Martin Bashir On Murdoch: ‘A Media Baron…Capable Of Intimidating Governments, Swinging Elections’


What’s happening with the Murdoch media empire and Fox News is a perfect and scathing example of why regulation of business is a necessary function of government, in this case to protect a large segment of the population from a propaganda machine created with the intent to sway elections.  Not to deliver objective news stories, which is the purpose of a television news station.

by Mark Joyella | 6:09 pm, July 13th, 2011

In a blistering indictment of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir described the owner of rival Fox News Channel as an “unelected media baron” who “was capable of intimidating governments and even swinging elections.” The comments, in Bashir’s end-of-show “Clear the Air” segment, which is a broadcast version of an Op-Ed column, described Murdoch’s rise to power in Great Britain, Bashir’s home. “How did Mr. Murdoch achieve such omnipotence? The answer? Brilliantly, methodically, aggressively and slowly.”

Bashir, who said the UK phone hacking scandal that brought down News of the World, and today’s collapse of Murdoch’s efforts to take complete control of British pay TV company BSkyB represent “nothing short of a catastrophic turnaround” for Murdoch, who just a matter of weeks ago hosted the most powerful British politicians at his annual summer party, where Bashir said “every guest lined up to kiss his ring.” Bashir described a media mogul whose accumulation of power had put him beyond the reach of government:

By the time politicians realized that one media baron had become so powerful that he was capable of intimidating governments and even swinging elections, well they were simply too powerless to do anything about it.

Mr. Murdoch is a disturbing example of what can happen when government falls on its knees and gets out of the way. An unelected media baron begins to dominate public discourse even to the point of determining the outcome of a general election.

Let’s hope that Mr. Murdoch is never allowed to do the same thing in this country.

Watch Martin’s coverage of the story here, from MSNBC:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/martin-bashir-on-murdoch-a-media-baron-capable-of-intimidating-governments-swinging-elections/

Getting Used to Life Without Food


For anyone who believes the lies about deregulation, this article proves how necessary it is to have a government that works on behalf of the citizens against corporate greed. Regulations are necessary at every turn because corporation’s will always cut corners to save money, even if it means putting you and I at risk. This B.S.  about the free market policing itself is propaganda created to manipulate legislation in favor of the corporations, usually at your expense or the detriment of the environment. 

To sum it up Engdahl states:

What biofuels and their pushers—from BP to agribusiness, combined with the mad decisions of governments from Washington to Berlin to Paris and beyond – have accomplished is the elimination of grain security reserves worldwide. This has been vigorously mixed with a cocktail of deregulated free commodity derivatives trading to create the ingredients for the worst potential food crisis in human history.

Link to Part 2

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/william-engdahl/2011/06/29/getting-used-to-life-without-food-part-2

By William Engdahl
Created 29 Jun 2011

Wall Street, BP, Bio-Ethanol and the Death of Millions

Wall Street, BP, Bio-Ethanol and the Death of Millions

My late grandfather, a man of sturdy Norwegian-American farm stock, who later became a newspaper editor and political activist during the First World War, used to say, ‘A man can get used to pretty much anything with time, except dying…and even that with some practice.’ Well, as fate has it, it seems we, the vast majority of the human race, are about to test that adage in regard to the availability of our daily bread itself.

Food is one of those funny things it’s hard to live without. We all tend to take it for granted that our local supermarket will continue to offer whatever we wish, in abundance, at affordable prices or nearly so. Yet living without adequate food is the growing prospect facing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of us over the coming years.

In a sense it’s a genuine paradox. Our planet has everything we need to produce nutritious natural food to feed the entire world population many times over. This is the case, despite the ravages of industrialized agriculture over the past half century or more.

Then, how can it be that our world faces, according to some predictions, the prospect of a decade or more of famine on a global scale? The answer lies in the forces and interest groups that have decided to artificially create a scarcity of nutritious food. The problem has several important dimensions.

Eliminating Emergency Reserves

The ability to manipulate the price of essential foods worldwide at will — almost irrespective of today’s physical supply and demand for grains — is quite recent. It is also scarcely understood.

Up until the grain crisis of the mid-1970s there was no single “world price” for grain, the benchmark for the price of all foods and food products.

From the time of the earliest traces left by Sumerian civilization some two thousand years before Christ, in the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in today’s Iraq, almost every culture had the practice of storing a reserve stock of a grain harvest – right up to the most recent times. Wars, droughts and famines were the reason. When properly stored, grain can be safely stored over a period of about seven years, enabling reserve stocks in case of an emergency.

After the Second World War, Washington created a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to serve as a wedge to push free trade among major industrial nations, especially the European Community. During initial negotiations, agriculture was deliberately kept off the table at the insistence of the Europeans, especially the French, who regarded political defense of Europe’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and European agriculture protections as non-negotiable.

Beginning in the 1980s with the political crusades of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, the extremist free market views of Chicago’s Milton Friedman became increasingly accepted by leading European power circles. Step-by-step the resistance to the Washington agriculture free trade agenda dissolved.

After more than seven years of intense horse-trading, lobbying and pressure, the European Union finally agreed in 1993 to the GATT Uruguay Round, requiring a major reduction of national agriculture protection. Central to the Uruguay Round deal was agreement on one major change:  national grain reserves as a government responsibility were to be ended.

Under the new 1993 GATT agreement, formalized with the creation of a World Trade Organization to police the agreements with enforceable sanctions against violators, ‘free trade’ in agriculture products was for the first time an agreed priority of the world’s major trading nations, a fateful decision to put it mildly.

Henceforth, grain reserves were to be managed by the ‘free market,’ by private companies, greatest among them the US Grain Cartel giants, the behemoths of American agribusiness. The grain companies argued that they would be able to fill any emergency gaps more efficiently and save governments the cost. That ill-advised decision would open the floodgates to unprecedented grain market shenanigans and manipulations.

ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), Continental Grain, Bunge and the primus inter pares, Cargill—the largest privately-held grain and agribusiness trading company in the world—emerged the great winners of the WTO process.

The outcome of the GATT agriculture talks was very much to the liking of the people at Cargill. That was no surprise to insiders. Former Cargill executive Dan Amstutz played the key role in drafting the agriculture trade section of the GATT Uruguay Round.1 In 1985 D. Gale Johnson of the University of Chicago, a colleague of Milton Friedman, co-authored a seminal report for David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission that was the blueprint for what they called “market-oriented” agricultural reform. It provided the framework for the US position in the coming GATT Uruguay Round negotiations. The Rockefeller group and its think tanks were the architects of ‘agricultural reform,’ as with so much in our post-1945 world.

The process of eliminating government grain reserves in major producing countries took time, but with the passage of the 1996 Farm Bill, the US had virtually eliminated its grain reserves. The EU followed soon after. Today, among major agriculture producing countries, only China and India still hold to a strategic security policy of nationally held grain reserves. 2

Wall Street Smells Blood

Continues here:

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/william-engdahl/2011/06/29/getting-used-to-life-without-food-part-1