Billionaires Control the Media


Billionaires control the media, and it is
undermining democracy. “This is a great set of papers”
“I’ve had such fun out there reading those papers
anyone who thinks politics are boring would have their
mind changed by these papers. The Sun, Times, Mail, Metro and Telegraph
are all owned by individuals who are incredibly wealthy and don’t even pay taxes in the
UK. There’s Rupert Murdoch who founded NewsCorp
whose UK arm, News UK, owns the Sun and Times stables.
He lives in the US where he is a citizen. There’s Viscount Rothermere with the Mail,
Mail on Sunday and Metro – he lives in France and is a non-dom. And there are the Barclay Brothers
with the Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph – not to mention Spectator –
twins so cartoonishly bad they have a secret layer in the Channel Islands. Murdoch leads the pack in wealth and is worth
around $20 billion; the Barclay brothers are worth £8 billion;
while the fourth Viscount Rothermere is worth a comparatively measly £1 billion. Rothermere, like his father before him,
is based in France with his business interests operating through a complex arrangement of
offshore holdings and trusts. The Barclay Brothers operate not just from
their private island but also Monaco. Like Rothermere they too are non-doms although
they claim that is for…health reasons. Ever thought about maybe just trying a gym
membership? All of these individuals use their papers
to ensure their vested interests – as a wealthy elite – are best served.
For example: ensuring any potential government is committed
not only to low taxes for the rich but also isn’t serious about tax avoidance. What is more they lobby for privatisation
and outsourcing to always be preferred, no matter the cost or the catalogue of failure.
Why? Because both act as a machine to take money
from ordinary people and give it to the rich. So every time you walk past the newspaper
stand in the supermarket or at the petrol station
remember, it is this handful of billionaires whose opinions
you are staring at. It’s like that stupid facebook post your
uncle sometimes makes except rather than ignoring it once a month
you have to see it everywhere, everyday. All these media barons have backed the Tories
in recent elections – not only through endorsements from their
papers but personally: favoured Cameron and knew him,
while Murdoch entered 10 Downing Street literally ‘through the back door’
following the 2010 election when Cameron wished to thank him for his support. “Why did you enter the backdoor
at number 10 when you visited the prime minister following the last general election?” “because I was asked it” More than just supporting the Tories,
in the past the Barclay Brothers have even donated them money. Guys, you’re not supposed to make it that
obvious! Now we’re supposed to believe that these
moneybags don’t interfere in what their papers say,
but they do. Harold Evans, a former editor at the Sunday
Times, spoke of how he was often rebuked for
“not doing what he [Murdoch] wants in political terms”
and how the two almost had “fisticuffs” after he published an article by the economist
James Tobin which Murdoch disagreed with. David Yelland, former editor at the Sun,
made a similar admission but went even further saying “Most Murdoch editors wake up in
the morning, switch on the radio, hear that something has
happened and think: what would Rupert think about this…
you look at the world through Rupert’s eyes.” Now they don’t own these papers out of
the goodness of their hearts, these are ultra-wealthy, powerful individuals
who own newspapers, which often make no money, because they want to influence
political outcomes in a decisive way. This is one of the most insidious ways of
undermining democratic politics. Recently there was a confected outrage
over a WhatsApp group which included left wing journalists
and labour party press officers. The criticism was that these journalists
were taking their cues from Labour party HQ and acting as nothing more than messengers.
But while the left had a dozen people blinking at their smartphones
– the Tories, and the press barons, had coordinated attack lines across
the pages of the country’s most widely read sunday papers. There they lambasted Labour’s spending commitments,
despite Labour having not actually published a manifesto,
plucking a £1.2 trillion figure from thin air. “Every single costing in this dossier
has either come from Labour’s own figures most of them actually 50%
come from Labour’s own figures. The rest of them have come from independent
external sources and in some cases yes we have had to work them out ourselves.” The fact is Labour is going to go on a wreckless
spendathon this country has never known anything like” The tories making up Labour’s numbers and
then attacking them – you’d think this was such a crazy story
it would be ignored, and it was…. That is unless you count the
front pages of the sun, Mail on Sunday and Sunday telegraph. “Claim from the conservative party
that Labour’s general election policies will cost the country a total of £1.2 TRILLION” “Sunday Telegraph that also leads with the
same claim saying the conservatives will publish a dossier
setting out calculations which they say show the true cost of a Labour government” Just days before that ‘story’ landed,
the Editor and Political Editor of the Daily Mail
were seen walking into Number 10, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence
– after all there’s no precedent for such closeness
between these papers and a Tory Prime Minister. It’s not like Margaret Thatcher literally
wrote the front page headline for the Daily Mail the day after
she won the 1987 general election. “actually she did” She did?! The BBC – a public service broadcaster
– is meant to be a counterweight to this – offering an impartial perspective.
But while it does control a large portion of broadcast news,
it often just follows the agenda set by Fleet Street. “The Daily Mail – fury over Corybn Isis
Chief Gaffe” “Labour’s four-day week to cost the taxpayers
£17bn” “The Sun’s headline ‘Cheers Nige’
over a picture of Boris Johnson holding up a pint” This is most obvious on programs with a paper
review. Ostensibly these shows are just impartially
reporting on what the papers have said. But when the papers they cover are overwhelmingly
owned by billionaire Tory supporters, the message that gets through is the one set out
by their newspapers. I can’t remember the number of times a guest
on a politics show said ‘its looking bad for labour’ while glazing
over universally hostile front pages. “Here’s the Mail on Sunday: Today Britain
could have begun to heal after the end of our Brexit purgatory.”
“there’s a take on this in the Sunday Times talking about Labour’s hypocrisy over
this issue” “You might not know it from reading these
newspapers, and lots of things saying Downing Street, Macron, Merkel might not give us a
deal watch out – you know – they will give us an extension.”
“A lot of the vociferous supporters of Corbyn aren’t MPs partly because a lot of the politicians
don’t want him to become prime minister” “Corbyn and labour bashing, the Daily Mail
has pictured – Corbyn, McDonnell and Diane Abbott on their front page”
“You know Lord Rothermere is a tax dodger” “well let’s not talk personal slurs, let’s
not get into any of that” “Well no, it’s about… yeah” Look, I’ve done these shows before. When
you highlight the structural dynamic people at play – people look at you as if you were
David Cameron on a pig farm walking around with a giant tube of vaseline. It goes beyond just paper ‘reviews’.
The newspapers, despite dwindling readerships, often set the news agenda for broadcast more
generally. From the Today Program when you wake up
to Newsnight when you go to bed, these shows reinforce the agenda of the print
newspapers, an agenda that is set by billionaires. It happens across the board, but in the case
of the BBC this is effectively a public subsidy for the
likes of Murdoch, Rothermere and the Barclays.
So even though people are buying fewer papers –
the BBC ensure that these outlets still find a national audience for their message. So in effect you are paying £140 a year so
that billionaires can tell you what to think? Whatever politics show you watch or listen
to, someone from one of the media baron-owned
outlets will almost always feature. When you see
Julia Hartley-Brewer or Isabelle Oakshot on question time remember both work for Murdoch
outlets; when you hear Fraser Nelson or Allister Heath
– recall how they work for publications owned
by the Barclays; Is it any wonder people in the media freaked
out when Lloyd Russell Moyle – a Labour MP – said we shouldn’t have billionaires at
all. “Billionaires? Why on earth shouldn’t
people be able to be billionaires” For the Conservatives these people aren’t
just a donation piggybank, they also bankroll the media empires – that make sure that political
and economic alternatives aren’t given a fair hearing.
Things can’t change because a small clique of billionaires say they can’t. Just remember that the next time you see a
headline in print, on the radio or TV. Ask yourself who said it and in what paper? And
then ask who owns that paper, what they are worth and which party they support. And when
you arrive at an answer to that you’ll know whether or not to take that headline seriously. The chances are you shouldn’t.

