Welcome To Oz: Decoding The Republican Primary Debate

The recent Republican primary debate, which was actually not a debate but more of a Q&A, evidences problems similar to those Dorothy faced in The Wizard of Oz.

For the third consecutive presidential election, the GOP has proven it can divide and conquer itself without anyone else’s help. The Republican Party cannot define itself and has lost trust and support from most conservatives. Painfully obvious attacks by Establishment Republicans on conservatives only further implodes a fragmented party unprepared to combat the Democratic war chest built by corporate donors and Hillary Clinton’s fine-tuned strategy and likely umpteenth avoidance of prison.

What most observers have known for a while is that Fox News supports the already chosen establishment candidate, Jeb Bush. Its executives have purposefully excluded Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz (who challenged its debate standards) from poll coverage. Megyn Kelly followed orders to attack Donald Trump, unsurprisingly creating a social media backlash. Kelly asked Trump some of the stupidest questions ever asked by anyone of any candidate ever.

Yet, her hubris and delusion became more apparent by her suggestions that Ted Cruz “get out of the race,” and that no candidate could become president without “getting through her first.”

The establishment’s choice explains why no moderator pressed Jeb Bush about his either deceitful or incompetent response about his connection to Planned Parenthood, or his family’s generational connections to the organization he supported before he opposed, before or after he “misspoke” about women’s health issues. (Depending on the day, it’s unclear what issue Bush has evolved on, including marriage.)

Politics aside, the debate caused more Americans to realize, as Dorothy did when she realized that she wasn’t in Kansas anymore, that few in the media report news anymore.

This is primarily because only six (6) corporations own 90 percent of the media in America (CBS Corporation, Comcast, Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, and Viacom). Of the roughly 1,500 newspapers, 1,000 magazines, 9,000 radio stations, 1,500 television stations, and 2,400 publishers left in America, six corporations–led by fewer than 275 executives–control what is “news.”

That’s fewer than 275 people controlling and censoring 90 percent of what Americans hear, read, or view. Comparably, that’s one media executive controlling what an entire audience the size of San Francisco hears, views, or reads as “news.”

And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has enabled these monopolies to consolidate power and profits. Under President Bill Clinton, the 1996 Telecommunications Act significantly lifted previous regulatory constraints. By 2010, those six companies’ revenues exceeded $275 billion—36 billion times more than the country of Finland’s 2010 GDP.

By 2011, the FCC had eliminated even more regulations, including the Fairness Doctrine, which enabled broadcasters to provide even less “balanced” coverage of issues. It also enabled them to increase the number of commercial advertisements aired per hour, amassing even more wealth and consolidation of power.

As monopolies carved up their territories, journalism began to evaporate. Of the few reporters left, most are limited in their efforts to investigate and report facts. For example, if reporters had investigated the Benghazi attack, they would have uncovered and reported basic facts:

  • Benghazi was a “failed” CIA weapons smuggling operation designed to steal and transport weapons from Libya to Syria;
  • The CIA used these weapons to arm and train the alleged “junior league” “Syrian rebels” to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad;
  • These rebels became ISIS, now using American money, ammunition, machinery, and even brand new Toyota trucks, to commit widespread genocide of Christians;
  • Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar all wanted Assad deposed. America did its bidding, initiating a regional proxy war by using a loophole in a 1970 law to authorize the CIA’s operation;
  • The only problem is that Americans died, potentially exposing what the government wanted to remain hidden.

As a result, nearly all news organizations spewed out the same propaganda: violence in Libya was caused by a video, “The Innocence of Muslims.” Yet common sense should have demanded that basic questions be asked and answered:

  • How could any Libyan understand a video in English that most did not even have access to view?
  • Even if they had known some English, it’s doubtful they could have understood who the characters were or the actors’ epic failed attempts at satire or comedy. (That was even lost on westerners. In fact, the video is so bad that no rational person could label it as “acting” by any standard.)

Had the media reported on this, perhaps there would have been Congressional hearings like those of Watergate or Iran Contra. Many government officials should have gone to jail. Yet the person largely responsible for this, Hillary Clinton, received a “Liberty Medal” from Jeb Bush on the eve of the Benghazi anniversary—which no moderator even touched. Nor did they ask why he and Hillary Clinton receive millions of dollars from the same ultra-rich mega donors.

