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From the Unwelcome Guests show notes: We begin this week with a radio adaptation of Jean-Phillipe Lemay's film on the degeneration of the US ma$$ media, from the selling off of the radio spectrum to the highest bidder, the dogma that large corporations would somehow be more efficient at serving the public interest, the relaxation of cross ownership rules to Obama's abandonment of net neutrality. The film is more of a retrospective than anything else, and alongside a brief summary of the historical importance of the free press in the development of America, it presents a number of illustrative episodes that characterize the reality and history of the CCM in the last century. It opens with CBS chief correspondent Roberta Baskin's investigations into abusive labor practices at Nike sweatshops in Vietnam. She tells how after her first investigation sparked controversy and opposition to the company, her subsequent efforts were buried amid massive sponsorship by Nike of the CBS Olympic coverage. ... The film looks in detail that the case of Gary Webb, whose Dark Alliance reporting was the first by a local paper to effectively use the WWW to set the national news agenda. As we hear, the truth of Webb's reporting was eclipsed by a tangle of other factors, and his newspaper backed away from it and caved under pressure from the establishment.To illustrate the concept of media "black holes", we examine the case of TWA Flight 800, which fell out of the sky at the same time as unexplained live fire exercises were being carried out by the US Navy in the sea below. We hear how at the first press conference when it was announced that the navy were in charge of the clean up process, when a man asked why a possible suspect had been given such a responsibility, the speaker simply pointed and said "Remove him!" and he was hustled away....
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