Corporate Control of Public Opinion

An excellent snap-analysis of the corporate world’s stranglehold on public opinion (in response to a man being fired from the Houston Chronicle for running a pseudonymous blog):

It seems to me that although blogs and other means of publishing give people the opportunity, in theory, to express their views and concerns, especially ones of political value, very few people have that freedom in practice because of their employers.

Consider e.g. someone who works for a software company, is opposed to software patents and could speak from experience about their flaws…

Unions protect the interests of some workers as it relates to their terms of employment, but who protects the interests of employees as individuals entitled to engage in asserting their influence in a supposedly democratic environment?

Ok, some people would argue that you can always work elsewhere and even if not, you are still free to vote according to your own judgement, but considering that most people are not in a position in which they can choose where they work, this is yet another mechanism by which corporations and money have more influence than individuals. Effectively, lobbyists not only get to represent the interests of corporations, but speak on the behalf of all of their employees.

Plastic: Blogging Reporter Gets Fired For Practicing ‘Gonzo Journalism’

See also: Nick Denton: the First Blog Martyr


  1. most people are not in a position in which they can choose where they work

    They aren’t? Why not?

  2. Because the economy is so poor. It varies from city to city, but I don’t know a lot of people with many options for employment. If I were to quit my job (which I rather like anyway), I could make pizza dough, wipe asses, or bag groceries. Sure I could also go live on the streets or in a flop house and do odd things to make ends meet, but I don’t have a family to support (though I do have student loans to pay). People trying to support families, especially if they’ve been suckered into debt already, have a much tougher time. Maybe it would be better if they packed up the wife and kids and moved them into a crummy run down house apartment in the bad side of town and got a shitty job that at least afforded them the right to publicly state their opinion, but then they’d be forced to choose between their children’s immediate well being and their future well being. A tough choice to make, ’cause if their kids are killed by drunken lunatics, what’s the point in fighting for the future anyway?

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