Corporate Greed / Media Manipulation

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Corporate Greed / Media Manipulation

About the show

In the first half, George Knapp welcomed visionary teacher and businesswoman Elaine Smitha, who discussed the harm that corporate greed is wreaking on the planet, including hunger, pollution, and climate change. She lamented that the ever-increasing drive for additional profits by corporations has led to not only outsourced jobs, but also companies turning a blind eye toward the well being of other countries. Smitha gave the example of how corporations ventured to Papua New Guinea in order to mine that nation's minerals. Waste from the mining operations subsequently polluted the nearby rivers, which were the primary water supply of the natives, causing outrage and riots. She also recalled visiting China and noted that the air was so polluted that people had to wear protective masks to breathe.

In order to reverse this trend of profit outweighing corporate responsibility, Smitha advocated for consumers to become more aware of the consequences of their purchases. "You have to be conscious of what you're buying, what you're paying, where you're shopping, what you're feeding your body and what you're feeding your family," she stressed. Should shoppers become more proactive about where their purchases come from, she said, companies will be forced to adjust their practices to preserve their business. To that end, Smitha observed that grocery stores in her area have begun to stock locally grown foods due to the encouragement of their customers.

Media Manipulation

In the latter half, strategist Ryan Holiday talked about how media manipulators are controlling and distorting the news. "Look, this is exactly what's happening and I know that it's happening because I've personally done it," he declared. To that end, he shared his story of working as a marketer for the film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Holiday explained that, since they lacked money and media access, he aimed to create controversy surrounding the film. After buying cheap billboards for the movie, he then vandalised the ads and sent anonymous pictures of his handiwork to local news blogs. The story then spread throughout the internet and "it created this nationwide backlash against the movie that generated millions and millions of advertising impressions."

Holiday also decried the lack of oversight by the media when it comes to verifying the veracity of their sources. He cited a social network which serves to connect reporters with sources and revealed how he had recently spent the last six months on the site posing as an expert on vinyl records and turntables. Subsequently, he was cited as a source on the subject by nearly two dozen media outlets, including ABC News, MSNBC, and even the New York Times. Additionally, Holiday noted, he used his real name during this 'experiment' and none of the news organizations even investigated his background, which would have quickly shown that he was an author on media manipulation and not the expert he claimed to be.

Bumper Music

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