Free Press – Out of Both Sides of Its Mouth, Vol. 1

by Mike Wendy on August 9, 2010

Though Free Press staunchly advocates an anti-capitalist point of view, it isn’t really bothered if the free market funds its efforts.

“Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”  Free Press Co-Founder Robert McChesney, The U.S. Media Reform Movement – Monthly Review, September 15, 2008

However, Free Press gets much of its support from such foundations as Henry Ford, Nelson Rockefeller and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur – essentially from the very capitalist system they decry.  Free Press Annual Reports

They seem oblivious to spoiling their own nest, at once vowing to bring down the capitalist system, yet needing that very system’s tax dollars to survive.

“All totaled, the suggestions we make here for subscription subsidies, postal reforms, youth media and investment in public broadcasting have a price tag in the range of $60 billion over the next three years.  This is a substantial amount of money.  In normal times it might be too much to ask.  But in a time of national crisis, when an informed and engaged citizenry is America’s best hope, $20 billion a year is chicken feed…”  Free Press Co-Founders Robert McChesney and John Nichols, The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers – Nation, April 6, 2009

“There’s going to be a second stimulus package at some point. And when it comes, we need to make sure it’s not just an economic stimulus. … [W]e also need to put people to work running community organizations, and writing plays, and making art.”   Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron, Want to Change the Media? Be a Lobbyist – Huffington Post, September 4, 2009

“If we want to raise funds for critical journalism, we could tax the giant news corporations; we could then re-distribute the wealth to a fund for a journalist co-operative, which would produce a competitive for-profit paper, which then created more jobs for journalists. A second not-for-profit paper, largely funded by the revenues generated by the paper produced by the journalist co-op, then provides a critical news source to the public.”  Free Press Co-Founder Robert McChesney, Democracy & the Problem of the Media – Socialist Project, May/June 2006

“We need to…vastly expand funding to public media and find ways to subsidize nonprofit journalism online.”  Free Press Co-Founder Robert McChesney, The Death and Life of American Journalism – Fifth Estate, October, 2009

“Just as there came a moment when policy-makers recognized the necessity of investing tax dollars to create a public education system to teach our children, so a moment has arrived at which we must recognize the need to invest tax dollars to create and maintain news gathering, reporting and writing with the purpose of informing all our citizens.” Free Press Co-Founders Robert McChesney and John Nichols, The Making of a Movement – Nation, January 7, 2002

“These proposals are a good start, but then the really hard work begins. We have to come up with a plan to convert failing newspapers into journalistic entities…” Free Press Co-Founders Robert McChesney and John Nichols, The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers – Nation, March 18, 2009

Free Press cried about the FCC’s “closed door” Net Neutrality meetings this summer, but it appears they were behind those “closed doors,” too.

“It looks like yet another federal agency is catering to big business behind closed doors and ignoring the American public.” Free Press Co-Founder, President and CEO Josh Silver, Free Press Ad Warns Against Industry Takeover of Open Internet – Free Press press release June 23, 2010

“(T)he mere existence of these private meetings reveals to us a chairman who has fallen far short of expectations.” Free Press Campaign Director Tim Karr, The Fate of the Internet Decided in a Back Room – Save the Internet, June 22, 2010

“All told (according to the FCC’s log), there have been thirty meetings  held this year attended by myriad Media Marxist organizations – Free Press, Public Knowledge, Media Access Project, New America Foundation, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and others.” Free Press and the Left Have Had At Least 30 ‘Behind Closed Door’ ‘Sellout’ Meetings with the FCC since January –, June 28, 2010

“It was Free Press that hit up the White House at the end of 2009 to meet with key administration officials ahead of the FCC’s initial inquiry on net neutrality.” Morning Tech – Politico, June 24, 2010

In fact, Free Press was “still taking part in those very meetings (they were decrying) through the Open Internet Coalition, of which it is a member.” Morning Tech – Politico, June 24, 2010

More to come…

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