Written by Steven McCombs (California Maritime Academy)
Edited by Aimee Casey (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Advisor: Nolan Higdon (California State University, East Bay)
On November 21, 2016, the corporate media covered the junk food news story “Kanye West Hospitalized after Canceling Saint Pablo Tour” while the independent media covered “Big Pharma Tyranny: Globalist Group Wants Restrictions on Natural Health Products”. The Kanye West story is not newsworthy because it does not have a direct impact on how citizens live their lives. On the other hand, restrictions on natural health products could easily have a big impact on people’s lives as many individuals depend on natural medicines.
In November 2016, the corporate media covered “Kanye West Hospitalized after Canceling Saint Pablo Tour”. Kanye was reportedly admitted to a Los Angeles area hospital for exhaustion. “The LA police department confirmed it responded to a report of disturbance but the incident was deemed a “medical emergency”. Kanye’s mother in law, Kris Jenner said that he was exhausted after a grueling tour and he had to cancel the remainder of his tour due to exhaustion. On November 19, his show lasted 4 songs before an abrupt departure from the stage while giving a 10-minute rant about Beyonce, Jay Z, Hillary Clinton, and Mark Zuckerberg. Corporate coverage has been extensive with multiple news agencies and news outlets reports of Kanye’s hospital visit and his tour cancellations. News outlets include Fox News, CNN, NBCNews, BBC, The Guardian, The Sun, Cosmopolitan, Global News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many others. The articles were all reported within 24 hours of each other.
While the corporate media was covering the junk food news story “Kanye West Hospitalized after Canceling Saint Pablo Tour”, an independent outlet covered the story “Big Pharma Tyranny: Globalist Group Wants Restrictions on Natural Health Products”. On November 18, 2016, D. Samuelson writing for NewsTarget wrote about the globalist group, International Coalition for Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA), advocating restrictions on natural health products because those products are not produced by the Big Pharma groups. The restrictions would eliminate medicinal herbs, alternative medicines, whole food vitamins as well as raw and unadulterated medicines.
This independent news story is newsworthy because it addressed an actual problem to be resolved and has the ability to affect many people. Without corporate media coverage, the thoughtful discourse regarding alternative health options in which individuals prefer using medicine that is not a pharmaceutical synthesized by a Big Pharma companies remains obscure except to Big Pharma and independent news outlets. Many individuals rely on natural health products and any restrictions placed by the FDA and/or the ICMRA would be problematic.
Overall, it is unfortunate that in today’s news, people care more about Kanye’s exhaustion, while a looming risk of restricted or banned natural health products due to the Big Pharma group’s greed. Corporate media decided that Kanye West being tired was more important than medicine and vitamins that help people have healthy lives as not one outlet covered the natural medicine problem which many America’s citizens could face.
Steven McCombs is originally from Portland Oregon. He is a Cadet at California State University Maritime Academy studying Marine Transportation. He enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding, and hiking with friends.
Nolan Higdon is a professor of Critical Media Literacy Education and Latin American and US History in the San Francisco Bay Area. His academic work focuses on nationalism, propaganda, and critical media literacy education. He sits on the boards of the Media Freedom Foundation, Sacred Heart University’s Media Literacy and Digital Culture Graduate Program, and the Northwest Alliance For Alternative Media And Education. He co-founded the Global Critical Media Literacy Project where he served two years as coordinator. He has contributed chapters to Censored 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2017 as well as Stephen Lendman’s Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III (2014). He has published articles on media and propaganda including “Disinfo Wars: Alex Jones War on Your Mind (2013),” “Millennial Media Revolution (2014),” and “Justice For Sale (2015).” He has been a guest on national radio and television programs and a frequent guest host for The Project Censored Radio Show.