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The Curse of Bigness

Ralph welcomes the man who coined the term “net neutrality,” Tim Wu, who talks about how we need to break up concentrated power in Big Tech and other industries. Then, Mickey Huff, director of Project Censored, returns to talk about the state of the media as outlined in his new book “United States of Distraction.”

Tim Wu is Professor of Law, Science and Technology at Columbia Law School. He teaches antitrust, copyright, the media industries and communications law. Back in 2003, he coined the term “net neutrality” in his book Network Neutrality Broadband Discrimination. Professor Wu has written many books on technology and communication, including The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, which warns us about the dangers of excessive corporate and industrial concentration for our economic and political future.

“I think we’re kind of at the end of a forty year experiment of reduced anti-trust laws, (resulting in) unprecedented concentration in the U.S. economy. You’d have to go back to the first Gilded Age to see so many sectors dominated by one firm or two firms. And I think our experiment of un-enforcement has brought many of the dangers we were worried about in the old days, (like) political influence – the fact that Congress will not do so many things that people want.”

Professor Tim Wu, author of “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age”

Mickey Huff is currently professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is co-chair of the history department. He is also the current director of Project Censored, founded in 1976, and president of the nonprofit Media Freedom Foundation. His latest book, co-authored with Nolan Higdon is United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It).

“Chuck Todd publically admitted in an interview that he cannot ask his guests tough questions, or else they won’t come back on his program for fear that they will get scooped by other sycophantic establishment networks. So, he basically admitted that the propaganda model is real, alive and well – Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model. And that he is dictated to from the top by market forces that determine what is legitimate political information for ‘we the people.’”

Mickey Huff, co-author of “United States of Distraction”


  1. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Actually, it IS about Russia not trying to influence the election, because three years later there is still ZERO EVIDENCE that the Russian state did anything of the sort. It’s a dangerous hoax used to divert attention from corruption (politician corruption, political party corruption, media corruption, actual, genuine election fraud, voter suppression, you name it) and manufacture consent for continued insane military spending and a onslaught against real journalists like Julian Assange. All the while the Doomsday Clock has been pushed to the closest point to midnight as it was in the early ’50s. Yes, it’s important for people to remember how much the US meddles in other countries’ elections around the world and not to kid ourselves by presuming that other countries wouldn’t do the same (Israel and Saudi Arabia for instance), but the fact is the Russiagate hoax’s strongest adherents have had years to come up with something substantive while they push this crap and they still have zilch. Will any of these propagandists pay a price for three years of lies? Will anyone at MSNBC lose their job over journalistic impropriety? And what does this say about the people who allowed themselves to fall for the hoax? How was it that they were able to be tricked, putting their critical thinking skills on hold because Trump got elected? They need to ask themselves that question and figure out an answer most of all.

    A commitment to evidence and empiricism is the central pillar of ‘progressivism’. If you cannot meet that requirement nor hold those accountable who don’t, then you can’t seriously call yourself a progressive.

    • Jack Reich says:

      Nonsense. Russian involvement in skewing the election toward Trump was overwhelming and well-documented. Some knee jerk Russiaphiles want to overlook it all, but it’s clear that Trump is beholden to the Russians, and they wanted their friend in there. You do the Democrats and democracy no favor by denying it – but that’s your INTENT, isn’t it?

      • Afdal Shahanshah says:

        You have nothing, Jack. You’ve had nothing for three years and you have nothing now. No hacks, no “influence campaign”, no blackmail. Impeachment proceedings could have been started against Trump the day he stepped into office for violating the emoluments clause but the massively corrupt Democrats didn’t care. Instead they began a new Red Scare to divert attention from their own corruption. We don’t have anything resembling a functioning democracy in the US and we haven’t for over 30 years, quit kidding yourself. Corporations buy the loyalty of congresspersons (most of which are millionaires) while we have had systemic, serial election fraud since at least the year 2000 coupled with massive voter suppression. Has anything been done to hold the fraudsters accountable since the theft of the 2016 primary? Has the election system which the Carter Foundation calls “the worst in the developed world” been made more trustworthy since then? The Russkies didn’t give us these problems. They were spawned right here at home by corrupt Democratic and Republican party operatives. Read this and come back to reality:

  2. bruce k. says:

    Hahaha, great picture from Monty Python’s “Meaning Of Life”. Oh sir, it’s only one tiny thin leetle waffer!

  3. Terry Huebert says:

    What’s with Mickey and that beard? He looks like a hockey player in the final days of the Stanley Cup playoffs…And that’s not a compliment.

  4. Don Harris says:

    See my comment from last week’s show on how you could raise 1 billion dollars to set up a nonprofit corporation to buy up media that would be controlled by you and a board elected by the shareholders.

    And once we got that going we could use the same model to set up a sister corporation to create a non-profit Google and Facebook option to solve that problem and we could use our media network to advertise it.

    Why do you keep putting people on that are only offering legislative solutions some point in the future when there are options that could begin to address the problem NOW because they DON’T require legislation- just citizen participation?

    In a way, you are doing the same thing you are complaining about the rest of the media doing by not providing citizens with information on all possible alternatives.

    We have the same goals- just different approaches.

    Please provide a good example for the rest of the media by having me on the Radio Hour to discuss this idea and One Demand, a similar approach to get the big money out of our political process that you said on Washington Journal in the fall of 2018 was an idea that deserved to be heard and that you would have me on the Radio Hour to discuss it.

    At least address it during listener questions as your representative said they thought you had decided to do instead in the Spring of 2019 or provide me with an explanation of why you have changed your mind.

    Since 2015 I have followed your advice in articles and on the Radio Hour on how to get someone like you to address an idea and it doesn’t even seem to work on you.

    If you are just testing to measure my persistence and commitment don’t you have enough of a sample to make a determination yet?

    While you may have changed your mind on whether this idea deserves to be heard, don’t I at least deserve an explanation of why you have changed your mind?

    Note: I would like to acknowledge that you do post my comments here. It does at least allow me to call you out in a public forum which is one of the ways you advise citizens to try to get people such as yourself to address an issue or idea they are ignoring.

  5. joe peeer says:

    Dear Ralph ,,,
    why voting doesn’t work….
    example : Vote a Dem judge, vote a republican judge.
    which one doesn’t sentence u to a cage for weed ?
    You have a third option, don’t vote. At what point during ur democracy, do the people get what you want ?
    the facade of choice.

  6. cynthia dean says:

    hi folks, what’s your source ralph, for stat that 90% of us book groups are fiction-only? our monthly group (website/readin list below) alternates between fiction& nonfiction. re media discussion: we recently read daniel j. boorstin’s 1962 The Image A Guide to Pseudo-events in America. (written b4 Boorstin had reaction to sixties protests) cheers & thanx to you 3!!

  7. Rod Mabee says:

    Hi Ralph and Co.

    Great show. I recently came across a book entitled “Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives” by Eliabeth Anderson and wondered if she had been on your show yet.
    It would be great to hear more on her work .