The local versions of mainstream media highlight easy targets like street crime… keeps us all frightened, hunkered down in our homes and cars. Can’t get organized there… can’t do street demos from the bunker.
The storm trooper Right and many advertisers will get on their case if media strays beyond the permitted parameters and individual journalists labor under the threat of termination or transfer for “over-inquisitive” reporting. The Washington, D.C. New York Times bureau chief found that out when he accepted the position of editor for the AJC and tried to poke around where he dasn’t poke.
The New York Times coverage of Wikileaks demonstrates how the national mainstream operates in their emphasis on official enemies, Iran, and gossip, downplaying the really damaging stuff about torture and lying about WMD etc; to justify the invasion of Iraq.
The Washington consensus is that health care for all is WAY too expensive but aircraft carriers? Gots to have’em… our very survival is at stake. The mainstream takes their cue, or maybe just shares the same knee-jerk reaction to any questioning of the free market status quo. Military spending, from the point of view of the rulers, has two advantages: it’s not obvious how much an aircraft carrier should cost so profits can be exquisite; military spending empowers mostly our favorite class, whereas spending on education, for example, though it creates more jobs has the disadvantage of empowering those who might eventually question class privilege.