Media Warning

January 25, 2012 | By | 16 Replies More

Free Press handed out these decals about five years ago. The warning is as relevant as ever.


Category: Media

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (16)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    Compared to what? The corporate media of yesteryear, when Ed Murrow and Walter Cronkite basically were the only viewpoints most people would ever hear?

    The media is far more diverse than it ever has been. And frankly, I think that’s what a lot of media critics don’t like. They miss the days of elite journalists as gatekeepers of what the public should know.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Adam: If you think that everything is so incredibly functional, why are we burning $2B/week in Afghanistan to blow up poor people without ANY serious criticism to be found by any major TV network. Yep, there are lots of tiny alternative outlets, but the big shows still dominate the news cycle, and they are monolithic.

  2. Adam Herman says:

    The lack of Afghanistan coverage is due to lack of interest by the populace. It’s a necessary war that no one likes, as opposed to Iraq, an unnecessary war that some supported and some didn’t. That was half the reason Bush wanted to invade Iraq, it was something the neocons actually wanted to do, as opposed to Afghanistan, which was boring and actually had to be done.

    Now is the media functional? About as functional as anything involving human beings try to sell a product can be. I’ll take it over what we had before. The more media the better.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Adam: I strongly believe that if we merely covered the Afghanistan war for a month in a couple dozen American newspapers, putting the money and lives we are spending into full context, it would come to a quick end. Remind people that their shitty schools that are condemning their children to mediocre lives could be made excellent for “only” $2/Billion week. We are squandering the future. Anyone with children deeply understands what I’m saying when they take the time to look at the facts.

      Let’s let people know, and then let them decide if they find the information important. The war machine and its captive politicians and media-buddies are embarrassed by what is going on in Afghanistan, thus they pretend that nothing is going on but “progress.”

    • The Happy Nihilist says:

      The more I learn about the Affair in Afghanistan, the sadder I get. 🙁

    • Erich Vieth says:

      The more I think of the American adventure in Afghanistan, the more I think of the sunk costs fallacy. And the more I wish more Americans would THINK about Afghanstan, meaning that they would actually acquaint themselves with the lives that have been squandered, the money spent, the real effect on whether this war will protect American, and the many opportunities lost because we’ve been out there pretending to defend America. I also think of how we convinced ourselves that we were defending America while being in Vietnam. After we withdrew, Vietnam evolved into what has become an American trading partner. I also think that we are increasingly motivated to drag out our military presence in Afghanistan because we want cheap access to its rare earth minerals.

  3. Adam Herman says:

    I think it’s more a case of, that’s where the people who attacked us were, and we didn’t want to leave a broken country behind, so we tried nationbuilding again. Obviously, as Libya has shown, we’re content now to just break it without buying it.

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Considering how heavily privatized the Iraqi war has been, it would seem that the only reason we enter Afghanistan was to increase the corporate profits on Xe (the company formally known as BlackWater, currently known as Academi) KBR and the like.

    Consider: If a corporation’s profits are closely tied to war, what incentive is there for that company to end the war? More likely is that the case will be made to extend and expand the war in order to maximize profits.

  5. Adam Herman says:

    I’m not sure how a company can end a war. Only the military and the Commander-in-Chief can do that. Plus the enemy gets a vote.

  6. Mike M. says:


    Who do you think the military and the commander-in-chief work for?
    Who do you think really runs this country?

    Definitely not us, the American citizens – that’s a Fairy Tale.
    I suspect it’s Military-Industrial Corporations (along with various other economically war-tied US companies). Let’s call this cabal “The Company.”

    “The Company”=The US Government. If “The Company” is profiting from a war (making heaps of real $ from it), then obviously it’s in The Company’s best interests to keep it going to maximize their revenue. When that income stream starts to dry up, The Company simply looks for new opportunities (read: Wars) for fresh profit. The War Machine generates billions of dollars to be divided, shared and enjoyed amongst those who create, maintain and own the Machine. Why would they want to end the party?