78 thoughts on “Billionaires Control the Media

  1. This, coupled with the Tory and Lib Dem mass social media fake news campaign!
    Imagine a fair media and widespread use of fact checking. Labour would win every election lol

  2. One objection: these people are not ‘worth’ £x billion, they own £x billion. They are worth exactly what every other human life is worth. Don’t stoop to the level of the US media by equating what you have with what you’re worth.

  3. I'll be linking this to every single right winger I encounter online who wants to draw a line between the elites they like to whine about and those very same elites who they get their news from.

  4. Big, empty, brain numbing, soul sucking numbers measure the darkness and ignorance (absence of love) that a black hole in space called ego posses.

    Stark, sterile, space stations floating in emptiness and futuristic bombers measure the pride and imagination of the ego. Not intelligence.

    The billionaire vampires (ego/ greed) experience perpetual pain and suffering because they never get enough.

    Their misery is so great that the counting corpses (vampires must sanction, starve, torture, murder and bomb the hell out of human beings (hearts/love. How unfortunate that the billionaires don't know what real pain and suffering is.

    And how unfortunate that they are programming US.

  5. Thank you Novara Media for this important piece. I constantly try to explain this very issue to my friends and family, people are just so brainwashed that it becomes very disheartening a lot of the time. Trying to change a habit of a lifetime is very hard a frustrating, especially when the facts make it soooooo obviously true!!

