The virtual world of the global marketplace

Wow. We’ve been trying for several years, a group of friends and I, to get our local public radio station KRCC to add Democracy Now to their news lineup. Nope, we’re told. Nope. Too one-sided.
 
And then they add Marketplace, a daily homage to the stockmarket.

We tried call-in campaigns, petition drives, we’ve even had Amy Goodman come speak on the campus twice and she filled the venues with audiences of mostly KRCC listeners.

KRCC was not disposed, no space available on the lineup, nope, sorry, no. And the dealings have not been above board. Listeners calling in were not told that they were among a multitude. Mention of the petition efforts, or the speaking engagements, was not made on the air. It’s been such an uphill battle, in this ultra conservative city, that petitioners meet people who’d signed already in years past, who ask “what, didn’t that happen already?” They’re no longer even tuning in anymore to KRCC to know.

I check in on KRCC every once in a while, and this morning at 91.5 on the FM dial, what do I hear? Smack in the middle of morning drive-time, a new show. Marketplace or something. Business Talk. As if the news is not already dominated by corporate press releases and corporate mouthpieces trying to direct stock market consumer confidence! And it was atrocious!

Regular NPR news itself is comprised of stories underwritten and packaged by corporate interests. Listen to any one of them and ask yourself, who wants me to know this? Chances are it’s a military contractor, or someone bidding on a water project, or an oil company hoping to ease your anxiety about Global Warming, or a chemical conglomerate wanting to impress you with the scope of human progress. A whole host of pharmaceutical underwriters give NPR reason not dwell on the 25 millions, entire generations, of Africans dying of aids.

The regular NPR stories are broadcast to give you a sense of the bloodless global economy. I guess the irregular work is done by shows like Marketplace, to pretend to report to stockholders and investors in direct terms.

You very likely do not have stock, but they’re talking to you. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous was not for the rich and famous to watch. You can’t afford what they’re showing you, but you enjoy it vicariously, and most important your confidence is boosted by the belief that it’s there should you ever overcome your bills, or win the lottery.

National Public Media’s MARKETPLACE. Wow! Corporate press releases designed to stimulate stock values, and commentary designed to give the stimulation a simulation of being in the investor’s interest.

In five minutes I heard about a $40 million mansion for sale on Rhode Island, a rare occurrence apparently, with a 100k-bottle wine collection; to an airline that says it can’t make a competitive bid without concessions from its union; to the US car industry being criticized for having a $24 disadvantage versus Japanese cars, based on poor pricing strategy (whatever that is, $24 short maybe?) and labor problems.

Add to that, amiable chit-chat about the Dow in terms of “nearly” and “a little bit” with specialist experts who don’t want to commit to any opinion really of whether up means down or vice is versa or verse visa.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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