Elite members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, at the end of January were considering a proposal for a new global television network to usher in a state of “global governance.” It sounds authoritarian, even totalitarian, to some.
The media proposal, which was included in “The Global Agenda 2009” report, is to create “a new global network” with “the capacity to connect the world, bridging cultures and peoples, and telling us who we are and what we mean to each other.” Several prominent U.S. media figures signed on to the alarming and controversial proposal.
Isn’t it nice that we might have a TV network telling us “who we are?” And “what we mean to each other?” Perhaps we will learn that we are global citizens. Perhaps a global leader of some sort will tell us that. Who might that be?
This outlandish and frightening proposal doesn’t come from a fringe organization. The WEF is an exclusive club of very rich and powerful people from around the world. It describes itself as “an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”
This year’s conference featured speeches by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The event’s corporate sponsors, which pay about half a million dollars each to participate, include several failing institutions that have received tens of billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers. They include Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley. These entities are termed “Strategic Partners” of the World Economic Forum.
News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, was another “strategic partner” of the event.
Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, represented the Obama Administration at this year’s event and called leaders from all nations to “seize gladly” the duties of collaborating and boldly embrace “a new era of global financial responsibility.”
But in a major embarrassment, the WEF also released a report, “The Future of the Global Financial System,” acknowledging “intellectual stewardship and guidance” provided by a steering committee co-chaired by John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer who was recently ousted from Bank of America in a scandal. Thain oversaw the disastrous sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and was criticized for lavish spending on office decorations, including a $1,405 waste basket and $87,784 rug.
The other co-chair of the committee was David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, who has been quoted as saying that China holds the key to the world economy’s future. One report notes that Rubenstein says Carlyle “was an early investor in the Chinese marketplace,” that its China office “has hired many native-born Chinese, and the company is seeking to build its buyout and growth-capital businesses there.”
The End Of Sovereignty
The Global Agenda 2009 report says that “sovereign states do not adequately address problems reaching across borders” and that “international taxation” may be needed to generate the “additional resources” for “global governance.”
Could this become a source of new bailout money here and abroad?
“As current global governance problems come from market failures, sovereign failures and inter-governmental failures that cross boundaries, sacrificing sovereignty for greater gain may become an option,” the report says.
Law Of The Sea Treaty
The report says the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty, which is a top priority for Senate ratification under the Obama Administration, is a measure that has “earned the acceptance and compliance” of most nations. The treaty would turn over oil, gas, and mineral resources to the U.N. and authorize access to them through payment of a global tax to a U.N. body.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has engendered criticism from conservatives for having endorsed the Law of the Sea Treaty in 2007.
But the WEF also envisions cooperation and collaboration in global media ventures. It asks, “How can we save journalism to help it save the world?” Clearly, this is advocacy journalism on a global scale.
Indeed, the list of “Recommendations” says it is imperative to start “Communicating a global agenda, and motivating and mobilizing people to support it…”
Is this journalism? Or is it brainwashing and propaganda?
It says that “a genuine, global voice” is needed that shares a “fundamental commitment” to being an international media voice, and makes mention of “the media voices we think of as international” coming from London (the BBC), Qatar (Al-Jazeera) or Atlanta (CNN).
BBC is known for its anti-American programming, Al-Jazeera for its pro-terrorist slant, and CNN for its left-wing and pro-Democratic bias.
It will take “innovative public-private funding” to bring this new network into being, apparently meaning that the taxpayers in the U.S. will have to be soaked in order to help bring this about. But no price tag is put on the venture and no objection was apparently raised to government funding of such a network on a global basis. An “overview” statement does, however, decry “censorship and self-censorship.”
Elsewhere in the report (page 31) the idea of “international taxation” is proposed for “global action” of various kinds. Perhaps this is a vehicle for raising revenue for the new “global voice.”
The media proposal was developed by one of several “Global Agenda Councils” under the auspices of the WEF. The new TV network proposal was issued under the supervision of Pat Mitchell, the president of the Paley Center for Media and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Service. She was the chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media.
Other members of the Council on the Future of Media were Betsy Morgan of the left-wing Huffington Post (former general manager of CBSNews.com); Rui Chenggang of China Central Television, an official political propaganda arm of the communist regime; and Zafar Siddiqi of CNBC Arabiya, a subsidiary of General Electric which is described as a 24-hour Arabic language financial and business information channel.
There is no indication in the published report that the Huffington Post executive raised any objection to working hand-in-glove with the communist propaganda channel. Is the Chinese media model a precedent for the new “global network?”
The conference was covered by media organizations such as CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes and Fox, but no coverage that we could find was devoted to the proposal for a government-financed global media network. Talk about self-censorship!
John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University and the “Rapporteur of the Global Agenda Councils focusing on Society and Values,” summarized the work of Mitchell’s panel. He says (page 46) that “We believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit ‘CNN’ providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world.”
According to DeGioia’s biography, he walks the walk and is dedicated to helping “prepare young people for leadership roles in the global community.” His bio adds, “He is a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and Chair of its Education Committee and he represents Georgetown at the World Economic Forum and on the Council on Foreign Relations.”
The media council took advantage of what a description of its work said was an “enormous opportunity” to “redefine the media and its roles in a global, interconnected society.”
Under the title of “Recommendations” (page 182), the Council on the Future of Media declares that “The Council is championing a new global, independent news and information service whose role is to inform, educate and improve the state of the world—one that would take advantage of all platforms of content delivery from mobile to satellite and online to create a new global network.”
It goes on, “In a world where there are calls for global governance as a response to a global financial crisis, where scientific research, capital flows and production chains are globalized, the media and the communities in which we imagine ourselves remain fiercely localized.” Hence, a global network will work against “localized” or national-based systems and convince people to go “global” with their outlook and solutions. In other words, the new network will help undermine old-fashioned notions of national sovereignty and patriotism.
There are 22 members (page 183) of the Council on the Future of Media. In addition to Mitchell and Morgan, American members include:
* Alex S. Jones, former media reporter for the New York Times and now Director, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
* Susan King, former Washington correspondent for ABC News and now Director, Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives and Strategy, Carnegie Corp. of New York.
* John Lavine, Dean, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.
* Nicholas Lemann, former Washington Post reporter and now Dean, School of Journalism, Columbia University.
* David Nordfors, Director, Innovation Journalism and Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, Stanford University.
* Monroe Price, Director, Centre for Global Communications Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, the University of Pennsylvania.
* Orville H. Schell, Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society.
There doesn’t appear to be one identifiable conservative member on the list. Of course, this is probably the way it was designed.