  6. Where is the movement to stop the empire? I'm sick of reading and watching videos about how fucked things are. Why aren't we organizing people with our "content" rather than just informing? We all know imperialism and capitalism need to end. We all know of the genocide and environmental destruction it brings. We need to do something now. It's time to use media to mobilize an international revolution. We need to prioritize the goal of the content we create to be actually getting people together, on the ground, doing something about it. There is no future if we do not take action, and it needs to happen now.

  7. google – far-left
    twitter – far-left
    facebook – far-left
    bbc – far-left
    cnn – far-left
    msnbc – far-left
    hollywood – far-left
    netflix – far-left
    vox – far-left
    ny times – far- left
    huffington post – far-left
    washington post – far-left
    to name a few. Who are you trying to kid? You have plenty of support from the mainstream

  8. Great video.
    I also think it would be worth doing a video on the liberal press. As Chomsky says, they are the ones who set the boundaries of ‘reasonable’ discussion.
    I think figures like James O’Brien have played a more considerable role in making another Tory government (and thus, brexit) more likely than people realise.
    O’Brien, writers for the guardian, telegraph and others have played a crucial role in herding educated opinion towards disfavouring Corbyn and labour.

  9. Let's be honest the majority off the English are not the brightest bunch, need to lift wiser minds in working class up, Who Would u say you represent Novara the middle class, Minorities, Working Class who in population do you lot want to lift up

  10. Why should the amount of money people have prejudice our opinion of them?

    One could ask : Who do you work for? Which philosophy are you a mouthpiece of? – It’s fair enough to question somebody’s opinions but not to question the motive behind that opinion as that is known only to themselves. The newspapers following a certain point view is no more illegitimate than this channel pushing its view.

  11. But these newspapers have billions of readers combined! I would blame the simpletons for buying into these propaganda tools and techniques! If people whinge about loosing millions of jobs to outsourcing they have no one to blame but themselves !

  12. The real issue whether you are billionaire or not. A single individual should not allow he/she opinion to dominate the mass, which favour the corporate elite. Bribing politician and lawmakers to Benefit the elite.

  13. Three tax avoiding foreigners control 83% of our media to turn us against not only each other but hate on those who would benefit us. Support 'Vox Political' in its legal case against Rachel Riley who's been trying to get advertisers to not do business with small independent news outlets that the Murdochs of the world, tax avoiding billionaires, can't control.

  14. I know it would be impossible to ever know for sure, but I wonder how much damage to the world Rupert Murdoch has done single handedly. It's got to be a lot. Perhaps more than almost any other individual in history, excepting perhaps Hitler.

  15. Anyone with a brain knows the msm in uk is dead and buried! I don't believe one word of it run and owned by tax avoiding criminal elitist s. Vote Labour jezza is one of the few honest politicians the same thing is happening in usa against bernie Sanders

  16. "Follow the money."
    This will also be the route to take when there are voting "irregularities."
    It's good that Corbyn might have a chance at winning, but, when everything shakes out, we will be back to realizing that without a unified, organized, international left able to fight back and defeat capitalists (like the owners of the papers) and eventually capitalism, we're fucked.
    So the question remains, how do we bring the left together. If we aren't as organized and international as the capitalists, why do we think we can make fundamental change? I have less faith in Bernie and even he admits that he essentially won't be able to do much without a movement behind him (and more realistically pushing him). In the end, we can't rely on any politician to "save us."
    Novara is going to have to figure out how to move the conversation forward and lift up people and orgs that are trying to unify and organize the left – or find the ones who want that to be our project. Maybe they can begin by having an ongoing discussion of how to make it happen. At the moment, the most you hear in left media is someone saying one sentence at the end of a discussion that goes something like, "the left is going to have to be international." If any of this new energy on the left is ever to amount to anything, we're going to have to do a fair bit better than that.
    In the meantime, for those that read this, I think this kind of follow-the-money piece is good general education, but the point remains, it will all be a waste of time if we can't organize ourselves and actually do things as one, like help struggling people, shut shit down, unionize, fight corporate power tactically – and the list goes on…
    All of that gets easier when we are an organized movement. Imagine if Novara was the media arm of an actual multi-million person movement and every one of those people gave one pound a month in support. Imagine what they could build with that…

  17. I don't get the point of a video like this. There's no real part of your viewership who doesn't already know this. Look I've said this on a few of your videos now but this idea on the left that you just have to get the information out there and if enough people know and learn, it will change things, simply isn't true. Politics is about popularity and trends, most people don't care about it or those that do are ignorant to the reality of it and those who do care and aren't ignorant are disillusioned by it. Stop preaching and instead start setting trends, policies and ideas need to be presented like fashion statements, they need to be simple, shiney and something you want to be be part of. If your idea is that papers are propaganda devices for the rich and aren't for the people then you need a quick and easy way to illustrate that, and will resonate with people and catch on quick. I don't have the solution for you but everyday people are turned off by these types of videos

  18. Funny how these newspaper barons zealously advocate a neoliberal ideology of competition and deregulation, yet are very reticent about relinquishing control of the 80% of media that they own and manipulate.

