Commercial Ownership of Mainstream Media

  • August 14, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Please note that with a forecast for excellent weather Wednesday night, we are moving this meeting to Lee's Rooftop, one block from the 4, 5 and 6 stop on the Upper East Side.  Please note that the roof 32 stories up can feel 5 to 10 degrees cooler, especially on a windy day.  There are two picnic tables on the roof and plenty of seating.  Please feel free to bring your dinner or choose from the list of local takeout places at the bottom of this intro.

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On HBO’s Newsroom, one of the themes is the opposing interests of a conglomerate’s business before Congress and a news channel’s interest in challenging power.  Unfortunately, ACN is just a fictional news channel and the “extreme” views of the lead anchor is at best partially echoed by MSNBC.  Yet we question how much tolerance MSNBC has since it tossed aside Phil Donahue, the leading cable news personality at the time of the passing of the Iraq war powers act, because it was time for everyone to get on board.  Or in other words, GE had some exceedingly large defense contracts coming their way and any profits Donahue brought it were a pittance compared to those available in Iraq.

Now that Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos will acquire the Washington Post and Boston Red Sox Owner John Henry will buy the Boston Globe, commercial interests are acquiring more influence.  Will the Boston Globe ever again criticize Red Sox failure?  More seriously, will Jeff Bezos install a management team that understands Amazon has business in front of Congress and that questioning of Bezos priorities will swiftly be addressed with an axe?  As most people in a declining newspaper business are already afraid for their jobs, will they even have to be told?

So we ask the question, what independent sources of mass media are left?  The New York Times?  Yet they didn’t get the justification for the Iraq War right either and now Bill Keller, former editor of the New York Times, says it distinguishes itself from Wikileaks since it goes to the Obama Administration before printing anything.  What do the two recent newspaper acquisitions and the not too ancient Fox Corp. acquisition of the Wall Street Journal mean for journalism?  Will the mainstream media perform as a check on government or only for issues its owners desire?  Does the Internet fill the void?  Does the American public even care?

Please join us for an interesting meeting.

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Here are the food choices around the E.86th Station (& Lexington):

Chirping Chicken on Lex and 85th (grilled chicken and ribs on SW corner), Shake Shack on 86th between Lex & 3rd (leave a lot of time, there is a long line), McDonalds on Third b/t 84th & 85th, Subway on Lex b/t 85th & 86th, Thai on the westside of Lex b/t 83rd & 84th. The best pizza place is Mimi’s on the NW corner of 84th & Lex. They also have subs and all the Italian works.

Lee would also be pleased to share Chinese food from Szechuan Kitchen. Their best dishes are Hot Spiced Ginger Shrimp and Hot Spiced Shredded Pork. We also recommended the Beef with Mushrooms (NOT Chinese Mushrooms) and Green Beans with Garlic Sauce (incl. Ground Meat).

You can also order in whatever you like, but you will have to go back down from the roof to the lobby to pick it up. Too many choices to recommend, but if you have a particular fare you crave, send an e-mail for suggestions.

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  • Laura-Jeanne M.

    Excellent. On the news, they are talking about Bradley Manning dressed up as a woman. This is completely consistent with part of our discussion from tonight. What they focus on and talk about is unbelievable.

    August 14, 2013

  • Filip T.

    Coming from Prague and having moved to NY just a few days ago to start my studies here, i cannot wait to join the discussion!

    August 13, 2013

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