Author: Willie

The New Narrative: Big Money is Corrupting Our Politics

The New Narrative: Big Money is Corrupting Our Politics

Trump dominated politics on L.A. TV news. A ‘sobering’ City Hall scandal changed that.

California voters have long rejected the notion that big money is corrupting our politics.

But some news organizations are now pushing a new narrative — that California is the latest state to be corrupted by a toxic mix of deep-pocketed corporate interests and the political elite.

It’s a view that the nation’s largest media conglomerates, already under the pressure of a $4.9 billion deficit this year, have a golden opportunity to push for more tax breaks from the Legislature, and to use that same money to expand the reach of advertising on television and radio.

It’s also a view that would undermine key principles of our democracy, like protecting the right to vote and free speech, by placing public policy in the hands of a few wealthy corporations and their political allies.

“I think this is a major problem and I think we’ve had it for a while now,” said David Daley, former political director of the L.A. Times, who recently wrote an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee supporting the notion that the Legislature needs to act in response to L.A.’s corruption scandal.

“It would be hard to overstate how pervasive it has become,” Daley said. “It used to be that a lot of this sort of thing didn’t happen to California because voters wouldn’t put it in the ballot, or the people who would be affected were mostly politicians. But now you see it on a regular basis.”

L.A. TV news has been a dominant force on our televisions for decades, with its nightly newscasts delivered to a nationwide audience by NBC, CBS, ABC and The Weather Channel — the vast majority owned by parent corporations like Viacom and Hearst Communications, which have also bought up many other local news outlets.

It’s a news business that has long been open to corporate influence, thanks to tax breaks and other incentives given by lawmakers, who have been eager to take advantage. Indeed, the Times has been able to maintain high ratings (currently at a record high), despite massive layoffs.

But now,

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