Nor did they ask the common sense question: why would the American government send billions of dollars to Iran, a country that has openly expressed its intent to destroy America? Isn’t aiding and abetting America’s enemy treason?

Treason used to be taken seriously. But then again, so did the media.

Few news organizations, if any, are reporting on where Iran first got its nuclear technology–Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program–or that the CIA overthrew Iran’s democratically elected republic in 1953. That is partially because Iran is inextricably linked to one of the six media corporations–Disney, which owns ABC News.

In 1979, at the behest of the government, ABC News ran a temporary program, “America Held Hostage,” to “keep Americans informed” about the Iranian hostage crisis. This nightly news program eventually became “Nightline.” Yet, did “Nightline” ever report that the Iranian revolution was an attempt to oust the brutal dictator the CIA had put in power?

Iran is also linked to Fox News, whose second largest shareholder is billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. His Kingdom Holding Co. owns 6.6% of News Corp.’s (one of the six major corporations) entertainment company, 21st Century Fox, which includes Fox Searchlight, the Fox broadcasting network, and Fox News. The Saudis have been closely connected to the Bushes for nearly 100 years, and have a vested interest in the struggle against Shiite Muslims (Iran) and American foreign policy.

Yet, fewer than 275 people censor these facts.

What became more obvious to more people after watching the debate is that “news coverage” differs vastly from reality. And, more Americans are confronting, like Dorothy, the man behind the curtain frantically pulling levers and pushing buttons, beaming false information from “the wizard” on a screen while also telling her to “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Watch: NBC BLK Commentator Demands Gov’t Punish Those Who Do This To Transgender People

Danielle Moodie Mills, a pundit on the controversial race-based network NBC BLK, recently appeared on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss additional ways Americans should be compelled to placate members of the transgender community.

Asked how she would respond to perceived mistreatment of “trans-women of color,” Moodie-Mills said the first order of business should be addressing the “misgendering” of people by media outlets.

“There needs to be some type of fine,” she suggested, “that’s put into place for outlets, for media outlets that, whether they be print, online, radio or what have you, that decide they are just not going to call people by their name, right? And they’re just going to misgender them just because they can.”

She went on to lament the fact that transgender Americans have already faced discrimination by reporters who do not immediately refer to them precisely how they wish to be addressed.

“There are guidelines that have been put into place by GLAAD, right? That have been put out to all press outlets,” she said. “And if you don’t follow them, you should be fined by the FCC. It should be that serious.”

Her remarks attracted some pointed social media criticism.

Moodie-Mills provided no metric by which she contends a special interest group like GLAAD should be able to determine what language those operating in accordance with the First Amendment should be allowed to use. As of this writing, she has not responded to Western Journalism’s inquiry regarding whether she would similarly support fines against reporters who fail to use language approved by typically conservative advocacy groups, including those that support gun ownership or oppose abortion.

h/t: Hot Air

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Are Obama’s Feds Preparing To Launch This Freedom-Killing Secret Weapon Against Fox News?

In what sounds like an Internet-related version of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” a new plan to control content on the Internet may be in the formative stages among over-zealous federal regulators. So says a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who not long ago sounded the alarm on net neutrality rules that take effect in June and reclassify Internet providers as utilities subject to greater regulatory checks and curbs.

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai recently told the Right Online conference in Washington, D.C., that he can easily foresee a not-too-distant future in which government bureaucrats will try to exert control over websites based on their political content. CNS News reports that Pai — one of two GOP members of the Democrat-controlled FCC — warned conference attendees:

What you’re seeing now is an impulse not just to regulate the roads over which traffic goes, but the traffic itself.

And Pai noted that websites such as the Drudge Report and the online outlet of Fox News could certainly become the targets of content regulators intent on imposing their view of “free speech” that they deem fair and balanced.

