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How Dollarocracy Is Destroying America

series: Moyers & Company

air date: 11/08/13 8:00 PM

The money and power behind this week's election results confirm what everybody knows: democracy is under siege. We, the People, don't control our leaders; moneyed interests get their way. Corporations are free to buy politicians, judges, and elections with virtually unlimited cash, and big media conglomerates reap billions from political advertising. We idealize the notion of political equality in the voting booth but eviscerate it in practice, caught in the clutches of a "money-and-media complex" not unlike the vast "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned us about more than half a century ago. No one knows the dangers better than John Nichols and Robert McChesney. Nichols is Washington correspondent for The Nation and a pioneering political blogger. McChesney is a leading scholar of communications and society and a professor at the University of Illinois. Together, ten years ago, they became the founding figures of the media reform movement Free Press ̶ and have never flagged in challenging the Big Money and Big Media that, combined, corrupt our democracy. Their latest book is Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America. This week on Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill Moyers speaks with Nichols and McChesney. "Democracy means rule of the people, one person, one vote," McChesney says. "'Dollarocracy' means the rule of the dollars. One dollar, one vote. Those with lots of dollars have lots of power. Those with no dollars have no power." "'Dollarocracy' has the ability to animate dead ideas," Nichols tells Moyers. "You can take an idea that's a bad idea, buried by the voters. 'Dollarocracy' can dig it up and that zombie idea will walk among us. "

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