Sponsorship does mean censorship

Has the media been disappointing you lately with the infrequency of investigative journalism? Nevermind that it’s not any bit Left, or above religion.

Do you find you’ve finished reading all the relevant bits in a magazine before you even started? Do you think there aren’t any stories out there?

There aren’t the most interesting ones if you’re going to be afraid of offending your sponsors. No one is going to blame a newspaper for carrying beer ads or cigarette ads or even mortuary ads, but will a paper refrain from reporting on such crooked industries once they’re depending on the revenue from their ads?

After awhile you start to count on that several thousand to meet your payroll. Then your advertiser takes personally one story out of the thousand less offensive stories you could have done. Poof they cancel that couple thou and your cash flow is shot.

Support the advertisers who take their chances with independent media. Support local businesses. Small businesses are often committed to the ideals of truth, ecology, and responsibility. Remind them that you share those ideals.

Small papers are going to sell out if they can’t get money elsewhere. They have a large staff and they will eventually have to pay them. Incentives from here, freebies from there. The bigger the boys they play with, the bigger the perks and the more reliable the budget. It’s up to you to show independent media that there is a population of conscientious readers who value a free press. And an interesting press. Remind them.

Don’t imagine that rich congressmen, salesmen, the media , or rich developers, are your friends. They want to SELL you something and they don’t want you to ask any questions. They’d prefer you not question the status quo because the status quo is giving them a lot of money. And then they have the audacity to ridicule “Political Correctness”!

Does Coke care about the abortion issue? They sure do. Fewer procreative rights means: more unwed pregnancies means: more poverty means: more Coke consumers. You’re never too poor to buy pop.

When you have money to spare you start to think about eating right. Does BMW care? Again, yes. The larger the poverty base, the stronger the upper class which comprises the everybody they cater to.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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3 Responses to Sponsorship does mean censorship

  1. Avatar The 13th says:


    Yes, I have NO DOUBT that the media caters to sponsors, polls, and self interest.

    Just ask David McSwane, Editor in Chief of Colorado State University’s official campus paper, The Collegian. McSwane wrote and published an editorial entitled “Taser This…Fuck Bush”.

    Oh no! Someone has said a nasty four letter word. If you ask me he paired two four letter words together, and, by George, it’s the second word that’s more offensive.

    Yes once again, language and politics have mixed in the minds of Conservatives. Like drinking tequila with buttermilk – this story is a true shooter.

    The CSU Republicans group quickly formed a lynch mob, gathering signatures to ask his resign with scores of expulsions about offensive language in journalism. “We can’t have that here!” Never mind that President Bush has frequently used the word and the bird, let’s impeach a journalist.

    Within hours after McSwane ran his Fuck Bush editorial, the fuck wads of money withdrew ad sponsor dollars amounting to over $30,000. This, in turn, compromises the rest of the Collegian staff with an estimated cut in funds and salary of 10% (and growing). Thus McSwane is not just in trouble with the conservative community – he has also been made villain in his own “home” – the newspaper he writes for.

    David McSwane is a great journalist “on the rise” – and not for this singular editorial. When in high school, McSwane wanted to see how far the Army would go during a war to get one more soldier. He found the recruitment folks of Fort Carson’s clan would gladly commit fraud – even to the degree of faking a high school degree – simply to make a potential enlistment capable of meeting the “token” requirements.

    Isn’t that sweet? I love fake credentials and unqualified practitioners. Nothing more comforting than a surgeon who trained on Mattel’s Operation game, or journalists who train by writing about the train AFTER it hit poor Penelope.

    Granted, awareness creates learned measure when lightning strikes twice, and we are indeed in an electrical storm without a lightbulb in the White House. Like the patriot Ben Franklin in days of old, we’re here with the key in a bottle and flying our kites for enlightenment. Yet, bloggers are also the locomotive breath, replete with steel and rail. Blogs thrive on Penelope’s slaughter. Blogs train us to put coal in the fire of our own views – and ask others to follow the tracks. Yet when the shit hits the Penelope, it is often every man for their self. Sometimes a “coalition” is restored – other times the unity (and message) is lost in the very blur of witnessing slur. No one is immune. It is human nature to fight or flee when cornered and free speech can easily become just another form of bandwagoned noose-maker.

