HIGHTOWER: TV Networks Cover-Up Campaign Corruption

One group that has been suspiciously quiet about the national scandal of corporate money polluting America's politics is the very group that usually loves a juicy scandal: TV networks.While newspapers have begun doing a good job of tracking fat-cat contributors and the favors they buy for their cash, the Big Five Broadcasters have given this explosive story as little attention as possible, providing viewers with none of the in-depth, saturation coverage that they devote to, say, the O.J. Simpson trial.Why have ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and FOX not been beating the drums for campaign finance reform? Because they profit from the corruption.FIRST, a big chunk of the money given to candidates by the special interests ends-up being spent on television ads. In last year's elections, the top 75 media markets collected $400 million to run political ads. Why push to reform a system that fills your company's pockets with so much cash?SECOND, the conglomerate owners of the Big Five themselves are among the worst corruptors of the system, funneling more than $3 million in unregulated, corporate funds into the Republican and Democratic parties for the '96 elections.The result of their contributions is billions of dollars worth of direct subsidies, special tax breaks and other governmental favors for Disney, Time-Warner, Westinghouse, Rupert Murdoch and GE -- the owners of the networks. One especially ripe plum that they intend to pluck from the federal tree this spring are licenses for digital television. Like all of the airwaves, this broadcast spectrum is owned by you and me -- the public. It is estimated to be worth at least $70 BILLION, but the TV giants want it FREE OF CHARGE . . . and Washington is going along with this theft.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . and that's why the networks are not pushing to reform campaign corruption.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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