Analysis of the
Media's Use of Techniques in Public Persuasion

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A Closer Look at the AT&T and T-MOBILE Merger

Posted by Roar of the Bewildered Herd on March 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM Comments comments (6)

Is the $39 billion dollar merger between telecommunication giants AT&T and T-Mobile just being done to support the world's most valuable company, Apple Inc.?

 

Let’s go back to 2007, the beginning of the smart phone revolution. Apple releases the iPhone and signs an exclusive deal with AT&T as its exclusive wireless provider, making the Apple-AT&T deal a closed-sourced business model. Which plainly means that if you use their phone, you can only use their applications that only work on their choice Network.

 

Shortly after, Google released the Android and chose to use Verizon as its main wireless provider. However, Google chooses to support an open-sourced business model, meaning that the Android operating system can be used with other providers such as Sprint and T-Mobile.  It also means that if you use their phones, you can use 3rd party applications on their phones. This begins the war between Google's open-sourced business model and Apple's closed-sourced model.

 

Meanwhile, a year prior to the start of the wireless connectivity war, Rene Obermann, the CEO of T-Mobile, becomes CEO of T-Mobile's German parent company Deutsche Telecom. Late in 2007, Apple breaks its own business model when it strikes a deal with T-Mobile allowing the iPhone to be used on Germany's T-Mobile network.  Why this was done at the time, no one fully understood. Jump ahead three years to June 2010.  Apple is in negotiations to allow the iPhone to be used on T-Mobile's network in the United States, confusing some because Verizon is the larger network. In September 2010, USA Today wrote that Apple is the second largest company in the world behind EXXON.  In October 2010, the Huffington Post wrote that Apple's stock must rise 12% above the then current stock price of $282.52 cents in order to become the largest company in the world.  As of today, March 28, 2010, Apple's stock sells for $351.54, down from $364.90 last week, making it the most valuable and largest company in the world. On March 20, 2010, AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile USA for $39 billion dollars is announced.

 

Let’s go back again to 2007.  A deal is made between Steve Jobs and Ex-CEO of T-Mobile, Rene Obermann, which allowed the iPhone to be used on T-Mobile's German network, breaking the exclusivity deal between Apple and AT&T. Three years later, Rene Obermann sells T-Mobile USA to AT&T. Now, let's go back to the open-sourced, closed-sourced business models. It seemed that Apple was slowly adopting the Google mentality of open-sourced ideas. However, it is now clear that a more strategic agenda was being worked out over the past few years involving Steve Jobs of Apple, Rene Obermann of T-Mobile and AT&T.  Will the closed-source business model rule when all is said and done? Will the fight to keep an open-source for wireless connectivity continue or is this the end?

 

It is now in the hands of the FCC whether or not the deal goes through. Is this the reason the FCC ruled to exempt wireless providers from the "unreasonable discrimination" clause back in December 2010? Shall we be so bold as to connect the decision to place Julius Genachowski as head of the FCC by President Obama just so Obama can somehow payback and support big business telecommunication lobbyists? Is this a repeat of the 1996 Telecommunications Act ... where big media conglomerates hijacked the telecommunications industry? Is President Obama pro-big business or really trying to regulate financial institutions as he has promised? Is the current trend of financial institution's dominance in politics becoming more transparent? Are we, the Bewildered Herd barking up the wrong tree? The Bewildered Herd will continue to Roar. 

The Impact of Government Deregulation

Posted by Roar of the Bewildered Herd on March 2, 2011 at 3:11 PM Comments comments (0)

In the 1990’s, Deregulation in the banking system brought about a new financial scheme called 'derivatives'.  Bankers and economists said that it would stabilize the financial institution. We now know that derivatives were the cause of the recent financial meltdown.  In 2003, Warren Buffet called them "financial weapons of mass destruction" and that they could harm not only their buyers and sellers, but the whole economic system.  Boy was he right! What the creation of derivatives did was allow bankers to gamble on everything including the rise and fall of anything. Imagine for a moment the implications of a banker pushing a certain company to all his investors knowing that the company is not sound.  Then while doing this, he personally invests in the failure of that company.  He then invests in the failure of the insurance company that insures the investment, knowing all along the initial investment is "CRAP."  One would think that this is a conflict of interest and illegal, but by allowing deregulation and not reforming the actions of bankers, this is exactly what happened.  For further information about the ideas behind the failure of derivatives, we suggest that you watch Inside Job, the new film by Charles Ferguson.  But keep an open mind into the possibility that this film may have a hidden agenda as well.

