Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Illinois Policy Institute Will Now Control the Agenda of the Illinois Radio Network

“The Illinois News Network, a media arm of the Illinois Policy Institute, is acquiring the Illinois Radio Network, which has reporters in Springfield and Chicago and provides news reports to stations throughout the state, including WTAX-AM in Springfield.

“‘We are thrilled to have Illinois Radio Network becoming a part of INN,’ said John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, in a news release. ‘Both organizations have a history of promoting transparency and accountability in government. And we look forward to continuing that fine tradition.’

“…Mike Lawrence, a longtime Statehouse reporter who became former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar’s press secretary and is retired from being director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, called the sale an ‘unfortunate development.’

“‘The Illinois Policy Institute ... is a group that has a very definite ideological agenda, and I would be surprised if it did anything else other than to advance that agenda through its newly acquired operation,’ Lawrence said.

“…Gov. Bruce Rauner’s family foundation gave the Illinois Policy Institute at least $625,000 from 2009 to 2013 – before he was governor. Catherine Kelly, spokeswoman for Rauner, had no comment on IRN’s acquisition by INN…”(Illinois News Network Buying Illinois Radio Network by Bernard Schoenburg).

Who Is the Illinois Policy Institute?
(The following post is from November 18, 2013)

According to the Illinois Policy Institute website, they are “dedicated to promoting the principles of liberty in all levels of government. While the word liberty can be interpreted in many ways and applied to many different arenas we focus specifically on economic liberty and free market principles…”

What are Free Market Principles & Theory?

Free market principles are supported by neo-conservatism or neo-liberalism and perpetuated by a “corporatists’ crusade”; they are aligned with the policies of the “Chicago School” ideologues, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. These doctrines perpetrate a blitzkrieg deconstruction of the middle class, privatization of public ownership and industry (downsizing and parceling out public companies and services to private interests), government deregulation and cuts to spending (thus, stimulating deep economic recessions) and cutbacks or the elimination of the public sphere and all social funding – hence, turning the working class into the “disposable poor” – to loosen control of the flow of money and to produce “freer trade” in the global market marked by an intransigent belief that “it should be left to correct itself.” Global free market theory has surfed “the waves of fear and disorientation” while advancing an ideology of “unfettered capitalism,” leaving inequality and degradation in its wake (Naomi Klein, award-winning journalist, fellow at the London School of Economics, author and filmmaker).

The free market theory caters to self-interested desires and profit to the detriment of other peoples’ lives, all the while promising “freedom and prosperity.” Free market principles advocate that the rich and poor should be taxed at the same flat rate, despite creating a vast inequity; that, for example, education, health care, retirement pensions, national parks (and most any function intrinsic to essential governing) become privatized; that publicly-owned companies, services and their assets be auctioned off to private investors; and that besides allocating vast amounts of wealth and resources from public to private ownership, that in the free market the transfer of private debts to the public sector while public ownership is systematically dismantled ironically continue... For further understanding, read my post: Global Free Market: A Perspective and Admonition.

And What about All that Money behind Free-Market Policies for Media Control, Pension Reform Bills, Privatization, Charter Schools…? Follow the Donors Trust Money Trail:

Donors Trust has injected nearly $400 million into free-market causes, thanks in large part to contributions by dozens of private foundations run by wealthy executives or their families. These foundations have often sought anonymity by passing their grants through Donors Trust, but a Center for Public Integrity review of IRS records reveals some of the largest backers of Donors Trust in recent years:

Charles G. Koch Foundation, Empower Texans Foundation, Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Farmer Family Foundation, Donald and Paula Smith Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, Randolph Foundation, The GFC Foundation, Jaquelin Hume Foundation, William E. Simon Foundation, Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation, William Donner Foundation, Castle Rock / Adolph Coors Foundation, Rose Marie and Jack R. Anderson Foundation, Earhart Foundation, Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, John William Pope Foundation, Anschutz Foundation, Paul Singer Family Foundation…

How Does Money Flow Out from Think Tanks?

Donors Trust has given grants to three national organizations that coordinate free-market policy and media efforts in the states: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the State Policy Network (SPN), and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity (FCGPI). In addition to these umbrella organizations, Donors Trust has directly funded at least 51 state-based think tanks in nearly every state since 2007:

Illinois Policy Institute, Heartland Institute, Manhattan Institute, Knowledge and Progress Fund, Lucy Burns Institute, Independence Institute, Cascade Policy Institute, Searle Freedom Trust, Mackinac Center, South Carolina Policy Council, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, JM Kaplan Fund, Philanthropy Roundtable… This information is from Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states.

“[Indeed], the mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism. They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses. The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn millions of dollars, are invited into the inner circles of power. They are, as John Ralston Saul writes, hedonists of power…

“The mass media are plagued by the same mediocrity, corporatism and careerism as the academy, labor unions, the arts, the Democratic Party and religious institutions. They cling to the self-serving mantra of impartiality and objectivity to justify their subservience to power. The press writes and speaks—unlike academics that chatter among themselves in arcane jargon like medieval theologians—to be heard and understood by the public. And for this reason the press is more powerful and more closely controlled by the state. It plays an essential role in the dissemination of official propaganda. But to effectively disseminate state propaganda the press must maintain the fiction of independence and integrity. It must hide its true intentions...” (The Myth of the Free Press by Chris Hedges, Nation of Change). 

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