Anyone remember when the media started parroting each other?  Well, here's the latest example of the media that is owned by six corporations engaging in more parroting, and it comes by way of print and television.

Commentator Daniel Greenfield calls it the "echo chamber in which the various personalities adhere to one talking point with message discipline worthy of the Soviet Union, North Korea or an Apple marketing campaign."

He points out:

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The talking points go forth and everyone repeats them. While the lefties pretend that they're hearing something original in the echo chamber.

  • Anderson Cooper compares Trump to mob boss - CNN
  • Trump the mob boss wants protection - Washington Post
  • Donald Trump's Mafia Mind Set - The Atlantic
  • President Trump brings mafia ethics to the GOP - Washington Post
  • Trump's Team Keeps Using Mafia-inspired language - Time
  • All the president's wiseguys - Newsday

Forget whether you agree or disagree. Just note the interchangeability. It's all one echo chamber. Jeffrey Goldberg, Anderson Cooper, The Atlantic, Time, the Washington Post and Pravda. A dozen of the top outlets saying the same thing in different ways.

The idea that we have anything resembling a free press is nonsensical. This isn't a free press. It's a propaganda press pushing the same narrative using the same talking points.

Indeed.

I can recall the most memorable parroting of the corporate, state-controlled media.  Remember when the term "gravitas" was constantly coming off the lips of talking heads and commentators around the country regarding former Texas governor and then-presidential candidate George W. Bush's choice of vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney.

Take a listen.

Here are the montage voices:

  • AL HUNT: He meets all of George W’s weaknesses, lack of gravitas.
  • JUAN WILLIAMS: We see the son, who is seeking some gravitas.
  • CLAIRE SHIPMAN: They were looking at candidates with gravitas.
  • STEVE ROBERTS: But he has the gravitas and you can sum it up in one word, stature.
  • VIC FAZIO: It may go to the gravitas.
  • JEFF GREENFIELD: We’re to use the favorite phrase, gravitas.
  • LESTER HOLT: This is a vice president who brought gravitas.
  • WOLF BLITZER: This will give some gravitas, add some credibility.
  • ED ROLLINS: I think the gravitas that Cheney brought to the ticket.
  • JONATHAN ALTER: What he gets is gravitas, a sense of weight.
  • BOB KERREY: He does not need anybody to give him gravitas.
  • MARGARET CARLSON: It means that, you know, gravitas.
  • MIKE MCCURRY: I think he also needs some gravitas.
  • SAM DONALDSON: To give gravitas.
  • ELEANOR CLIFT: Well, he brings gravitas.
  • WALTER ISAACSON: He does seem to bring some gravitas.
  • AL HUNT: It’s called gravitas.
  • MARK SHIELDS: A little gravitas!
  • JUDY WOODRUFF: You certainly have gravitas tonight.
  • SAM DONALDSON: He displayed tonight a certain gravitas.
  • MARIO CUOMO: I think gravitas is the word. Unfortunately for the Governor, you can’t graft gravitas. … He has gravitas.

Nothing has changed.  That was 2000.

Earlier this year, we covered the video that went viral regarding news anchors from Sinclair-owned TV stations, all saying the exact same thing.

Take a look.

So, what has been going on is exactly what Greenfield points out, propaganda.

Investigative journalist Ben Swann explained what was going on here in a two-part video series.

Swann made three points:

Okay, So Point No. 1: So What Is This Video?

Well first, it’s not news. Clearly, this is a promotional segment which the stations are recording in order to express why they are unique. It is done every day on local television stations.

What’s different about this promotional segment is that Sinclair clearly has one promotions director who is sending down the same copy to all its television stations. They seem to have thought that people in those markets would never know that anchors in multiple markets are reading the same thing. But thanks to the Internet, we know.

Point No. 2: This Video Is Clear Evidence Of The Fact That These Anchors From Various Markets Are Simply Reading What They Are Told.

And that happens in every TV market in the country, every day.

Anchors have a job and that job is to sell the copy. But they are not allowed to change the copy. In fact, a friend of mine who works at one of those stations says that station management was required to have the script read, word-for-word, exactly how it was written. They couldn’t even substitute the word “hi” for “hello.”

Point No. 3: This Video Highlights The Biggest Problem With Media Consolidation.

When one company owns so many television stations, they have the ability to push messaging.  However, they choose to vast parts of the country. Now, some people want to jump all over this because it’s Sinclair, which is seen as friendly to President Trump. But to raise the alarm over just Sinclair is disingenuous because media consolidation has been happening for years. And it’s not just Sinclair that controls messaging.

He's right, this was not a "newscast," but was promotional segment, but he rightly points out that when one company owns so many media outlets, whether in print, radio or television, they have the ability to push a specific message with scripted talking points.

Swann followed up with:

Truth In Media Editor-in-Chief Annabelle Bamforth explained in an op/ed for our site that local news stations have been parroting familiar stories across the U.S.

“Among the most popular illustrations of this practice is a segment called “Media Reacts” from Late Night With Conan O’Brien, in which O’Brien pokes fun at the identical media messaging from local news stations. Note that a handful of stations in this clip ARE owned by Sinclair, but there are plenty of stations in these clips that are not; some are owned by Nexstar Media Group, Tegna, Heartland Media, Tribune and Raycom Media.”

In A Report For Truth In Media From 2013, Our Writer Quoted My Experience As A TV Anchor At Multiple Stations Across The Country. What I Had To Say Then, I Stand By Today.

“In most of these cases where O’Brien uses anchors from different TV stations all over the country reading the exact same script word for word, the source of that script is some kind of wire service. This means those stations have subscribed to AP, Reuters, CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, etc wire services. In those cases, the wire story will come down and a station reporter or producer will copy and paste it word for word into a newscast.

“The problem with this policy is that reporters and producers simply take that content as gospel and no one in any newsroom ever bothers to fact check or verify if the wire story is correct. Simply put, in a newsroom, if it is on the wire it has to be true.”

However, there is a solution to all of this: decentralization.

"No matter what they say, all corporations that own news media, whether TV, radio or internet are controlling what content you see.  Period, says Swann.  "But under a decentralized funding model, news can be created that is accountable, not to some corporate suit that wants to impress his or friends, not to politicians, not to advertisers like Big Pharma, but accountable to the truth."

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