "own and operate 90% of the mass media." In 2000, the number had fallen to six. Let us reverse this affront to democracy and to market competition, by opening up our media to a broader range of views than what we see on "fake media."

MORE INFORMATION

Bust the Media Monopoly

President Dwight Eisenhower on the "military-industrial complex."

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      21 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      There used to be far more media outlets, owned by many more people and companies than there are today. That's deregulation. We need to give these consequences more thought before we advocate for deregulation.

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