Leftist 'Media Reform' Outfit Free Press and Their Marxist Co-Founder Robert McChesney

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
Robert McChesney, Enemy of Free Speech

The broader public is finally being introduced to Leftist "media reform" outfit Free Press and its co-founder, avowed Marxist Robert McChesney. (I appeared on the October 7, 2009 edition of the Glenn Beck television show to discuss one and all.)

Founded in 2002, McChesney's Free Press seeks to transform the media landscape - on radio, television and the internet - via (amongst other ways) sweeping rules changes at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Changes that would dramatically decrease private ownership of the means of news and information delivery, with the federal government assuming an ever greater replacement role.

One intended effect of this shift away from free market media to government-owned media is to diminish what Free Press sees as the inherently right-wing slant of the news that results from corporate ownership. (Have they watched NBC, ABC or CBS - ever?). And in their warped view of the media landscape, conservative and Christian talk radio (which is not news but self-identified opinion) is the most egregious example of this alleged corporatist taint.

Free Press has spent the last seven years developing policy prescriptions and working with like-minded policy and public officials that would make this hoped-for transformational change a reality. And their allies are now in place and in power - at the FCC and in the White House.

With current FCC Chief Diversity Officer ("Diversity Czar") Mark Lloyd and the Center for American Progress, Free Press co-authored the 2007 report The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio, which called for the FCC to enforce broad new definitions of the media diversity and localism broadcast license requirements. These changes were intended (as per Lloyd's own words) to force conservative and Christian talk show hosts off the air, to be replaced by those of a Leftist bent.

Free Press worked with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to develop his communications policies. And they are currently leading the charge in favor of "(inter)net neutrality," for which the FCC on October 22 filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - the first step in an FCC rules change. (On November 14, 2007, then-candidate Obama said "I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to net neutrality.")

President Obama's FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski hired Free Press Press Secretary Jen Howard to serve in that capacity for the FCC. (It should also be noted that Marxist 9-11 "Truther" Van Jones - who was President Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" until his multi-layered, anti-American and paranoid past came to light, forcing him to resign - was a Free Press Board member until 2008.)

The connections between Free Press and the current Administration are many.

Then there is McChesney. He is (shocking) a college professor - the Research Professor in the Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science for the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

McChesney is the former editor (2000-2004) and current board member of Monthly Review, which he himself describes as "one of the most important Marxist publications in the world, let alone the United States." He has written several books, including such titles as Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy (with Edward S. Herman) and Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media (with Free Press co-founder John Nichols).

Notice the anti-capitalistic trend developing here?

McChesney and Nichols penned a piece for last Friday's Washington Post calling for the government to subsidize journalism. Again, seeking to diminish private media ownership. Again, seeking to expand the government's media stake. It isn't just for PBS and NPR anymore.

Publications salivating at the prospect of government coin should consider the fate of the banks and car manufacturers who danced for the government dime, and now are unable to extricate themselves from the ever-expanding role their federal paymasters are playing in their day-to-day operations. And those were just loans.

It is an even more frightening prospect for news outlets to be beholden to the government they are supposed to be covering - and holding accountable. You think we've already seen the Obama-era media converted from watchdogs to lapdogs? Just wait until they're on his payroll.

The First Amendment's freedom of the press would die the moment the first government check cleared.

Next: Marxist Free Press Co-Founder McChesney In His Own Anti-Free Speech, Anti-Capitalism, Pro-Chavez Words