Sunday, May 26th, 2019

6 Independent News Sources That Sold Out to the Highest Bidder

Published on March 14, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Arianna Huffington,  namesake of the media empire, The Huffington Post. (AP Photo)

Arianna Huffington, namesake of the media empire, The Huffington Post. (AP Photo)

One of the most powerful propaganda tools is still print journalism. Though most sources have migrated to digital platforms and now integrate video and social media avenues in order to stay relevant, acquisitions of news publications remain an insidious way to control mainstream narratives.

The following six examples mark the most egregious recent sell-outs in online journalism:

The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington’s namesake media empire, The Huffington Post,originated in 2005 as a liberal news aggregating alternative to the Drudge Report. It even won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. However, the writing was already on the wall, as one year earlier, Huffington sold HuffPo to AOL for $315 million.

The acquisition caused many to question whether major corporate influence would dramatically affect the publication. Unsurprisingly, the answer was ‘yes,’ as within a few short years the website became a pro-corporate mainstream media vessel watered down with anemic liberal platitudes. These days, HuffPo is little more than clickbait with pulse, a partisan aggregator of trending stories that rarely, if ever, questions the symbiotic nature of state and corporate messaging.

Take these hard-hitting headlines as anecdotal evidence:

10 Things to do with Mac ‘n’ Cheese Before you Die

Japan earthquake and god’s will

Could nuclear war reverse global warming?

PHOTOS: 9 Politicians Eating Pizza

Last year, Verizon acquired AOL, making it the de facto owner of HuffPo, further consolidating control of the publication into the hands of heavily compromised corporate interests.

Vice Media

Longtime countercultural icon Vice shocked more than a few people when it sold 5% of its stock to stalwart conservative ideologue and media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch and his 21st Century Fox. Many immediately saw the $70 million stake as a social engineering chess move by the mogul.

Last year, Disney injected Vice with an additional $200 million, to which A&E added $250 million for a 10% share.

Now worth $2.5 billion, the former Montreal-based punk magazine masquerades as an indie renegade news brand that reports from the most extreme geopolitical nooks and crannies on the globe. In actuality,Vice functions as a kind of Trojan horse for nationalist propaganda while also providing advertisers with an invaluable data mining tool. Between social media and entities like Vice, the establishment has unfettered access to the hearts and mind of ostensibly anti-establishment millennials.

Reddit thread documents how Vice was a propaganda machine from the get-go. Check outthis interview with co-founder Shane Smith about sponsorship deals. Further evidencing Vice’s newfound biases, “on at least two occasions, it wove documentary footage into promotions for advertisers. In another instance, a months-long investigative project was killed, apparently out of concern about its effect on a major sponsor,”  the Washington Post recently reported.

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