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August 07, 2007
Freedom Next Time: Filmmaker & Journalist John Pilger on Propaganda, the Press, Censorship and Resisting the American Empire
"Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action," said John Pilger. "That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now." We spend the hour airing a recent lecture by the acclaimed Australian filmmaker and muckraker.
When Rupert Murdoch won his bid to take over Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal last week, the Australian media baron brought one of America's oldest, most respected and widely circulated newspapers into his vast media empire. Murdoch's News Corp media conglomerate owns more than 175 other newspapers as well as the Fox Television network, 21st Century Fox film studios, several satellite networks, MySpace.com, HarperCollins, and much more.
Besides amassing a media empire, Murdoch has repeatedly been accused of using his media holdings to advance his political agenda. In 2003, all of Murdoch's 175 newspapers supported the Iraq invasion. He spoke to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the lead-up to the invasion, some in Blair's inner circle even called him "the 24th member of the [Blair] Cabinet."
After the announcement of the five billion dollar sale, Murdoch told the New York Times that in order for the Wall Street Journal to remain editorially independent it needed to make healthy profits. Murdoch said, "The first road to freedom, is viability."
Well, one of Rupert Murdoch's fellow countrymen, an Australian who also resides in Britain, strongly disagrees. John Pilger--the eminent investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker--is a harsh critic of the corporate media. Pilger began his career in journalism close to half a century ago. He has made over 50 documentaries and is the author of numerous books, his most recent is titled "Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire."
Today, we spend the hour with John Pilger talking about journalism, war, propaganda, and silence.
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