#1: Reagan’s repeal of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting, which opened the door for corporate sponsored political propagandizing to purposely misinform the general public on controversial political issues. Its repeal basically allowed paid broadcasters the ability to lie to the public without any control or right to rebuttal.
#2: 2010’s Citizens United SCOTUS ruling, which allowed corporations to bypass political contribution regulations and inject billions more in corporate money into political elections.
Also, in 2003, Fox News won a legal challenge in which a Florida court of appeals ruled that they had the right NOT to report factual news, and could just invent anything they wanted and portray it AS legitimate “news,” voiding the FCC’s policy on equal time and truth in broadcasting.
These events have allowed our media to become 24/7 bullshit factories under the control of supercorporate multinationals.
It’s not even that “the world changed.” It’s that OUR PERCEPTION of the world changed— meaning, steps were taken that altered our ability to perceive the world clearly.
Right at this moment, in the United States, crime is way down. Violent crime, especially, is at a 30 year low. Gun crime is also down, and murder rates are at a 30 year low. Overall world poverty is down, government spending is down, the deficit is going down, the national debt is dropping, and the world economy— which stalled out in 2007— is growing again. War and incidents of violence are at a 100 year low all over the world. Air quality is up, the ozone layer has recovered, quality of life and overall total of personal wealth per capita throughout the world is higher than it ever has been. Though the American standard of living has stalled and slipped a bit vs. our GNP (forcing the Middle Class to pay for everything while not taxing the rich will do that), overall quality and standard of living has grown by leaps and bounds all over the world. Infant mortality is down. Incidence of disease is down. IQ’s are rising. Literacy is rising. Incidents of discrimination are down. Incidents of child abuse are down. Life expectancy is rising.
Why doesn’t everyone know that?
Because that’s NOT what the media get paid to tell us. We now have 24/7 access to live news feeds from all over the world telling us about every rotten thing that happens on the planet as it happens. And when things aren’t bad enough, we have info-tainment channels and internet media making things seem worse by inventing and spreading bullshit crisis stories skewed to attract attention and garner ratings, as well as so-called “Reality Programming” parading a bunch of semi-scripted imaginary shock drama before our glazed eyes. “Amish Mafia”? What a load of unmitigated horse-shit.
All the news is scary and annoying because the corporate media advertisers have long since realized that the best way to attract someone’s attention, and keep their attention, is by pissing them off and scaring the hell out of them.
The world is doing okay. Though expect the corporations to hush up the dangers of all the scientific meddling and environmental impact of their big money-making projects and pretend it’s not happening (Koch Industries, Monsanto, etc.). That’s no different than Big Tobacco hiring P.R. firms to conceal the dangers of smoking, or the Food Industry pretending high fructose corn syrup isn’t causing the obesity epidemic because it’s cheaper than importing real cane sugar and they pack it into everything. It’s all a money grab, and an attempt to sell snake oil to the clueless masses.
We’re doing better than they want us to believe. But they know that if we stay scared and pissed off and divided against one another, we won’t be able to figure out who’s really giving us the shaft.
Spoiler alert: it’s the multinational corporate oligarchy playing us against one another to squeeze a few more cents out of us while they sell us their patented chemical garbage.