When you control information sources, you control the minds
Our previous post bemoaned the state of journalism, due to hidden motives in particular. It is sometimes worth writing a post which is slightly off topic just so that we can cross reference it in the future. This makes the Web site self contained, along with pointers to factual information that resides on other Web sites (news sites in particular). One piece of the puzzle that is still missing from this site are the strong holdings of the Gates Foundation in media companies worldwide, which affects reporting (making it biased, in favour of Microsoft).
”The two latter points are situations where Microsoft is caught paying/rewarding people for public interactions that are favourable to Microsoft.“We recently covered examples where Bill Gates is caught lying, situations where the media is controlled by Microsoft directly or indirectly and also astroturfing. The two latter points are situations where Microsoft is caught paying/rewarding people for public interactions that are favourable to Microsoft.
Presented below are reports from the past year where the Gates Foundation buys, sponsors, or invests in media companies. The Gates Foundation is forced to disclose such information and the same goes for lobbying, of which there is plenty (that is a story for another day).
Here is a transaction that exposes Gates’ ownerships in Univision, which is a media company.
The foundation said it sold its remaining stake in Univision, which is in the process of being acquired by private investors, for an average of $35.34 per share in open market transactions.
Here is another similar report, which is older. gates borrows $350 million to MediaNews.
Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of those involved in the deal didn’teven know he was one of the investors. It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy outfit.
What what MediaNews then did.
MediaNews did buy the Mercury News with a loan from Bill Gates’ foundation, and is in the process of paying back that loan by publishing information without much journalistic or technical integrity.
Specifically, I wrote “One might think that the San Jose Mercury News, being located in Apple’s backyard, would tend to trumpet the company’s success. One would be wrong… Apple’s corporate proximity to San Jose is trumped by the Mercury News’ need to publish low cost, highly sensational news to make enough money to pay back Bill Gates for the favor of his humanitarian loan.”
Here is another media company getting snatched by Gates.
Bill Gates’ investment fund Cascade Investment LLC reported in a regulatory filing on Friday that its holds a 12.8 percent stake in the common stock of online media company PlanetOut Inc.
The only significant addition, in comparison with Gates’ second-quarter report, is a new stake in online media company PlanetOut Inc.
The investments appear to be on the rise in general.
The overall value of the foundation’s portfolio increased to $9.12 billion from $6.64 billion as of June 30.
Several days ago, reports revealed that the Foundation’s investments in oil companies had remained in fact as well. This brings back to mind an article from the LA Times that the Foundation was unable to rebut properly (if at all).
The foundation made moves in other sectors during Q3, as well, adding shares in Caterpillar and Canadian National Railway, while maintaining stakes in energy giants Exxon Mobil and BP.
We than come to the consequences, which are biased journalism and general fear of Microsft’s wrath. Linux Journal has a good article on this matter.
Of one thing I am fairly certain. Microsoft all but eliminated mainstream software competition. As a result, Microsoft became the primary source of advertising revenue for mainstream publications. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. So instead of publishing issues calling for a worldwide boycott of Vista because it focuses more on what you can’t do than what you can do, you see special editions praising Vista as the greatest advancement in computing since Windows 95. Granted we all know that Windows 95 was a dog from day one, but by the 90s, the mainstream press had already become rampant with Microsoft sycophants and they pushed Windows 95 like it was the second coming.
In short, I’d love to see a mainstream publication become an advocate for the consumer once again.
As noted above, there are exceptions, including Linux Journal, most other FOSS-centered publications and even The Register. But we’re the little guys.
Here is the impact Microsoft has had on the BBC ever since their close collaborative relationship began.
BBC viewers have flooded the corporation with complaints over how it covered the launch of Microsoft Vista earlier this week.
In one cringingly servile interview worthy of Uriah Heep, the Beeb’s news presenter Hugh Edwards even thanked Gates at the end of it, presumably in appreciation at being allowed to give the Vole vast coverage for free.
In other TV news items presenters excitedly explained how Vista could be obtained and installed – details courtesy of the BBC’s website.
But British viewers, currently forced to pay a £131.50 licence fee to maintain the BBC’s “impartiality”, were less than impressed.
Here is the story of someone who is believed to have lost his job because the publication would not criticise its big advertisers
Apparently he also told the staff that product reviews had to be nicer to vendors who advertise in the magazine. The sad thing is that given the economics of publishing in this day and age, I doubt anything even comes of this even tho it essentially confirms that PC World reviews should be thought of as no more than press releases. I know that’s how I will consider links from them in the future. But congratulations to anyone willing to stick to their guns on such matters.
Remember Mr. Geer, who apparently lost his job (or quit) after criticising Microsoft? This is far from fiction and the evidence above speaks for itself. █