October 15, 2008

The American Media: The Best Friend of the People

by Ali Golomb

The American media, now more then ever, are the people's best friend. With the United States engaged in an unpopular war, experiencing a downward shift in the economy, and increased government spending, a many are turning to the media with their questions concerning where exactly their tax dollars are going.

On October 7, 2008, a week after Congress' bailout plan was passed, The New York Times ran an article entitled, "A.I.G. Takes its Session in Hot Seat." It reported, that shortly after A.I.G. received a government loan of 85 billion dollars, it took its top agents on a $442,000 resort trip. The notion of A.I.G. using taxpayer dollars to take its top agents to a resort, when the company was in serious financial turmoil, was extremely unsettling for many Americans.

With many Americans out of jobs, defaulting on mortgage payments, and struggling to make ends meet, having their taxpayer dollars spent on a losing war overseas isn't a priority. On October 13, 2008, The Washington Post ran an article entitled, "Balancing Defense and the Budget." The article reported on various companies that were receiving millions of dollars in government contracts. In addition, it showed "the past eight years, the Pentagon's defense budget has jumped 86 percent, from $361 billion to $672 billion."

The media's reporting of exactly where American taxpayer dollars are going is provoking a great deal of anger. The American people's collective anger is leading to reforms in business practices. On October 14, 2008, The Washington Post reported Congress making reform progress already in the article, "U.S. Forces Nine Major Banks To Accept Partial Nationalization." The article said that companies that accept government loans, "could not offer their executives new retirement packages, though the old packages would remain intact." This means, tax payer dollars would not go into the pockets of top executive agents, but would be spread throughout, for the betterment of the entire company. This would result in a more favorable situation for the majority of middle class workers.

As the American people read and watch media for updates on the status of the United States, it provokes many emotions. The American people's reaction to what they see and hear from the media is driving Congress to create and pass policies more favorable to the people. The media are serving the people's interest by reporting to them what is happening in current affairs. The media are not actually changing policies in the United States. Rather, the media are encouraging the American people to act. They are reporting the facts, and the American people are then deciding what they want to do with the information. Thus far, the majority of the American people are disapproving of the direction of the United States, and Congress is listening.

(Graphic from radicalgraphics.org, which offers its material for free.)

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