By clicking on the video above — provided courtesy of cnsnews.com as a brief audio recording of a key portion of Pai’s warning — you can hear the FCC commissioner raise the specter of possible restrictions that may be coming to the online marketplace of ideas.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Report: Net Neutrality Could Result In Higher Broadband Fees For Consumers


Newly implemented Internet regulations could impose a tax increase on broadband providers, resulting in higher internet prices for consumers.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that a fee funding the Universal Service Fund (USF), a program established to subsidize telephone service in low-income and rural areas, could not only appear on telephone bills–but broadband bills too. The USF raised $8.8 billion in 2014. This is how the fund works, as described by The LA Times: “For phone service, telecom firms pass the fees directly to their customers, with the average household paying about $3 a month.”

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website, the USF was initially established to bring “telephone service to low-income households and high-cost areas.” The Telecommunications Act of 1996 expanded that definition to include “among other things rural health care providers and eligible schools and libraries.”

The fund is overseen by a board comprised of FCC commissioners, state utility commissioners, and a consumer advocate representative. As The LA Times noted, the implementation of the USF to broadband has been delayed until this board makes its decision on the matter, which should happen in the coming weeks.

“I think it is incorrect… to say anything in what we have done will lead to an increase in [USF] fee contributions,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, recently told House members.

But Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican, strongly disagrees. “The federal government is sure to tap this new revenue stream soon to spend more of consumers’ hard-earned dollars,” cautioned Pai. “So when it comes to broadband, read my lips: More new taxes are coming. It’s just a matter of when.”

In February, the FCC approved net neutrality along a 3-2 party line vote to treat the Internet like a utility rather than an information service, allowing the commission to exercise sweeping oversight. Trade organization USTelecom and Texas-based Alamo Broadband filed suit in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. last month challenging the regulations.

Share this on Facebook and Twitter if you strongly oppose net neutrality.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

FCC Commissioners Warn ‘Net Neutrality’ Sets Stage for New Internet Taxes


Two commissioners, who dissented from the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to adopt ‘net neutrality’ regulations, warn that the Internet’s new status as a public utility will lead to new Internet taxes. The vote to impose these new regulations fell along party lines–with the three Democrat commissioners, including the chairman, voting for the change and the two Republican commissioners voting against it. The FCC released its Net Neutrality Order Thursday.

Republican commissioner Ajit Pai wrote in his dissent:

The Internet has become a powerful force for freedom. So it is sad to witness the FCC’s unprecedented attempt to replace that freedom with government control….This Order imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have.

Pai added that both Democrats and Republicans, with the passage of the “Telecommunications Act of 1996, enshrined the principle that the Internet should be ‘vibrant and competitive free market . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.’” And, he continued, every chairman, Republican or Democrat, since has allowed the internet to grow free from “utility-style regulation.”

Fellow Republican commissioner Michael O’Rielly states that re-classifying the Internet as a public utility is “a monumental and unlawful power grab.”

Both commissioners agree that this re-classification as a “Title II utility,” putting them in the same category as cell phone providers, will ultimately mean new internet taxes being imposed.

Democrat FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler counters that the regulations specifically do not impose a new tax. The FCC went so far as to release a report titled “Open Internet Order: Separating  Fact from Fiction,” which states that “Nothing in the Order imposes or authorizes new taxes or fees.”

However, Pai and O’Rielly, in their dissents, write that with the re-classification of the Internet, providers will be subject to the Universal Service contributions, just like other communications companies. They both find it disingenuous to hide behind the notion that the new fees will not be a direct tax on consumers simply because they pass through the Internet providers.

To this point, the commission simply notes in its Fact from Fiction document: “With respect to Universal Service, the Order does not impose mandatory contribution assessments, but simply allows a current, separate proceeding on how to reform universal service contributions to proceed.” In other words: the fee is coming; we just won’t decide what it should be now.

Pai further highlights that the new categorization as a utility means state and local government will now be able to tax Internet providers at utility company rates, which again will be passed on to the consumer.

The FCC “net neutrality” order does not directly impose new Internet taxes at this time…true, but it opens the door for new ones almost certain to come down the road.

Some Internet providers are expected to appeal the FCC ruling in federal court.

h/t: CNSNews.com

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom