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The U.S. Media – Is It Biased – Is It Free?

by John Durr
            February 28, 2007

The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. This constitutional guarantee places restrictions on the governments ability to restrict free speech. But what a private individual or group of individuals want to control what you hear, see and read in the media? What would stop these private individuals from controlling most of what you hear, see and read? Do the presidents of media conglomerates have any control over what you hear, see and read and do they have an agenda? Read on and find out.

It is the obligation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect Americans from any individual or corporation from dominating television. Sadly, approximately 90 percent of Americans get the vast majority of their news from television. Beginning in the 1950s, the FCC protected us by capping the number of TV stations an individual or corporation could own at seven. This lasted until 1984. Since this time FCC regulations have been loosened and now as a result have almost no effect. Today the FCC allows an individual or corporation to reach as much as 39 percent of the total American TV audience. This has allowed fifteen companies who own 343 television stations to control television in America.

Yet, this is only a small part of the picture. In 2004, Ted Turner revealed in the July/August edition of “The Washington Monthly” that six companies in America virtually control the U.S. media market. These six corporations combined holdings include: the four largest TV networks; 115 cable stations, 236 radio stations, 73 magazines, 86 book publishers, and the “top 20 Internet news sites.” The four companies who own the four largest TV networks also control “Ninety percent of the top 50 cable TV stations.”i

You may not be alarmed by this. You may believe that individuals at the top do not control the content of the news but continue to read before you form an opinion. Once in a great while people in the media make statements that may be more revealing than they intended. Consider four such quotes that have been attributed to the following identified media personalities:

Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.   
- Richard Salant, former president of CBS news.

                        Truth and news are not the same thing.
            - Katharine Graham, The Washington Post.

We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.

            - Katharine Graham, The Washington Post. iv

We are going to impose OUR AGENDA on the coverage by dealing with issues and subjects that WE choose to deal with.

            - Richard M. Cohan, Senior Producer of CBS political news.v

Former media mogul Ted Turner is concerned with media consolidation and he expressed those concerns in his 2004 article in The Washington Monthly. Turner said that the decisions of large corporations often “run counter to local interests and community values.” He further stated:

When media companies dominate their markets, it undercuts our democracy. Justice Hugo Black, in a landmark media-ownership case in 1945, wrote: “The First Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public.”…

No one should underestimate the danger. Big media companies want to eliminate all ownership limits. With the removal of these limits, immense media power will pass into the hands of a very few corporations and individuals. vi

Control of the media is not new; it predates 1880. In what is believed to be 1880, preeminent New York journalist, John Swinton, made a scathing admission at an awards banquet. Swinton “was the guest of honor at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.vii

It seems rather obvious that no single person controlled all the writers and the content of all the papers. But that would be possible for a group of people. It is also obvious that Mr. Swinton’s remarks were heartfelt and reflected some measure of control by someone. As noted in the Congressional Record, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller were two individuals that exercised considerable control. They did this by the use of their advertising dollars. Morgan was not content with the control he achieved through his advertising and set about the task of achieving even greater control. Morgan achieved almost total control of the nations newspapers by 1915. This was recognized and revealed by Congressman Oscar Calloway. On February 9, 1917, Congressman Calloway made the following statement that was recorded in the Congressional Record:

In March 1915 the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations got together twelve men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the United States. These twelve men worked the problem out by selecting 179 newspapers, and then began, by an elimination process, to retain only those necessary for the daily press throughout the country. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of twenty-five of the greatest newspapers. The twenty-five papers were agreed upon; emissaries were sent to purchase the policy, national and international, of these papers; an agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.viii

As evidenced by testimony of a Morgan employee, Morgan excercised even greater control than this. Charles S. Mellon was an employee of the Morgan owned New Haven Railroad. Before Congress, he testified that the “railroad had more than one-thousand New England newspapers on the payroll, costing about $400,000 annually.” Morgan exercised even further control with his advertising dollars, which were more than any other “single financial group” in the U.S. at the time.ix

Next to the Morgan group, the Rockefeller group had the second largest advertising budget. After owning several magazines and newspapers, Rockefeller seems to have relied primarily on his advertising dollars for his control over the press according to author Ferdinand Lundberg. Writing in his 1937 book America’s Sixty Families, Lunberg states:

So far as can be learned, the Rockefellers have given up their old policy of owning newspapers and magazines outright, relying now upon the publications of all camps to serve their best interests in return for the vast volume of petroleum and allied advertising under Rockefeller control. After the J.P. Morgan bloc, the Rockefellers have the most advertising of any group to dispose of. And when advertising alone is not sufficient to insure the fealty (allegiance) of newspaper, the Rockefeller companies have been known to make direct payments in return for a friendly editorial attitude.x

J. P. Morgan and J. D. Rockefeller are no longer around but the idea of central control still exists. Today many of America's largest corporations are controlled by men who are members of a common organization. This organization is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). It is very difficult to become a member of the CFR. You can not apply. You must be recommended by two or more members and you must also be able to help further the goals of the CFR. What are the goals of the CFR? At times they try to deny it but it is well documented that there goals are a one-world government or New World Order (NWO). Their own publication, Foreign Affairs, exposes their agenda. In his book The Shadow of Power, James Perloff writes:

The charge [that the CFR “advocates the creation of a world government”] is easily substantiated. Anyone who cares to examine back issues of Foreign Affairs will have no difficulty finding hundreds of articles that pushed—whether zealously or by “soft sell”—this concept of globalism. But he will be hard pressed to locate even one essay opposing it. This, of course, deflates Foreign Affairs’ claim of “a broad hospitality to divergent ideas.” xi

But you do not have to rely on an outside critic of the organization. Former Admiral Chester Ward was a member of the CFR for 16 years. He exposed their agenda in his book Kissinger on the Couch, which he co-authored with Phyllis Schlafly. Admiral Ward plainly warned: “The most powerful clique in these elitist groups [the CFR] have one objective in common—they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the United States.”xii He makes it clear that they want to surrender “U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government.”xiii But they plan to also control this one-world government.

Former Senator Barry Goldwater also wrote at length of the goals of the CFR and its sister organization the Trilateral Commission (TLC) in his autobiography, With No Apologies. Goldwater pulled no punches in exposing the goals and aspirations of the CFR, TLC and other similar organizations. He wrote:

The CFR... believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established.... In their pursuit of a new world order they are prepared to deal without prejudice with a communist state, socialist state, a democratic state, monarchy, oligarchy—its all the same to them.... To my mind, this [their goal of a NWO] would inevitably be accompanied by a loss of personal freedom of choice and the reestablishment of the restraints which provoked the American Revolution.... In my view the Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power—political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical (religious).xiv

In 2003 an an event in Austin, Texas, Congressman and current Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) was asked by a member of the audience whether there was an international conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government and “usher in a totalitarian World Government.” Congressman Paul’s response indicates that there is a conspiracy and that it is coming from within the United States. He responded:

The answer is “Yes”. I think there are 25,000 individuals that have used offices of powers, and they are in our Universities and they are in our Congresses, and they believe in One World Government. And if you believe in One World Government, then you are talking about undermining National Sovereignty and you are talking about setting up something that you could well call a Dictatorship - and those plans are there!...xv

Do you now have concerns over central control of the media? As mentioned earlier, the six largest media conglomerates own: the four largest TV networks; 115 cable stations, 236 radio stations, 73 magazines, 86 book publishers, and the “top 20 Internet news sites.” The four companies who own the four largest TV networks also control “Ninety percent of the top 50 cable TV stations.”xvi At least four of these six media conglomerates are controlled by CFR members.

These media conglomerates don’t just control news; they control entertainment. They own movie studios, recording companies, cable distribution companies and satellites. They control the images that influence and shape society. As Turner revealed in his article “My Beef With Big Media,” in 1968 the networks fully or partially owned only 4 percent of the TV series. In 2002 the networks fully or partially owned 77.5 percent of all new TV series, which aired in that year.xvii

So lets look a little further to see the small number of corporations that virtually control cable TV, radio, book, magazine and newspaper publishing, and TV stations in America. Only seven corporations control a combined total of 126 cable stations. Just seven corporations control a combined total of 1,281 radio stations. A meager eight companies control a combined 181 book publishers. A combination of only eight corporations control 293 magazines. Just eight corporations control 1,178 newspapers. And 343 of the nations TV stations are controlled by fifteen corporations. This gives a virtual lock on the American media market to the largest thirty-six media holding companies in the U.S. These same companies also own many of the movie studios, recording companies and TV production companies.xviii

So I'll let you the reader answer the question as to whether we have an unbiased, free and independent media in America?

Copyright © 2006-2007 John Durr

John Durr is author of a revealing new eBook on America in Bible prophecy. Using little known history and current events, the two volume book proves America to be the Babylon of Bible prophecy. This is critical information for every American to know because Babylon will be destroyed. The eBook is entitled “The Soon Coming Judgment of God Upon America And How to Escape It!” The eBook is available at


iTed Turner, “My Beef With Big Media,” The Washington Monthly, July/August 2004,

iiBarbara Ketay, “Think About It,” The Federal Observer, and reposted at World Newsstand,; and Thomas D. Schauf, “The Enemy From Within II,” World Newsstand,

iiiGeoff Metcalf, “Drudgery: A Good Thing,” American Daily,

ivGeoff Metcalf, “Drudgery: A Good Thing,” American Daily,

vBarbara Ketay, “Think About It,” The Federal Observer, and reposted at World Newsstand,; and Thomas D. Schauf, “The Enemy From Within II,” World Newsstand,

viTed Turner, “My Beef With Big Media,” The Washington Monthly, July/August 2004,

viiRichard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, Labor's Untold Story, 1955/1979, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, quoted by Jeff Rense, at See also David Allen Rivera, Final Warning: A History Of The New World Order, Chapter 9: “Ready To Spring The Trap,” The Trilateral Commission, Conspiracy Books, Oakland, CA, obtained online version from View From The Wall,

viiiDennis Laurence Cuddy, PhD, Secret Records Revealed, 1999, p. 27-28, Hearthstone Publishing, Ltd., Oklahoma City, OK.

ixG. Edward Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look At The Federal Reserve, 1994, p. 244-245, American Media, Westlake Village, CA.

xG. Edward Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look At The Federal Reserve, 1994, p. 245, American Media, Westlake Village, CA.

xiJames Perloff, The Shadow of Power, 1988, p. 10, Western Islands, Appleton, WI.

xiiBarry M. Goldwater, With No Apologies, 1979, p. 278, William Morrow And Company, Inc., New York, NY.

xiiiPhyllis Schlafly and Chester Ward, Kissinger on the Couch, 1975, p. 151, quoted by James Perloff, The Shadow of Power, 1988, p. 10, Western Islands, Appleton, WI.

xivBarry M. Goldwater, With No Apologies, 1979, pp. 128, 278-279 & 284-285, William Morrow And Company, Inc., New York, NY.

xvRon Paul, Matrix of Evil, 2003, video, Alex Jones, And see also an online video clip of Ron Paul’s comment at

xviTed Turner, “My Beef With Big Media,” The Washington Monthly, July/August 2004,

xviiTed Turner, “My Beef With Big Media,” The Washington Monthly, July/August 2004,

xviiiCompiled by the author from Columbia Journalism Review,