 

Now let’s apply this to what is happening with Net Neutrality at the moment.  The large telecommunication companies are fighting for the deregulation of the Internet and fighting against the reform of net neutrality.  Has anyone thought why and how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Groupon and Youtube are worth billions and billions of dollars without creating or generating a product? Does this sound familiar with the tech bubble of the 90’s or the housing bubble of the past decade? Could this financial meltdown have happened if reforms were in place? If deregulation happens with the Internet, could this be a set up for the social networking bubble? Recently, the Wall Street Journal announced that in Europe “the fight for net neutrality is over, and net neutrality lost.” Is this the preface of what is to come in the United States?

 

When will the Bewildered Herd speak up against these large companies from doing what they please at our expense? When will the persuasion committed by these conglomerates and financial institutions be transparent? When will the masses think for themselves and no longer be manipulated into following those believed to be in charge? Remember that it is you who has the power, strength and voice in a democracy.  Just remember it is you who must exercise that right.

February 8th, 2011 - Media Awareness Day

Posted by Roar of the Bewildered Herd on February 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (3)

Roar of the Bewildered Herd makes February 8th Media Awareness Day.

 

Today, on the 15th Anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, it seems appropriate to discuss the current crisis of the new laws set into motion by the FCC pertaining to Network Neutrality.

 

On December 20, 2010, the FCC ruled on regulations for broadband Internet connection. The FCC aims to ensure that broadband providers do not discriminate against Internet content and applications. However, the wireless industry seems to have been left alone. In an age where most people access the Internet via their mobile devices, the decision and ruling will not apply to this form of connectivity. This seems to have allowed the giants of the telecommunications industry such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to do what they choose; no regulations means discriminatory Internet access. Use Verizon lines, get Verizon’s applications faster. Use AT&T lines, download AT&T content faster - this is the fear. This creates a two tier system of the Internet. Some are saying that the telecommunications giants got their way; but then why would Verizon and Metro PCS file law suits against the FCC? Both companies seek to repeal the Agency's new Net Neutrality regulations. The question is - is Corporate Propaganda at work here?

 

Alex Carey mentions that Corporate Propaganda is the tool used by Corporate Power to protect itself from Democracy. So if the FCC is a representation of the people, signifying a Democratic process, then it seems to be appropriate from Corporate Power to try and over-turn the ruling, in effect, taking the power away from the people. If the people want a free Internet for all, why are the people not fighting for this? Where is the open discussion? Why are the necessary questions not being asked to achieve this? If this is truly a Democratic society, where the people choose what is necessary and what is not, why can’t a free Internet be possible right now?

 

In another recent move, Fred Upton, the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said today that the House could deny funding to the Federal Communications Commission to carry out controversial network-neutrality rules.

 

What do the Telecommunication giants stand to gain if the FCC rulings are over-turned, and why is the Energy and Commerce Committee threatening to pull FCC funding in an attempt to block the order approved in December? It is hard to deny that when the Democratic system exercises its rights and uses government agencies in the necessary way to get what the people want, Corporate Propaganda rears its head and the agenda is set in motion to sway opinion in favor of Corporate Power. 

What is the Internet's Role in a Democracy?

Posted by Roar of the Bewildered Herd on January 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM Comments comments (76)

According to Alex Carey, the Australian social psychologist who "pioneered the study of corporate propaganda", the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of Democracy, the growth of Corporate Power, and the growth of Corporate Propaganda as a means of protecting Corporate Power against Democracy.

 

Assuming that the advent of newspaper, radio and television were for the sole purpose of pushing the corporate agenda forward, and the consolidation of the media was necessary to assure the corporate agenda, would the deregulation of the Internet, as we have seen it with radio and cable in 1996, be necessary to continue with this agenda? If so, how does this affect Democracy? Is the Internet as important to Democracy as we are stating it is?

 

These are just a few questions that we will answer in our effort to investigate the effects of Corporate Propaganda on our global society. Our goal is to foster a healthy debate on how media is assimilated and encourage communities to support a neutral broadband network that continues to allow access to muliple media outlets.  We will be discussing several topics weekly that incorporate the different mediums of propaganda and how they are used to persuade the public, or more appropriately stated by the late Walter Lippmann, "the bewildered herd."  Visit our Resources link to learn more about the history, studies, and theories behind propaganda.