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02.25.11

Bill Gates is Killing Journalism, Replacing it With Self-Serving PR

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: How the leading nation’s plutocrats, led by Gates to the extreme, distort the media and spread the illusion that the super-rich care about the population which they actually exploit and rob

THE Gates Foundation does a lot of bad things, but to a person who goes by the word of news anchors and newspapers, the opposite will appear to be true. Gates is a shrewd businessman who sure knows how to exploit his surroundings, betraying partners in the process. Everybody who knows this man’s history has seen that. The post-Microsoft Gates is gated by multi-billion-dollar PR budgets. Yes, that’s billions with a “B”. For PR, simply meaning self-promotion. Scary, eh? Imagine how many full-time PR agents can be recruited with that sort of budget. Than again, put in perspective it’s not as crazy as it may seem. Noam Chomsky occasionally speaks about the subject and on one occasion he said that “[i]n the United States, for example, about one sixth of the gross national product, over a trillion dollars per year, is devoted to marketing. Marketing is manipulation and deceit. It tries to turn people into something they aren’t — individuals focused solely on themselves, maximising their consumption of goods that they don’t need.” Now, these are some scary numbers, even scarier than the military budget which exceeds that of all the world combined.

“[I]f the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushs have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched.”
      –George Bush Sr.
One might say, who cares? How does that affect me? Well, look no further than the Koch-led Tea Party, Murdoch-led Fox ‘news’ (related to the former), the Rockefeller dynasty, and so on. A lot of these people made their fortune by harming many people, yet because they are rich, ordinary people can be led to believe that these plutocrats’ contribution to society is so immense and that the United States lies on their shoulder, as though these are the nation’s saviours. It is one thing to rob society by breaking laws and entirely another to then demand and use the loot for PR, to have the victims admire and adore the looter, due to massive deception campaigns. In reality, these people should be shamed and in hiding (if not in jail). George Bush Sr. said in 1992 that “if the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushs have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched.” BoingBoing, quite incidentally, has just posted charts showing the wealth of “America’s super-rich ruling class”. To put this in perspective using numbers that the New York Times recently published, taking into account all 20+ nations in the middle east and north Africa regions, all these nations have a fairer distribution of wealth than in the United States. Amazing, isn’t it? That despite this there is no major unrest or revolt in the US. Well, when people like Bill and Warren use the Gates Foundation to even avoid tax, no wonder the people at the bottom are left to own nothing and yet carry all the burden. But at the same time, a lot of them are expected to worship the nation’s super-rich and rely on so-called donations which they only read about. This shows just how powerful PR is and among the super-rich, nobody comes close to Gates when it comes to PR. Here is a new article on the subject:

Gates Foundation controls media through massive journalism grants

[...]

According to the Seattle Times report, BMGF donates millions every year to media groups like ABC, The Guardian, The New York Times, PBS, and even The Seattle Times. BMGF also spends millions of dollars training journalists in how to properly advocate for foundation interests, and craft media messages in such a way as to further the foundation’s agendas. So rather than presenting news, many BMGF-funded journalists now present carefully-crafted BMFG talking points to viewers and readers.

[...]

Then, there is BMGF’s promotion of GMOs, and its close alliance with biotechnology giant Monsanto. BMGF has allied with Monsanto on many occasions, including recently purchasing 500,000 shares of stock in Monsanto’s experimental vaccine nanotechnology, supporting the development of genetically-modified mosquitoes (http://www.naturalnews.com/030940_B…), and funding efforts to spread Monsanto’s GM seeds throughout developing Africa in order to allegedly solve hunger and starvation (http://www.naturalnews.com/029071_B…).

This actually links to a bit of a whitewash from the notoriously biased Seattle Times (specifically Kristi Heim), which poses a common question (questioning the obvious) and then defends Gates towards the end. Classic tactic of pretending to be a critic while in fact dismissing those who are. See how the Bill Gates-funded British newspaper, The Guardian, did it some months ago. To quote the newer bits:

The foundation’s grants to media organizations such as ABC and The Guardian, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, raise obvious conflict-of-interest questions: How can reporting be unbiased when a major player holds the purse strings?

But direct funding of media organizations is only one way the world’s most powerful foundation influences what the public reads, hears and watches.

To garner attention for the issues it cares about, the foundation has invested millions in training programs for journalists. It funds research on the most effective ways to craft media messages. Gates-backed think tanks turn out media fact sheets and newspaper opinion pieces. Magazines and scientific journals get Gates money to publish research and articles. Experts coached in Gates-funded programs write columns that appear in media outlets from The New York Times to The Huffington Post, while digital portals blur the line between journalism and spin.

The efforts are part of what the foundation calls “advocacy and policy.” Over the past decade, Gates has devoted $1 billion to these programs, which now account for about a tenth of the giant philanthropy’s $3 billion-a-year spending.

PR means that industry still controls the media, increasingly so as newspapers run out of revenue streams and look for patrons rather than readers. They have influence for sale (selling an audience). As we have covered many examples here before, we assume that readers have seen a lot of evidence and over the past two days there has been a lot of buzz about “churnalism”, which is an excellent new service by the sound of it:

  • Ladies and gentleman, please start your churn engines

    When you paste a press release into churnalism.com and hit ‘compare’ the churn engine compares it with over three million articles published in the national press in the last three years (refreshed every hour or so).

    The engine looks for 15-character strings in the press release that are exactly the same as 15-character strings in articles. When it finds the same string the engine looks for more identical strings in the same article. If more than 20% of the article and the press release overlap, the engine suggests it may be churn.

  • Churnalism or news? How PRs have taken over the media

    A new website promises to shine a spotlight on “churnalism” by exposing the extent to which news articles have been directly copied from press releases.

    The website, churnalism.com, created by charity the Media Standards Trust, allows readers to paste press releases into a “churn engine”. It then compares the text with a constantly updated database of more than 3m articles. The results, which give articles a “churn rating”, show the percentage of any given article that has been reproduced from publicity material.

    The Guardian was given exclusive access to churnalism.com prior to launch. It revealed how all media organisations are at times simply republishing, verbatim, material sent to them by marketing companies and campaign groups.

The Guardian is being hypocritical here because it receives a lot of money from Gates to do PR for him (disguised as innocent, objective coverage) [1, 2, 3].

The subject of Gates’ distortion of the media is not complicated to explain, but people need to be shown many examples and explanations. They are constantly bombarded with Gates PR which may seem quite compelling. We have a plan to do a little marathon of catchup posts on the subject later this year.

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