The myth of the mainstream media’s “liberal bias” has recently taken yet another hit after researchers at California’s Sonoma State University took a close look at the resumes of the 118 people who sit on the boards of directors of America’s ten largest media organizations. The research team is part of the Project Censored, which for nearly three decades has been exposing journalistic self-censorship — “the news that didn’t make the News.” They determined that the group of 118 board members in turn sit on the boards of 288 other major corporations. They also discovered that eight out of the ten media behemoths share common memberships in each other’s boardrooms.
Given that the job of the press is to help us to run the state, and not the other way around, the following makes for an alarming list of bedfellows:
New York Times:
Carlyle Group, Eli Lilly, Ford, Johnson and Johnson, Hallmark, Lehman Brothers, Staples, Pepsi.
Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Dun & Bradstreet, Gillette, G.E. Investments, J.P. Morgan, Moody's.
Adobe Systems, Echelon, H&R Block, Kimberly-Clark, Starwood Hotels.
The Tribune (Chicago & LA Times):
3M, Allstate, Caterpillar, Conoco Phillips, Kraft, McDonalds, Pepsi, Quaker Oats, Shering Plough, Wells Fargo.
News Corp (Fox): British Airways, Rothschild Investments.
GE (NBC): Anheuser-Busch, Avon, Bechtel, Chevron/Texaco, Coca-Cola, Dell, GM, Home Depot, Kellogg, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, Motorola, Procter & Gamble.
Disney (ABC): Boeing, Northwest Airlines, Clorox, Estee Lauder, FedEx, Gillette, Halliburton, Kmart, McKesson, Staples, Yahoo.
Viacom (CBS): American Express, Consolidated Edison, Oracle, Lafarge North America.
Gannett: AP, Lockheed-Martin, Continental Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, Target, Pepsi.
AOL-Time Warner (CNN): Citigroup, Estee Lauder, Colgate-Palmolive, Hilton.
Can we reasonably imagine Peter Jennings’ handlers at ABC giving him the green light to investigate why Halliburton was awarded sole-source contracts in Iraq when their own wallets are fattening because of it? How about expecting the grand poobahs of the New York Times to report on the financial ties between the Bush and Bin Laden families through their mutual membership in the Carlyle Group when they’re feasting from the same trough?
As one New York newspaper makes its entire front cover an ad for Cingular, Loews and Motorola, Adbusters takes a timely look at just who's sitting on the board at major media companies:
at 8:23 AM