    Welcome to USA Corp.

  7. Adam Herman says:

    Well, you need to figure out which companies you think run the country, because I think Coca Cola, Microsoft and Wal-mart would prefer to do business in prosperous, peaceful countries rather than war zones. Are Lockheed, Haliburton, and General Dynamics more powerful than the former three, less powerful, or about the same?

  8. Niklaus Pfirsig says:


    Wars can only be ended through surrender of one side and cessation of hostilities. The nature of war is winning through attrition. Congress and the President may declare a war over, but as we witnessed in Iraq, the hostilities continued as the destabilized country forced the US into a protectorate role.
    However, the monetary incentive for the private contractors is to keep the hostilities going. They could work toward resolution, but if the war ends, a lot of the contracting companies will face severe reductions in their revenue streams. Money, supplies and even weapons get diverted to the extremists
    In Iraq, 17 billion dollars in cash, weapons and vehicles were either stolen or considered lost. I’m not a betting man, but if I were I’d say it’s a safe wager that a lot of that ended up in enemy hands. And most disappeared via private contractors.

  9. Mike M. says:

    Adam: (your alarm clock is ringing…can’t you hear it?)

    Wars benefit Lockheed, GD and Haliburton immediately and substantially. Their power and influence is obvious. Easy brainer.

    Wars benefit Coca-Cola, MicroSoft, etc long term (see below).
    Sure these companies prefer “prosperous, peaceful” countries, which is why they support the US Government bombing these countries into submission–so they can eventually move into that new market and reap the profits.

    What is your definition of “powerful”?

    Baghdad October 27th 2010
    October 27, 2010 – In line with the Microsoft mission to help people and businesses realize their full potential and reach out to the local Iraqi community, the company inaugurated the first Microsoft Certified Professional Learning Center in Baghdad.

    This project came to life as a result of the close cooperation between Microsoft, their local partner Legend Lands – LLS Group and the United States Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) in Iraq.

    This initiative highlights Microsoft’s commitment to making technology available to everyone and marks a major step forward in integrating technology in the local Iraqi community.

    Bringing “The Real Thing” to Vietnam
    It is less than thirty years ago, that American soldiers executed “Operation Homecoming”, and less than 25 years ago since Vietnam celebrated their victory over the “agents of the imperialist oppression”, but already the brand that stands for America like no other brand in marketing, has penetrated the Vietnamese mindset: Coca Cola.

    According to Ali Khan, General Director of Coca Cola in Vietnam, the Coca Cola brands enjoy a 97% market share in the urban areas, and more than 90% in all of Vietnam. Initially a joint venture, Coca Cola has now bought out its JV partners and is operating as a 100% foreign owned entity. We visited the fascinating Hanoi bottling operations where 300ml bottles of Coca Cola, Fanta, and Sprite were filled. Giant glass bottle washing machines and two bottle filling lines with a capacity of 600 bottles per minute, filled the building. With a market share close to saturation, Coca Cola’s growth in Vietnam of over 50% annually, can only be attained through vertical growth, i.e. consumption of product per capita, per year. While Coca Cola has penetrated disctribution even in the remotest areas, affordability remains the central obstacle to further vertical growth. Consequently, Coca Cola has yet to achieve profitability. But they are well positioned to capitalize on a 80 million consumer economy when it takes off…

  10. Adam Herman says:

    Sounds like the Vietnam war delayed Coke’s entry into that market. Didn’t benefit it. And the opening of any country is going to produce opportunities for companies. But you can get that opening through easier means than war. That was France’s motivation for opposing the war, they wanted to do business in Iraq.

  11. Mike M. says:

    I’ll admit my Vietnam example was a bit muddy and weak (as was the entire Vietnam War), but Coca-Cola is now in business in both Afghanistan and Iraq. I wonder how that happened?

    Coca-Cola flies the flag in Afghanistan
    Coca-Cola has returned to war-torn Afghanistan with a gleaming $25m factory, calling the country a ‘missing link’ in its international business.

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