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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Corporate Media "Embedded" with Wall Street as Economic Crisis Hit
04 Apr 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Corporate Media "Embedded" with Wall Street as Economic Crisis Hit

Interview with Danny Schechter, media critic and filmmaker, conducted by Scott Harris

As widespread anger still lingers about $165 million in bonuses paid to employees at the failed insurance giant AIG -- bailed out by more than $170 billion in taxpayer funds -- another, larger set of bonuses is being investigated. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, chairman of the domestic policy subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, has opened an inquiry into about $3.6 billion in bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees, 22 times larger than bonuses paid by AIG. The bonuses were set in December, after the government allocated $10 billion in bailout funds to help save the firm from collapse by brokering its sale to Bank of America.

Americans generally were taken by surprise when the economic collapse struck last fall. Much of the blame, critics say, can be placed on Congress, which deregulated the industry then turned a blind eye to reckless casino games played with subprime mortgages and credit default swaps. But the corporate media also played a pivotal role with its decision not to aggressively report on these dodgy financial practices, which triggered the current economic meltdown.

The business media's cozy relationship with Wall Street movers and shakers was briefly exposed when the Daily Show's Jon Stewart skewered the CNBC business cable channel. Stewart bluntly criticized CNBC's Jim Cramer, Rick Santelli and others for their uncritical reporting of Wall Street's dangerous scams and fawning coverage of corporate billionaires. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with filmmaker and author Danny Schechter, who examines the corporate media's failure to investigate Wall Street's irresponsible schemes, which brought on the economic collapse.

Danny Schechter, co-founder of is the author of, "Plunder: Investigating our Economic Calamity and the Sub Prime Scandal." Read Danny's News Dissector Blog online at

Related links:

* "In Debt We Trust" film documentary at
* "Credit Crisis: How Did We Miss It?", British Journalism Review, March 2009



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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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