    CSU has a long history of attempting to protect free speech. The key word is Attempt – which is neither Intent nor Achievement. Each year the college proudly allows anti-abortionists to clog the campus with giant billboards of fetal remnants displayed like berry preserves from the 4H Club homestead horrors cookbook. Religious groups are welcomed with full pulpit and brimstone to throw the rock of faith at the heads of anyone who passes by. “Are You Living in Sin?!?” It’s been speculated that some of these groups have roots in Waco, but that doesn’t stop CSU from allowing these moralizers to scare the fresh hatch of students back to parental morality’s’ cocoon.

    Yet, when it comes to anti-war messages that might generate the spirit of congregation and action, CSU seems all too happy to put the lid on it. Anti-war demonstrations are conspicuously missing from our state campuses – and when they do exist – they seem to be discouraged from reaching beyond campus perimeters. Likewise, when CSU students are caught in potentially scandalous stories, from overdrinking deaths to national phishing cyber scams, CSU appears to do make quick in following their in(tuition), and not their co-related responsibility to the community that surrounds them.

    But are these censures and sidesteps the methodology of CSU alone? Hardly. How long did it take before blogs to discover Wade Churchill’s eviction from CU or to discuss Jena? Two Answers: 1. When it reached the search engines of awareness (read as marketing appeal). 2. When it reached from the heart. Maybe it is not important to question the chicken and egg’s source of primal evolve – but I think it is important to be aware of these correlations.

    These dualities of news to grouped views cannot be ignored. They are Noam Chomsky’s friend and enemy. The kissin’ cousin of editorial free speech is opinion’s suppression and subversion. Make no mistake, dear readers, all – repeat – ALL blog journalism IS yellow.

    At the heart of blogs is readership – which is no different than sponsorship. Thus at the heart of those claiming Deliverance, comes the inbred kissin’ cousin of ratings, survivalism, and mass appeal.

    The secondary name of Politics is not logic – but publicity. Logic needs ears. Only then can the heart and mind can be appealed. We’d be fucked not to, and yet fucked to follow the exploit.

    No doubt some will perceive my writing as an indictment against Not My Tribe as has been suggested before. It’s not exactly. None of the contributors are true journalists – including myself. We are all trying. And our patience has been tried quite often too, even with each other.

    At the time I’m writing this, the McSwane story has been mysteriously overlooked or understated by Colorado’s Media Matters and other local state news blogs. It’s a slap in the face to young adults and to free speech – disengagement by the very voices that portend to protect their future. I’ll be curious to see what happens to David McSwane in the blog roll – now that his story has been covered by all three of Denver’s major tv news channels and even michaelmoore.com.

    Meanwhile, like the St. Paddy 7, David McSwane probably is left to wonder if he’s writing about tasers, while holding a lasergun pen invented for Star Wars. It must be very discouraging for some – while pride to others – to become a political icon.

    I would love to see Colorado State University step up to defend their own newspaper and supplement the lost sponsor money. Will the inbreeding protect the message or forget it?

    Curl your lips together with McSwane, with senators like Cindy Sheehan, with Michael Moore and other luminaries, with NMT, with me. Let the first word roll from your tongue in sibilant long drawn force. Let the second word be end in the hiss of contempt. Stop the inbreeding.

    Fuck Bush.

  2. Youguys have all my admiration and sympathy, but I ache all over thinking of the steep hill you have facing you, an Everest. Like with Sysiphus, the damn stone keeps rolling back to base camp. Being older, I remember others doing the same, all the way back to McGovern. And I feel like a cheat, having ran away and hiding in a much simpler country, with not a care in the world. Shame on me!

  3. Avatar The 13th says:

    We’ve all got our Second Life, Jacques. And it’s a “protected” right that it’s our first choice. I’m the same sinner in pursuit of happiness. We all are, at times. No one is a factory in this political machine, nor should they attempt to be. Hence the need (and my thanks) for grouped voices and/or forums like NMT.

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