  19. What exactly can we do about this? Seriously it seems completely hopeless. I know too many people with shit jobs on a shit wage who have fucking told me they are voting conservative…including a nurse. We can talk for hours about all the shit she has to put up with on shift, she tells me the reason things are so bad is the understaffing and target chasing, that can only be fixed with more money… then says Labour will destroy everything by spending to much. This is actual brainwashing. Voting tory is like a shiny badge that says I'm better than Labour voting scroungers…they think one day they will rise above everyone else, the kind of people that think they will be the survivors in an apocalypse, its beyond delusional. We are becoming such an ugly culture where pulling up the ladder behind you is somehow some sort of fucking virtue.

  20. The wealth divide is only ever about one thing, it is a conflict between those keeping taxes for themselves, and governmental taxes being spent on the public. And the threshold of tax going into public hands should be just enough that they do not revolt. Austerity. It's an economic model, not a certainty. And the more you allow austerity to exist, the more it appears to work well for the super wealthy. The bigger the castles, the poorer the peasantry. A borderline revolting public (always borderline if intelligently managed), means that the most money is being saved, by keeping tax from getting into public hands.

  21. Thank you for highlighting quite possibly the biggest problem with british democracy today. Oligarchs with the power, motive and ability to keep the masses ignorant and indoctrinated.

  22. The same company that owns the Mirror owns the Daily Express (Reach PLC).

    I appreciate you calling out part of the problem, but don't assume this is just a problem on the right. Yes, most papers try to actively manipulate people according to their preferred ideology. But the real problem is that most papers will just tell people what they think they want to hear to make a sale. We all like our pre-existing views being reaffirmed.

    Don't forget, it's also true that the same company that owns the Sun owns the Scottish Sun – both often spin the exact same story in completely the opposite direction to each other. JUST. TO. MAINTAIN. READERSHIP.

    Yes, the influence of money in media matters. But so too does a failure to recognise our own biases. Encouraging people to be more open minded, and to think more critically, is the only way I believe we can ultimately solve the problem of misinformation being profitable to spread and all too readily believed.

  23. Ahh if only we make the government larger, more powerful and taking more control over the papers it will make everything bett…..

  24. I have been saying this for very long time ,thanks for highlighting it ,more of the public need to wake up,the tories and the billionaire media want to control the narrative.

  25. I have been thinking about this for many months now, specially the link between the BBC and the Billionaire owned printed paper. I really couldn't have put it better myself Mr Bastani and I hope it spreads like a wildfire to educate and wakes up the working-class voter in GE2019. GOOD WORK MATE

  26. My local news stand has a sign saying " Your Sun might be worth £15k" should be replaced by" Your Sun is a rather expensive firelighter"

  27. Honestly haven't bought a newspaper for about 15 years. The Reach Group (Express, Mirror, Star, Record) and Scott Trust (Guardian, Observer) are no better. It doesn't have to be a single billionaire at the top. No paper, literally none- including City AM, FT, The New European, give a shit about the truth.

  28. Absolutely brilliant Aaron! and out of all them Murdoch is by far the most powerful in terms of global policy. these are the unelected oligarchs directing policy

  29. I blame 24Hour rolling news broadcasts. We all know that you shouldn't feed journalists after midnight… Might as well just put the Gremlins theme tune in front of every news programme. And what with all the extra water from the heavy rains and floods due to climate change. Problems are just going to multiply…

  30. This strikes at the heart of what Noam Chomsky called 'Manufactured Consent''. This election is not a contest between Labour and Conservative, but a fight between the media barons and pro democratic activists

  31. And people only believe what they hear on corporate media. They won't believe anything that comes from independent media despite how much evidence they provide.

    Corporate media is seen as the official news source and anything that doesn't appear on it, is seen to be fake.

    As a result, independent media don't get the chance to rise up because the majority of people don't see them as a credible source.

  32. The "what's wrong with being a billionaire" clip always makes me shake my head in disbelief. Even from a right wing/centerist point of view, hording a sizable amount of wealth inflates the currency.

    They physically cannot spend their liquid funds fast enough to stop that from happening.

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