Alexander Cockburn used to argue that, under corporate capitalism, one function of the major mass media is clever misreporting of important stories.
With this powerful hypothesis in mind, take a listen to this little ditty from today’s version of NPR’s Morning Edition:
The story is about how Bloomberg News instructed its own award-winning reporters to stop probing the wealth and power of China’s ruling class [story behind paywall, of course], and went so far in the effort as to try coercing its journalists’ life partners into signing NDAs.
So, important story, for sure. But what, pray tell, is it about?
Surely, the story is about the severe limitations placed on journalism by private, for-profit media ownership — right, National Public Radio?
Nope. Not even close.
What, instead, does NPR — the supposedly alternative content “made possible” by its constantly-mentioned private sponsors — say their own story is about?
Mike Bloomberg might be a weasel.