The News According to BlackRock

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Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. —
Jim Morrison

The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.Joseph Goebbels

If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television – can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. —
Howard Zinn

October 4, 2017, by JT Haines

On the one hand, it’s simple enough. As my friend John recently said in response to the question “Do you know who owns CNN?,” he said, “Umm, the same people who own everything else.” Fair play.

On the other hand, I observe a surprising willingness among even the most politically active among us to receive the current narrative. Is that for lack of a trusted alternative? Time to do research? General democracy fatigue? I don’t know, but in any case Jim Morrison and I don’t love the set-up.

While not exactly news, the agenda of the mainstream media seems worth bearing in mind from time to time. So let’s just get right to the point. Here is ownership information for CNN, the New York Times, and NBC:


CNN is owned by Time Warner Inc (TWX), an $80 billion mass media corporation which also owns HBO, TBS, TNT, truTV, etc. Time Warner is 81% owned by financial institutions, the top holders of which are:
Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 9.45.11 AM
 (Source Yahoo Finance)

The New York Times

The New York Times Company (NYT) is owned 69% by financial institutions and 22% by insiders (corporate officers, etc). Here are the top institutional holders:
 Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 9.45.23 AM
 (Source Yahoo Finance)


NBC is owned by Comcast, a $180 billion global company 84% owned by institutional holders:
Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 1.39.31 PM
(Source Yahoo Finance)

BlackRock, by the way, is the “world’s largest asset manager with $5.7 trillion in assets under management as of July 2017. BlackRock operates globally with 70 offices in 30 countries and clients in 100 countries. Due to its power, BlackRock has been called the world’s largest shadow bank.” Basically, it’s an investment firm for rich people, and it manages a lot of money — a third of the US GDP-type money. And, significantly, it owns the paper of record.

I won’t pretend to tell anyone what to read, but for goodness sakes, let’s start with the assumption that we receive a corporate narrative and go from there. The New York Times is not a “liberal rag,” it is a corporate rag.

As Howard Zinn and others have consistently reminded us, what we are daily subjected to is the narrative of the powerful. To understand a people’s narrative, we must steel ourselves and look for it.

**The Washington Post and Duluth News Tribune, by the way, are privately owned — WaPo by the Amazon guy and DNT by Forum/the Marcil-Blacks of Fargo. (Forum owns the DNT, Brainerd Dispatch, Bemidji Pioneer, several TV stations, and numerous other regional outlets.).

Have Curlers Always Been Good Looking?

Not what I remember from my 8th grade trip to the Buhl Curling Club, anyway.

Alright, I don’t want to get into it, because at this point there’s plenty out there and who really has the time, but one quick word on the Olympics…

For me, you could put the below three-minute Mary Carillo badminton rant from 2004, add a little Jason Brown skating from this year (that event is concluding tonight, btw — teaser here), put those ten minutes on loop, and you’d be better off than you are with NBC’s actual 2014 coverage. Could we watch an uninterrupted series of athletes in one event without cutting randomly to some pre-taped thing you’re not interested in, or, for that matter, more commercials? And why are so many athletes good looking? I mean, good looking people are great, but it seems a bit suspect. (Incidentally, I got a Procter & Gamble-sponsored tweet from an athlete the other day. Are we just doing stuff like that now?) And why, Comcast and friends, can’t I watch a single minute of hockey on the main network? Or video highlights online? I’m not paying you for cable. (Okay, that might be more of a personal thing. But seriously, hockey or not, get one of these for thirty bucks and cancel cable entirely. Comcast is shady, and the HDTV digital antennae is a cost-efficient option for scaling way back.)

Due respect to the athletes — including the non-suspiciously-hot ones — but for me NBC’s 2014 Olympic coverage has felt like 10% compelling moments, 90% corporate gross-fest. Anyway, this video from 2004 is a superb antidote. Completely hilarious.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 11.54.28 AM

Mary Carillo on Badminton