From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/12-0
by Ralph Nader
Published on Thursday, April 12, 2012 by Common Dreams
March Madness comes once a year. Media Madness is year-round. What the mass media choose to cover and feature try to turn the priorities of any sane society upside down.
People of vice, war, money, spectator sports and business receive media attention – oftentimes ad nauseam. People of virtue, peace, civics, health, labor and community engagement have to beg for media attention. Which of these two groups represents the most basic values of a civilized society that would restrain the excesses of the other group? You can guess!
There are many reasons for this chronic bias, beyond the power of commercial advertisers. The media believe that wrongdoing and greed and violence get readers and ratings while their opposites are dull soup.
But aren’t these opposites vital to the survival and well-being of a just society? Aren’t people who wage peace to prevent war, or demand health/safety over sickness/injury, more newsworthy when they expose people or companies that cause danger, damage and deaths?
Big-Time Greed is headline material, while Big-Time Thrift (e.g. efficiency for consumers) is boring, even when it concentrates on exposing Big-Time Greed. Aetna, Pfizer and avaricious middlemen are sometimes in the news when they exhibit gouging practices. But have you ever heard of Harvard researcher/lecturer Malcolm Sparrow, who for years has shown that at least ten percent of your healthcare spending goes down the drain due to preventable, computerized billing fraud and abuse? That amounts to $270 billion this year alone!
When news editors are asked why the media overwhelmingly cover the utterances of warmongers like William Kristol (The Weekly Standard) but ignore peace-advocates like Coleman McCarthy (The Nation and Progressive Magazine), they respond that Kristol has more influence.
But who gave Kristol influence? Why, the media who quote and interview him incessantly. Coleman McCarthy, a formerly syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, works to have colleges and high schools around the country adopt peace studies. He could give a lively interview on “Meet the Press” or “This Week” on the superiority of waging peace over waging war in advancing national security in countries around the world.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/12-0