"There grew up in the twentieth century a power structure between London and New York which penetrated deeply into university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy.
In England the center was the Round Table Group, while in the United States it was J. P. Morgan and Company . . . . The American branch of this 'English Establishment' exerted much of its influence through five American newspapers (The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, and the lamented Boston Evening Transcript)."
Carroll Quigley, Tragedy & Hope
Though Quigley, the foremost historian of the 20th century, has shed light on the influences behind American newspaper "journalism" he seems not to have been aware of the comparable fascist influence that operated behind the scenes in broadcast "journalism". Here too, the influence of hyper-fascist J. P. Morgan was decisive. General Electric had gotten into serious financial trouble by the end of the 19th century, and in 1893 Morgan put up one million dollars to rescue it. He, along with other bankers, were then installed on the GE board of directors. Later, Owen Young, a Morgan attorney and Council on Foreign Relations member, wrested radio broadcasting control away from the the US Navy, and consolidated control instead in the hands of the newly-created, GE-owned company RCA. RCA went on to establish NBC, as well as the company that was later to become ABC. Attempts to establish broadcasting on a non-commercial basis were also crushed by the same business interests in the early decades of the twentieth century. (This aspect of US history is entirely unknown to the public. It is simply never discussed in the corporate media.)
Even the print journalism not associated with this core fascist group also trended strongly fascist. For example, newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst was a great admirer of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
Compounding further the problem of banking/business control of the mass media was the malignant influence of such fascist propagandists as Edward Bernays and the nominally liberal but actually fascist Harvard man Walter Lippmann. Too, the CIA, early under the control of Allen Dulles, another agent of this same group, channeled money through foundations like the Ford Foundation to numerous publications of fascist persuasion. (Even the National Enquirer tabloid may have originated as a CIA publication. Certainly, its earliest owners were fascist apologists. And we might also mention that so-called "modern art" is essentially a CIA/corporate invention.)
Thus, even from early on, the preponderance of American mass media were controlled by fascist business and banking interests, and that disastrous situation remains the case to this day, though the picture has become a bit more complex with the advent of foreign fascist media involvement, such as that of the expatriate Australian Rupert Murdoch of Fox News and Wall Street Journal connection. Interlocking boards have also brought the influence of other large corporations and banks into a position of media influence.
Undoubtedly worst of all, however, is the all-pervasive media influence of the Council on Foreign Relations, the international hub of neo-fascism. The CFR controls nearly the entirety of the American mass media, both through its many media outlets, and through its control of the "wire services" AP and Reuters, which are the actual sources of nearly all print news journalism.
The bottom line in all of this is that genuinely democratic media operating on behalf of the best economic interests of American citizens has now existed perilously on the margin for a century. There has always been a hidden anti-democratic and pro-fascist bias in many of even the most nominally liberal publications. Even book and textbook publishing have sadly languished under this influence.
The single biggest step toward true democracy that Americans could take would be the immediate boycotting of all fascist media. Americans now spend as much time watching television as they spend working, and their exposure to corporate news (as well as "entertainment") undermines their ability to function as citizens in a democracy. (Studies have shown that regular viewing of Fox "News" results in belief in actual falsehoods.) At present, 103 "representatives" in Congress are outright fascists by any meaningful measure, and yet all were elected by American citizens in direct opposition to both their own best economic self-interest and in direct opposition to democracy itself (while the "media" remained wholly silent on this issue, or even functioned as cheerleaders).
Fortunately, some legitimate, non-fascist media is available. One easy way to identify fascist media is to have a look at how issues concerning globalization and trade are handled. If, like NPR, they report that globalization is "inevitable," then fascist influence is certain. If, like the entirety of the broadcast media, nothing at all is said about the secret negotiations behind trade accords like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (run almost entirely by corporations—which specific ones is also secret—to the complete exclusion of Congress), then fascist influence is again certain, as these trade accords are direct, unconstitutional assaults on national sovereignty.
However, our own guide to non-fascist media is also available at this link. Deserving special mention in connection with legitimate news are Democracy Now and The Real News. For now, they comprise the actual American media of record. We especially commend AlterNet, Truthdig and Truthout for editorial content.
It isn't enough, for some corporations, to back fascist US Congressmen, fascist Supreme Court "justices", fascist Presidential candidates (which is all now done secretly thanks to the infamous Supreme Court case "Americans United vs. the FEC"), and fascist media. Some have done their very best to crush non-fascist media. And many of those who simply cannot tolerate any anti-fascist dissent whatsoever are also aggressively involved in promoting fascist legislation at the state level, as well as taking an active part in promoting fascist national legislation via their support for US Chamber of Commerce lobbying, among other things. Research by Everything Progressive has determined that the following corporations (and CEOs) are buried up to their armpits in fascist political activity and in opposition to non-fascist media, and have often conspired together to achieve those ends. They are:
Allstate, Bank of America, Bayer, AT&T, Coke, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric (fascist in orientation since the end of the 19th century, and the force behind NBC), Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Microsoft, State Farm, and Wal-Mart
We might also add that our predecessor site, Progressive Living, was censored by Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, which are simply not evaluating sites based solely on their search relevance, but also by whether or not they happen to favor their own politics. (They apparentlyl hate ours.)
Print "news" organizations merit notice here: The Washington Post, The Economist, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal are all, to a greater or lesser extent, stochastic fascist print media outlets. Needless to say, of course, Fox "News" is entirely fascist in orientation, but ABC and CBS follow only a few steps behind. We never fail to find these organizations editorializing on behalf of views that are in direct opposition to democracy itself, and omitting or downplaying critical information. In nearly every case, Americans (both conservative and liberal) would be well advised to support the opposite of what is advocated by these antique and disoriented media outlets.
For our guide to legitimate, pro-democracy media, see the Everything Progressive Media Console where you'll find much of the democratic media of record. (If you link to it in your browser, you can get your news and views there on a daily basis.)
The Editor / Everything Progressive