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theFriskyWizard t1_j94vxer wrote

I did download the study you shared after reading the abstract, but it's over 400 pages so we'll see. Life is busy, eh?

>Elon Musk is a fucking moron. He is utterly ruining the profitability of Twitter through his conviction that a "woke mind virus" needs to be combatted. Where does that fit in the belief system that capitalism and the pursuit of profit explains everything?

Oh god, totally agree with you about Musk. Unfortunately for everyone involved wealth, not abilities, is the best indicator for a person's future success in capitalism. If you like studies, there is one from Georgetown University looks at people's socioeconomic status (SES) based off their families' starting SES. I'll put the link at the bottom.

Musk is the perfect example of how messed up capitalism is. Brainless assholes like Musk can gain power and influence - simply because their daddy was rich - and then go on to totally ruin something that is used by hundreds of millions of people. We can argue about how much power the guy actually has, but however much, it includes being able to buy a company that has a hundreds of millions of user. And you know fire 7,500 of the people who worked there. That is a LARGE amount of influence and power simply because he has money.


>Sure, ownership matters. But the problem I have with most Marxist-derived capitalist theory is that they reduce "influence" to nothing but money and ownership. Other things matter.

I don't claim that only money and ownership are the only influences in capitalism. I do argue they are largest and typically the most powerful.


>For example: the Right wing insists that media has a massive left-wing bias because most journalists identify as left-wing. And part of this is true: a majority of journalists identify as left-leaning. They also have some measure of influence over news production. It's not nearly as much as the Right claims, but it's there.

I am with you here.


>Or do you claim ownership of media mean that journalists, journalist unions, journalistic professional bodies exhibit no influence on the media whatsoever. They can't even publicly complain about failure to uphold journalistic standards? Can't strike? Can't do anything at all?

I guess what I'd say is that individual reporters who are bothered enough by issues with journalistic integrity at major news purveyors often leave for smaller ones or try and found their own. Unions on the other hand don't have anywhere near as much power as they used to. The NYT union hasn't been able to prevent their members wages from rolling backward for years. They finally went on a 24 hour strike back in December, but so far I don't think they have succeeded in getting a new contract that comes close to their demands. I hope that they step up their game and win. Considering the talks have been ongoing for almost two years, I wouldn't give them great odds.

Why would journalism be immune to the weaknesses inherent in capitalism? If you don't pay your workers enough to build up savings, if you tie their healthcare to their employment, it makes it much harder for them to stand up to being mistreated. The median wage of journalist appears to be somewhere around 50k, which is not great in today's economy.


>In a capitalist system, competition is a thing. Even if just 2 people control all the news (and we have not reached that point yet), just having 2 means that media outlets can and do try to attack each other's profitability in a number of ways, one of which is to jump on another's errors or false reporting, in order to try and look better by comparison. To some extent, therefore, news media in a capitalist system is partly self-policing, if even a slight tendency towards competition exists. Perfect? Hell no. But the pressure is there.

Okay. Sure. But jumping on someone else's false reporting or error can't stop a paper from refusing to publish a story. Or just leaving out details. Or from weighting their coverage to skew one way or the other by surrounding it with opinion pieces. Or from having sponsored articles. Or from having a non-left leaning journalist cover a specific piece because the owners are concerned about ad revenue. Or running misleading ads for bad actors at all.

Look at the "Left-leaning" major news coverage of Steve Donzinger as an example. He's a lawyer who was sued by Chevron after he won a case against them regarding pollution in [edit: Ecuador], where they were supposed to pay out 8 billion to indigenous people there. They never mention the Judges who advanced this case against Donzinger have connections to Chevron. I wonder how many of those news sources take cash from Chevron? I know the NYT does. They have been paid by Chevron to produce ads on it's behalf.

I'm not claiming that both sides are the same. Right wing media would paint Donzinger as traitor or something. But that doesn't mean we can trust major media outlets to not be beholden to their owners.


  1. Georgetown study:
  2. NYT strike:
  3. NYT article about Donziner:
  4. Compare with The Intercept reporting:
  5. Chevron ad produced by NYT's in house ad agency: