It never ceases to disgust, horrify and amaze how people are hoodwinked by marketing, media and advertizing. A textbook case is election 2014. States have measures on the ballot, and Oregon has one that big business in particular doesn't like. As a result the campaign to defeat it has become the costliest in Oregon history as big business pounds the airwaves with their deep pocket funded misleading and manipulative ads.
A nearly half-million dollar contribution from soft-drink giant Coca-Cola appears to have put Oregon's mandatory GMO-labeling measure over the top as the costliest ballot measure in state history. Coca-Cola, while donating large sums of money in helping defeat similar labeling measures in California in 2012 and Washington in 2013, had sat out the fight over Measure 92.
Measure 92 was polled last June as 77% of Oregonians voting for it. Now, it is about to go down in defeat. This change is the result of pure pounding the airwaves with false political ads, one every commercial break, about every two minutes. Big food and big chemical have put their big thumb on the political scale:
Last week, Measure 92, the mandatory GMO labeling initiative in Oregon, became the costliest ballot measure in state history when Coca Cola donated $468,000 to the opposition campaign. Coca Cola is only the most recent donor in a string of “Big Food” and biotechnology companies supporting the opposition campaigns, joining corporate food giants like Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, and the largest donor, agrochemical behemoth Monsanto in flooding the airwaves with $11.1 million worth of attack ads in the weeks leading up to the election.
The Oregonian has been keeping tabs on how Yes on Measure 92 is being outspent and by whom. The special interests have poured so much money into defeating this measure, the money is currently $20 million to a $6.8 million, almost 3 to 1. That is one measure in one state. The contribution donor list is also very depressing. A woman who owns a coastal fishery gives $200 to label GMO foods, a public defender offers $400 to pass measure 92. Compare that to the $4.5 million poured in by Dupont as Monsanto contributes half a million there, 2.5 million over there, all to stop Oregonians from knowing what is in their food.
As a result of this corporate money pouring into Oregon to convince Oregonians they should vote to not know what they are eating, the polling has gone from 77% supporting the measure in June to now measure 92 going down in defeat. Monsanto used similar strategy to defeat the effort in Washington, California and this year in Colorado. If you ask anyone if they want to know what is in their food, the answer is emphatically yes, yet the lobbyists and media manipulators have browbeat and baffled Oregonians and other states so much, people are voting against their own consumer and health interests.
This isn't the first time corporate money has poured into a state to defeat a candidate or measure. Yet it must be the best example of how marketing, media and money can get any entire population to vote against their own interests.
The pounding going on is intense. The Center for Public Integrity tabulates 8 States have at least one Senate TV ad every two minutes and 38% of all Senate ads are funded by outside special interests. It is well known money buys elections and those with the most money win 91% of the time.
Yet how can the general public continue to be so stupid, so easily swayed in a world where media manipulation is constant? Studies are coming in about twitter manipulation and political ad manipulations are well known. We even have a formula from politicians, to describe a problem, emphasize with those suffering only to peddle some absurd agenda which will make those very problems much, much worse. Political ads are routinely done by not just consultants, but psychological analysts. Ads are crafted to bypass the logical centers of the brain and illicit an emotional response.
The Supreme Court Citizens United decision unleashed more corporate money than one could imagine possible for political purposes. Election 2013 onslaught is estimated to be over $1 billion and people have no idea where that money came from and who is behind what ads and campaigns.
Overall, 38 percent of the ads bought by outside interest groups were bought by “dark money” organizations that do not disclose their donors to the voters they seek to influence. In the heated battle for control of the Senate, nearly half — 48.6 percent — of the ads were bought by such groups, most of them conservative. In fact, 48 percent of pro-Republican interest group ads in 2014 came from dark money groups, compared to 23 percent of pro-Democratic groups’ ads.
If one notices strange groups no one has ever heard of are listed below many ads. They popped up right after labor day pounding the airwaves with their manipulative media. From the latest polling it appears that media manipulation by corporations to sway voters has worked in almost all cases.
American politics are not even a battle of parties and obviously not a battle of ideas. The war is against your mind. Are you easily manipulated or can you research and discover the truth for yourself? Corporations and special interests are betting big bucks that you cannot and instead will succumb to that emotional and primitive reaction they illicit in order to get you to buy their products and their politicians. The reality is those with strong minds who will not be manipulated in such a matter are in the minority. The real American politics is simply a sea of spin where the Populace are pawns, being bantered and brow beaten with psychological warfare tactics whitewashed to look like advertizing.
Folks, if you care at all about this never ending media manipulation, get out there, do your homework and vote today for what you want. There are ballot initiatives in many states of great importance and many are dead even in polling. Even legalization of marijuana has been pounded and may not pass in Florida, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. Multinational Corporations have been pouring money into state elections, so please don't let them just buy and manipulate the populace so easily. Get out there and just say no to unlimited corporate campaign money and the resulting control these institutions have over the nation.
Update: As usual media manipulation and corporations won. Measure 92 lost by around 30,000 votes. Yet another sad day for real choice and freedom.