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Ok, here's what I said in a previous post:
"You lose because an army of paid shills sit around all day blaming everything on the Democrats."
To which reader Dan Paden responded:
"But still, I find the initial notion, that the Democrats' losses can be blamed on right-wing media to be the most interesting. For years, conservatives griped about a leftist media, and the leftists and Democrats, more or less, said, "Quit whining!" Now, talk radio is largely dominated by conservatives, paid for by advertising, which is purchased by people who know that millions of people like to listen to those conservatives, and Bruce sees those conservatives as being "...an army of paid shills."
Silly of me, I guess its all those vitamin commercials that are fueling the right wing movement, not the millions and millions of dollars donated every year to conservative based think tanks whose mission on Earth is to promote a wealthy-friendly agenda in American politics?
But I'm not just talking about radio, which to some degree, after you get past the fact that most were started by individuals for ideological reasons, does indeed generate its own revenue. I'm talking about the legions of opinion makers who stand at the ready to "comment" on the daily goings on in the political world.
And oh my golly molly there are a ton of "conservatives" ready and willing to push their GOP talking points.
Heritage Institute has thirty-three "fellows" on hand
American Enterprise Institute lists twenty-nine "scholars" who can "Comment on Katrina and Rita", they have seventy people listed as fellows or scholars in total.
Cato has thirty-seven "scholars" on the payroll.
So that means there are at least one hundred and forty people drawing paychecks for the sole purpose of promoting a "conservative" agenda in American media. These think tanks were started for this very purpose.
From Heritage's own website:
1973: The Heritage Foundation opens its doors. The Heritage Foundation is founded on February 16, 1973 with backing from Joseph Coors, Richard Scaife and Edward Noble in order to deliver compelling and persuasive research to Congress providing facts, data, and sound arguments on behalf of conservative principles.
So yeah, rich people decided to start a think tank to promote *gasp!!* ideas that will help make them richer; tax cuts, reduced government spending on poor people, and more spending on military contracts.
Sheesh people, is it really so hard a concept to grasp? Paying a little to create a political climate that promotes a "conservative" agenda pays off in a big way.
According to Heritage's Annual Report their "...analysts appeared on National Television 98 times in 2004" influencing the debate on everything from taxes to public education, all with a heavily right wing bent.
In 2004 Heritage raked in $32,544,251 in donations from individuals, corporations and foundation. Quite a hefty chunk of change if you ask me. Most of those contributions come from many of the same sources. The names Scaife, Bradley, Olin etc. just keep popping up.
You see, its not a secret people. Heritage itself admits that part of its mission is to put people with their message in front of your eyeballs so that you can consume their ideology. They claim that they get 6.5 radio and television interviews a day on the world's most watched media outlets.
You see why I say paid shills? That's what they are. They take a bunch of rich people's money to promote an agenda that will further enhance the wealthy's ability to make and retain more wealth.
Put it this way: Just one think tank, Heritage, takes in over 30 million dollars each year to promote the conservative agenda by paying people to appear on major media outlets.
I'm sorry, I just can't see how my characterization is off base?
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