Recently on Democracy Now!, Glenn Greenwald (a major player on a journalistic team that just won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) characterized the Corporate Media in America as "impotent, neutered, and obsolete". I agree; however, it's important to recognize that they were created to be that way. Their major function, as mega corporations, is to distract the public and support the soft despotism (in America) and the fascist intervention (abroad) by the central government. A long time ago, Walter Lippmann---the "Dean of American Journalism" and a so-called "Liberal"---stated that the American public consisted of people who were "meddlesome outsiders" (relative to gov't) and made up the "bewildered herd". He also believed, along with Edward Bernays (the Father of Public Relations), that controlling the public mind was especially important in a democratic society, and that public "consent" must be "manufactured".
In 1975, Crisis in Democracy was published by the Trilateral Commission, an elite, "Liberal" think tank founded by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski. The book-length report, which was authored by elite so-called "Liberals", stated the proposition that America had a huge problem, a crisis--- ordinary people were organizing (which is anathema to Oligarchies) and demanding a place at the political table. These insurgents actually wanted to determine their own destinies...and the policies of their servant gov't. According to the "Liberal" elite authors, the solution to the "crisis" was to somehow return what Lippmann called the "meddlesome outsiders" and "bewildered herd" to their proper state of apathy and obedience. Thus began another cyclic push by the Oligarchy in general to manufacture or engineer the consent of the public to allow things to be run by the "smart" people, the Meritocracy. The process continues right up to the present day. [The so-called "Conservatives" operate in the same manner.]
We still live in a relatively free society here in the USA. Because of that, the Oligarchy cannot resort to brute force (in most cases) in order to get us to tow the NeoImperialist, Corporatist line. They wouldn't get away with it. The method used by the State-Corporate Complex to gain our "consent" is Edward Bernays style Propaganda, which is instrumental in their strategy of Distract-Divide-Conquer. [To any new visitors to this Blog--- none of this is a "conspiracy". It's right out in the open, but one must pay attention in order to see it.]
The biggest threat to the Crony Capitalist, State-Corporate, State-Capitalist, Mega Corporate Oligarchy in America is not communists, or terrorists, or narco-kingpins, or any other boogie-man...the biggest threat is ordinary people organizing around a just cause. None of us can do much individually to obtain and secure a fair and just society; but with solidarity in a group, much can be accomplished peacefully. That's what the Oligarchy fears most.
Because of that fear, you will notice (if you're not totally distracted) that the Elites and their Institutions will either completely ignore or almost instantly attack, smear, or marginalize any group (or individual, for that matter) that proposes or supports any egalitarian issue or project. Whistleblowers are criminalized, labor unions are crushed, environmental groups are ridiculed or marginalized, alternative media are ignored, workers protesting poverty-level wages are ignored or marginalized or fired, alternative energy proponents are ridiculed or ignored, health care reform advocates are deemed "socialists", constitutionalists are ignored, poor people in any organization protesting almost anything are deemed "unworthy", opponents of so-called "Globalization" (which really means mega corporate tyranny) are deemed "behind the times", and on & on.
Elite Propaganda in America comes from a diverse array of sources--- the highest levels of the Fed Gov't, "Conservative" groups, "Liberal" groups, the Corporate Media, various public Institutions, various private Institutions, think tanks, etc. It usually originates at the very highest levels, but no matter the source, the message almost always amounts to some variation of this: the State-Corporate Complex knows what is best for you and our country; you should leave it to us, no matter how unfair, unjust, or illegal it might seem. We know best. You should accept on its face anything we say.
The major offenders are those at the highest levels of the Fed Gov't (no matter which Party holds majority power) and those at the highest levels of the Corporate Media... a close third would be those elites in the large, private political organizations supporting "Conservatives" or "Liberals", Republicans or Democrats. In fairness to the last group, I should say that maybe some of them promulgate propaganda without knowing that the Game is rigged. The two major political parties in America mean virtually nothing anymore...they're strictly meant to serve as distractions from the mega corporate agenda. Anyone with even half a political eye surely can see that they're merely two branches of the Mega Corporation Party.
Our Fed Gov't (and Mega Corporations) now, without probable cause or a proper warrant, spies on all of us. Our Gov't now spies on our allies, and even individual Heads of State (e.g., Merkel in Germany) who are our allies. In his new book, Nowhere to Hide, Glenn Greenwald reveals an NSA training document (from Snowden) which instructs gov't operatives basically to get it all, all the digital info it can from everyone...not just those suspected of terrorism. After all, anyone in the world possibly could be a "terrorist". These are not the actions of a moral, ethical, just Gov't. Instead, this is Soft Fascism...or what de Tocqueville called Mild Despotism. As long as the People are distracted, divided, and thus conquered, the Gov't gets away with it; no brute force is involved. It's all unconstitutional.
Obama was at a WalMart the other day, praising that company in a speech. WalMart, the biggest employer in the USA, and the biggest corporate destroyer of the American economy (not counting the mega banks)...and also, in terms of how its workers are treated, possibly the shabbiest employer in the country. But that mega corporation fits right in with the Elites' view of how Globalization is good for everyone. Republicans, Democrats, "Conservatives", "Liberals" (all at the highest levels) appear to take that as an axiom. They all also appear to support the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, and "Free Trade" Agreements--- all of which are not favorable to poor people, or even to Middle Class people. But the rich become the super-rich.
The lies promulgated by our Fed Gov't (again, no matter who is in power), the Corporate Media, and various public and private Institutions are so numerous and egregious as to boggle the mind. Propaganda does work if it's repeated enough times. Elites in supposedly democratic societies do rely extensively on propaganda to mold the public mind. I do see the beginnings of an awakening to those axioms.
Partly just my opinion.