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The Route to Corporate Media

The Route to Corporate Media

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Published by ChrisTheAdMan
Written back in the late 90's, it is STILL relevant today. If your blood doesn't boil after reading this...you must own lots of stock!
Written back in the late 90's, it is STILL relevant today. If your blood doesn't boil after reading this...you must own lots of stock!

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Published by: ChrisTheAdMan on Nov 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Route to Corporate Media
 By Brian Zero
here is a process going on in oursociety. A process rapidly unfoldingas the end of the century approaches:and those who choose to ignore it willprobably soon be rudely awakened by beingsubmerged in a process they do notunderstand: the process of consolidation of power into the control of fewer and fewercorporate entities. And one example of thisconsolidation can be found in what has beenhappening to the media in this and othercountries. In the last article I wrote forMRR,
Corporate Punk Rock?,
I stated thatin 1983, 50 corporations controlled themajority of the media in the US, and by1987 that number had dropped to 29. Sincethe time of writing that article I came acrossinformation that as of 1992, only 20corporations dominated the media in thissociety, but so what? The following article isabout the imminent control of the media bya few big business conglomerates, and howthat control affects what you see and hear,and even the quality of human beings whosurround you. Do you perceive the samethreat I do or am I a paranoid loon? Read onand reach your own conclusions.Working as a substitute teacher in SonomaCounty, I often get the chance to talk withstudents about their feelings on variousissues and on society in general. One daybefore the end of the ‘93-‘94 school year, Ispoke with a student angry at the localBlockbuster Video outlet. Apparently, afterhe had applied for a job at the store, he wastold to submit to a drug test: but not just anydrug test: a test where they shave off a patchof your hair as close to the scalp as possible,a test that can supposedly tell whetheryou’ve been doing any narcotics (includingmarijuana of course) in a six month period.But this is not only the policy of a singleBlockbuster store in Rohnert Park, Ca.According to Alexis Malenky, this is part of the hiring policy of Blockbuster storeseverywhere. Alexis Malenky belongs toFrank Moore’s Chero Company, aperformance art group that along withCalifornians Against Censorship have calledfor a boycott of Blockbuster due to how thisvideo store chain refuses to carry certainreleases.Remember when the religious right waged awar against the film
The Last Temptation of Christ.
Remember how they picketedtheatres showing this movie and threatenedboycotts? Remember how Blockbusteragreed with them by making it a policy tonever carry any copies of this film? To thisday, none of Blockbuster’s company ownedstores will carry this film, nor will they carryany NC-17 rated movies such as
The Cook the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover 
 Henryin June
regardless of how directors of suchfilms fought to establish the NC-17 code asa classification for films that wouldotherwise receive an X due to sexual contentor themes but which contained significant
artistic merit to warrant a different rating.ut if Blockbuster is attempting tomake a moral decision on the typesof movies that it carries, then whydo they continue to rent out ultra violentfilms like
where some superhuman protagonist beats the tar out of anarray of stereotypical bad guys or T&Aoriented films like
 Bikini Summer 2
thatportray the female body as not much morethan a sexually advertised meat product?Why stop with a film that explores theconcept of Christ as a human being, or withfilms that portray lovemaking as a normalaspect of human relationships? If Blockbuster were a mom and pop videostore, I would probably try to speak with theowner to better understand her/his flawedperception of morality, or I would leave andgo somewhere else. But Blockbuster is notmom or pop, they are more like an exampleof Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’ manifesting itself in the world of American capitalism quicklydominating the field of video sale and rental,and pushing their way into what people areallowed to view in this society.Blockbuster now controls at least 20% of allvideo rental business in the US. There arecurrently 3,666 Blockbuster storesworldwide, including 775 stores in the U.Kthat operate under the name of Ritz. Of thisnumber of stores, only 904 are franchiseowned (Some franchises actually will carry
The Last Temptation of Christ,
but for themost part they behave as do the corporateowned stores). Blockbuster also owns 529music stores—they now own Music Plusand Sound Warehouse: they own 70.5percent of Spelling Entertainment (themakers of such programs as
 Beverly Hills90210
 Melrose Place,
to name acouple):38% of Republic PicturesCorporation: 19.9% of Virgin Interactivegroup: they’re buying the Miami Dolphins,and they have their own college footballbowl game the Blockbuster Bowl.”.What all of this means is that film studiosare more apt to cater the content of theirmovies to that allowed by Blockbuster thanto risk being possibly excluded from thelargest video rental chain in the world. But if Blockbuster’s economic strength has anaffect on what sorts of films are producednow imagine what sort of effect they willhave in the very near future: Blockbuster just finalized its merger plans with Viacom,itself one of the largest cable operatives inthe world (they own MTV to name one of their many assets) who also recently mergedwith Paramount Communications, acompany with assets ranging from one of the world’s largest motion picture studiousto television stations to sports teams like theNY Knicks to book publishers such asSimon & Shuster. This merger betweenBlockbuster and Viacom/Paramountrepresents what is becoming a commonoccurrence in this latter half of the twentiethcentury
 the creation of the mega-media corporate colossus.
 In 1990, a co-chairman of Time Warnerpredicted that by the year
000 there will beonly six corporate powerhouses controllingthe media in the US, and he foretold that hiscorporation would be one of them. He isprobably correct. Time Warner is currentlythe largest media company that has everexisted. In this country, they are one of twofirms that generate most of the revenues formagazine sales: one of the five biggest book publishers: one of the six major recordcompanies that control 90% of the musicmarket: one of the largest film producers,and the second largest cable company. Alltold, the value of Time Warner’s assets isgreater than the Gross National Products of Jordan, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Albania, Liberiaand Mali combined. As of this writing Time

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